By Mollie Mansfield
A young woman has been diagnosed with a condition that causes her food to turn into alcohol, after her mum noticed that her daughter frequently appeared ‘drunk’.
In 2018, Brooke Kelsch, 47, noticed her daughter Alyssa frequently had ‘fruity breath’, glossed over eyes and would break into fits of laughter and slurring.
Despite appearing as though she were ‘drunk’, Brooke knew this was impossible because she was not drinking alcohol, so started searching for other reasons.
After months of doctors appointments and specialist visits, Alyssa, 26, was finally diagnosed with auto-brewery syndrome – a rare condition which causes carbs and sugars she digests to turn into alcohol.
Now, Alyssa, a tattoo artist, is on a course of anti-fungal medication to help stop her food from making her ‘drunk’ and Brooke is sharing her story to raise awareness for the rare syndrome.
Brooke, from Salt Lake City, Utah, said: “About two years ago, I noticed that her breath smelled fruity, her eyes seemed different and she was acting clumsy.
“She would also randomly start giggling and slurring her words and, as the time went on, she would get mean and combative – she was acting like she was drunk.
“But I knew that she wasn’t drunk – so I started researching other things that could cause her to behave like this.
“After extensive research I read up about auto-brewery syndrome but, because it’s such a rare condition, no one believed that was it.
“But then after seeing a number of specialists she was diagnosed with the condition and that explained a lot.
“The condition was causing any sugar and carbohydrates to turn into alcohol – which explains why she seemed like she was drunk after she’d eat a meal.”
After series of tests, Alyssa was prescribed an anti-fungal medication to help reduce the ethanol level in her body.
Brooke, a company owner, said: “The medication that she takes for her auto-brewery syndrome helps Alyssa to eat normal foods without them giving her the ‘drunk’ aftermath.
“She has been tested since taking them and her ethanol levels are going down, so it looks promising
“Doctor’s believe that she got the syndrome initially due to an antibiotic that she took which would have triggered it.
“She also suffers with poly glandular autoimmune disorder type one, so we have had trouble with her anti-fungal medication interfering with some of the other tablets she is on.
“Luckily Alyssa is a very tough girl and doesn’t let her syndrome get to her too much.
“We don’t know if there will ever be a cure to her condition, but we’re willing to try anything that could help her.
“We hope that by sharing Alyssa’s story that more people will become familiar with the condition and hopefully more research will be done to help people like her who are having to live with it.”
Alyssa’s family are fundraising for her continued treatment, to donate please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/st65k-help-save-my-sisters-life?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet