Last year it was reported on major news outlets that a New York woman named Rosemary McGinn, 53, was diagnosed with a rare condition that manifested as drunken behavior called insulinoma. Which is an exceedingly rare condition unless you’re a ferret. It involves the development of tumors on the pancreas, which in turn causes low blood sugar and motor reactions similar to someone who’s been slow-dancing the night away with Southern Comfort. So what do these symptoms look like?
The bitch about being insulinoma-drunk is that the effects aren’t as relaxing as you might think. In fact, until the tumors are surgically removed, it’s physically the same as suffering from hypoglycemia. Which is to say; all the worst parts about being drunk (feeling sick, anxious, etc.) without the beer-muscles and sudden attraction to the plaid-clad lady-trucker across the bar.
There are also diagnosed cases of brain tumors causing uncoordinated behavior, which patients often describe as a “drunk feeling”. And there have been instances where spinal tumors have drastically lowered the alcohol tolerances in patients, turning them into two-beer lightweights.
Practically anything related to ataxia, which is connected to neurological loss in coordination, can make you stumble around the apartment like you’ve got a lampshade on your head. But again, this is another case of having all the symptoms of being a bus-wino without the fun of actually being inebriated.
Lastly, this may be the only medical condition where the sufferer can claim God Almighty wants him to stay drunk. In 2013 a 61-year-old Texas man arrived at the hospital with a blood-alcohol level of 0.37. If it weren’t for his wife, who was a dean of nursing and had purchased a breathalyzer to test him, the hospital might have sent him home, probably after commenting on his whiskey-breath.
The cause of this, as well as every other recorded case of Auto-Brewery Syndrome, can be found in the stool of the patients which contained Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a type of brewer’s yeast. The victims (AKA Revelers) were effectively culturing their own “home brew” in their intestines, and were getting drunk off the concoction of whatever they had eaten along with the yeast.
The solution to Auto-Brewery is a low-carb diet and a battery of anti-fungal medications. Before taking this medication we can only assume the patients’ burps smelled of pruno, and they refused treatment until the doctor did a shot with them.
Happy St. Patty’s Day everyone! Drive safe.