For the first time doctors document a woman who urinates alcohol

The Hush Post | 8:13 pm | One-minute read |

In a strange medical condition, scientists in Pittsburgh have documented a woman who ‘urinates alcohol’. Doctors say alcohol naturally brews in the bladder of the woman from the fermentation of yeast.

The findings are reported in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Scientists have proposed to call the condition either ‘bladder fermentation syndrome’ or ‘urinary auto-brewery syndrome’. It is similar to another incredibly rare condition, auto-brewery syndrome, where simply ingesting carbohydrates can be enough to make you inebriated.

The 61-year-old woman had visited the doctors for a liver transplant at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre Presbyterian Hospital. Doctors had previously suspected her problems stemmed from alcohol addiction as repeated urine tests for alcohol came out to positive. However, the woman never showed signs of intoxication.

“Initially, our encounters were similar, leading our clinicians to believe that she was hiding an alcohol use disorder,” said her doctors.

Doctors noted that plasma test results for ethanol and urine test results for ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulfate, which are the metabolites of ethanol, were negative. They also found that the urine test results for ethanol were positive. Furthermore, large amount of glucose was found in her urine. This condition is called hyperglycosuria – with abundant levels of budding yeast seen in urine samples.

“These findings led us to test whether yeast colonising in the bladder could ferment sugar to produce ethanol,” the researchers write.

The doctors failed to eliminate the yeast with antifungal treatments due to the patient’s poorly controlled diabetes. However, the report doesn’t make clear what ultimately became of the patient.

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