By Antonio Manaytay
The doctors can’t believe it but they say a 61-year-old woman from Pittsburgh is a walking brewery of alcohol. That is what her urine tests have indicated so far.
In a medical report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, doctors at Pittsburgh Medical Centre Presbyterian Hospital said the Pittsburg woman was the first person they had documented to naturally produce alcohol in her bladder.
At first, the doctors suspected an alcohol addiction. The woman flatly denied saying alcohol is not an issue for her.
Her doctors had noted a negative test on the “plasma test results for ethanol and urine tests for ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulfate, which are the metabolites of ethanol.” On the other hand, the urine test for ethanol was positive.
Also, a large amount of glucose in her urine sample had puzzled the doctors. And the amount of alcohol in her urine after detailed analyses of the samples had startled the doctors.
Yeast in the body
The doctors had ruled out alcohol addiction. They concluded there was no single indicator that the elderly woman was drinking too much alcohol.
All indicators had pointed to one thing: the woman had yeast in her bladder. When metabolized, the yeast becomes alcohol.
A yeast, candida glabrata, is normally present in the body in small quantities. The Pittsburgh woman’s case was different. She had too much of this yeast in her bladder.
Without disclosing the identity of the patient, the doctors believed the woman’s condition was not unique. They said in their report that urinary auto-brewery syndrome could be common to all.
Lesson for clinicians
When faced with the same condition, doctors would usually diagnose the case due to excessive drinking. But it should not be the case.
Their experience had taught them one valuable lesson: diligence.
Clinicians, they said, must exercise diligence in “paying close attention to medical record documentation and laboratory results.” (Featured Image: Pixabay)