Think drinking is game? Being drunk seems like fun for some, but is a life altering problem for many. This man's body produces its own alcohol. Meet Matthew Hoggs!
In the 21st century, it has become a common culture to drink and party in college and high school, even though if you are in high school you shouldn’t be drinking. The euphoria of being drunk and having a ‘good time’ is something that everyone wants to experience at least once in their lifetime. For some, it is an amazing experience but for some it includes nausea, puking, severe headache, all signs of a massive hangover. Let’s not even get to the heightened emotions that cause brawls and inappropriate behaviour sometimes.
Many people spend their savings, their families’ savings and sometimes even steal the money to be able to buy themselves a drink. For them, drinking is a lifestyle and an escape from their reality but for Matthew Hoggs, it really is his reality. Meet the man who is drunk all the time, but not on purpose.
The Irritable Bowel Syndrome
In an interview with Vice magazine, Matthew Hogg gave a glimpse into his life and it was not all fun and games as many would like to think. Matthew suffered from digestive problems as a child and was initially diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. But when he started his teenage years, the condition worsened and it turned so severe that he could feel the bubbling of fermentation that was taking place in his abdomen. He was an athletic, straight A student in school but as his condition worsened, it became impossible for him to concentrate in tests and would easily get exhausted after short jogs.
He said by his late teens, he started experiencing major alcoholic hangovers that would occur the morning after he had a carbohydrate meal. He would be dehydrated, had pounding headache, severe nausea occasional vomiting, dry mouth, cold sweats and shaky hands as well. That is how you feel after drinking heavily sometime but in Matthew’s case he wouldn’t even have a drop of alcohol and still experience all these symptoms.
Brewing His Own Alcohol
After having enough of the constant drunken state and spending over $8000 in various consultation, Matthew contacted a specialist in London, late Dr. Keith Eaton. His tests confirmed that Matthews gut was producing its own ethanol from yeast in large amounts. His body was also producing massive amounts of other alcohols associated with the metabolism of various bacteria.
Dr. Eaton diagnosed his with auto-brewery syndrome and his diagnosis was confirmed by many other doctors who specialized in unusual and unrecognized chronic diseases.
How Does It Work?
Auto brewery syndrome is a condition where the surplus levels of fungus in the gut synthesizes alcohol, from carbohydrates in the body. Our gastrointestinal tract is home to may species of gut-friendly microbes and majority of it is bacteria, with fungi making up less than 1% of the total. In a normal human, these micro-organisms are present and are balance therefore, we do not face such disorders. But when an overgrowth of these fungal specimens occurs, the main culprit being Candida type of yeast, it results in various digestive complications and other bodily functions.
Yeasts and other fungi feed on sugars and starches that are present in our food, which they convert into energy. This process of conversion, creates waste in the form of carbon dioxide and ethanol. This ethanol then enters the bloodstream and travels throughout the body. This is exactly what happened with Matthew Hogg.
The Toll It Took On His Life
After he was diagnosed, he could no longer continue at college because it was difficult for his to concentrate and maintain a social life with his classmates. He therefore, came back home to search for jobs but that was too much for him too. No one would give him any jobs based on his disability because no one would believe him. The lack of governmental and medical recognition of the auto-brewery syndrome. He then went into depression, got IBS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and anxiety.
To help others like him, he set up a website named the Environmental Illness Resource for this unknown chronic illness that him and many other were facing as a means to help himself out financially.
He still faces the symptoms when he eats something containing grains, fruits, and processed food with added sugar. He therefore, is on a Stone Age diet which includes meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds. His condition still hasn’t been successfully treated so he sometimes suffers the symptoms that include the fatigues, pain, exercise and stress intolerance, and cognitive dysfunction. He says that if someone has this syndrome, they should immediately take the treatment that is available before it is too late like it was for him.