American doctors in Pennsylvania have discovered a previously unknown disease that actually turned the bladder of the patient in a microbrewery that produces ethyl alcohol, BBC reports.
A unique discovery, described Tuesday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, was done almost by accident. 61-year-old woman was prepped for surgery for liver transplantation in the clinic of the University of Pittsburgh: she suffered from severe cirrhosis and advanced type II diabetes.
Both of these diseases often occur in people who abuse alcohol so the doctor did not surprised that the urine of a patient is regularly given a positive result on the ethanol — although the woman assured the doctors that almost does not drink.
“Initially, our contacts [with the patient] took the same way: all the doctors came to the conclusion that she’s hiding a painful addiction to alcohol,” write the authors.
A few times for test results she was advised to undergo treatment from alcoholism, but the patient continued to insist that eve never even touched alcohol.
One of the staff drew attention to the fact that, despite the high level of alcohol in the urine, the patient did not look drunk. He decided to conduct a more detailed study and much to my surprise have not found deposited in the analyses nor acylglucuronide, no etilsulfate — the usual decay products of alcohol. The content of the alcohol remained high.
A blood test for alcohol also gave a negative result: the woman was telling the truth.
Myself… a brewery?
As a result of further research it became clear that in the bladder of the patient is a breeding ground for Candida glabrata — celled fungus, a close relative of brewer’s yeast. It is often found in the microflora of healthy people, but in much smaller amounts.
The woman was treated, but to get rid of the infection failed — largely due to the running of diabetes and a weakened immune system.
Doctors put women taken from samples of the fungus in a nutrient medium and found that it really breaks down molecules of glucose with the formation of ethyl alcohol.
For the production of any alcohol is sufficient availability of sugar, water, yeast (or other fermenting agent) and the absence of oxygen. In such circumstances, begins the process of fermentation: the sugar is converted into ethyl alcohol with evolution of carbon dioxide.
Because of diabetes, a woman’s body could not cope with the blood sugar levels, resulting in significant amounts of glucose were in the urine. And in the absence of oxygen proliferated in the body the fungus immediately launched the process of fermentation, actually turning bladder of the patient to the brewery.
Hitherto unknown disease was named “autojournal syndrome urinary system” (urinary auto-brewery syndrome) or “syndrome of fermentation in the bladder”.
This is the first known case of such disease, but several physicians have already met similar symptoms when spontaneous fermentation starts in the digestive system.
However, in this case, unlike the bladder, the resulting alcohol gets into your bloodstream — with all the ensuing consequences in the form of mild intoxication, dizziness, and in severe cases even nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness.