Doctors Report First Known Case Of Person Who Urinates Alcohol

Talk about a microbrew. We've all had a light beer that tastes like pee, but how about pee that tastes like light beer? According to Science Alert, a woman in Pittsburgh, PA has been identified as the first known human to naturally produce ethyl alcohol in their urine. That's the very same alcohol that appears in boozy consumables like beer, wine and spirits. This neat little party trick occurs as a result of a medical condition that causes yeast to ferment in the bladder, processing glucose into ethanol.

Researchers are calling the condition either "bladder fermentation syndrome" or "urinary auto-brewery syndrome". The latter name mimics a similar, but previously described, syndrome where glucose spontaneously ferments in the bloodstream, generating alcohol in large enough quantities to actually make the person suffering from the condition impaired. Patients with auto-brewery syndrome can actually become drunk just from ingesting carbohydrates.

Test results baffled researchers

The new condition was discovered when a 61-year-old female patient checked herself into University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian Hospital seeking placement on a liver transplant waitlist. The patient (whose name was not made available to preserve her anonymity) presented with serious liver damage related to unmanaged diabetes. Although the woman denied being a drinker, doctors suspected she suffered from alcoholism as a result of repeated urine tests coming up positive for booze. Despite the positive test results, the woman reportedly never showed any signs of intoxication, prompting doctors to further investigate.

What they found will rewrite the medical textbooks. Doctors discovered abnormally high ethanol levels in the woman's urine, which they determined had been fermented by Candida glabrata, a yeast found naturally in the human body, though not usually at such high levels. Doctors attempted to treat the condition with antifungal medications, but the outcome was not successful, likely as a result of her advanced diabetes. No information yet on whether major U.S. beer distributors have contacted her about bottling her effluence.