March 05, 2020
A new medical condition has been discovered in Pennsylvania after a woman was repeatedly turned down for a life-saving liver transplant. The woman had cirrhosis of the liver, and poorly controlled diabetes which was resulting in high blood sugar levels. As part of the pre-transplant evaluation medical professionals conducted on the patient, they discovered her urine contained alcohol, which precluded her from receiving a transplant. Despite these results the patient repeatedly denied consuming alcohol or having an alcohol use disorder.
Thankfully the patient then visited the University of Pittsburg Medical Centre for a second opinion where doctors were willing to look deeper. Closer analysis of her urine showed that while alcohol was present, two metabolites of alcohol were not present. This unexpected result indicated that there was alcohol in her body, but she was not drinking it. Her blood tests supported this result, there was no alcohol in her blood, nor did she appear to be intoxicated. Further analysis showed the patient’s urine had high levels of sugar as well as high levels of yeast.
Adding all of these unexpected findings together the researchers were able to determine that the patient had a medical condition never described before; the microbes in her bladder were fermenting alcohol from the sugar in her urine. The researchers propose that this new condition be named “bladder fermentation syndrome” or “urinary auto-brewery syndrome”. Thankfully, the discovery of this unusual medical condition has meant the woman has now been reconsidered for a liver transplant.
Source: Live Science
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