A 61-year old man went into the hospital with obvious signs of intoxication. His blood alcohol level was 0.37 percent. But he swore he hadn’t had any alcohol.
Doctors isolated the man for 24 hours to ensure he didn’t have access to alcohol. During the isolation, his levels were as high as 0.12 percent. The doctors then realized that he must have been infected with high levels Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a kind of yeast that is used in alcohol fermentation and baking, according to CBS News. They suspected that because the patient had been put on antibiotics following surgery for a broken foot in 2004, the medications might have killed all his gut bacteria. This allowed the yeast to thrive in his body.
Interviews revealed the man ate a lot of carbohydrates. That meant each time he ate something with starch, the high amounts of yeast in his body turned the sugars into ethanol or ethyl alcohol, which made him drunk from the inside.
To cure his illness, the patient was placed on a low-carbohydrate diet and prescribed antifungal medication to get rid of the excess yeast.