A woman whose mother became concerned when she frequently appeared ‘drunk’ has been diagnosed with a rare condition that causes her food to turn into alcohol.
Alyssa Kelsch, 26, from Salt Lake City, Utah, first started exhibiting strange symptoms in 2018, when her 47-year-old mum Brooke Kelsch noticed she had ‘fruity breath’, glossed-over eyes and slurred speech.
She would also break into fits of laughter randomly, but despite appearing as though she was constantly drunk, Brooke knew this couldn’t be the case as Alyssa had not been drinking alcohol.
The concerned mother began searching for answers and finally, after months of doctors’ appointments and specialist visits, Alyssa was diagnosed with auto-brewery syndrome – a rare condition that causes your body to turn sugar and carbohydrates into alcohol.
Brooke explained that initially, ‘no one believed’ her daughter had auto-brewery syndrome ‘because it’s such a rare condition’, despite her having conducted ‘extensive research’ into the condition.
After finally getting a diagnosis, Brooke said it ‘explained a lot’, adding that the way the condition works ‘explains why she seemed like she was drunk after she’d eat a meal’.
Now, Alyssa – a tattoo artist – has been put on a course of anti-fungal medication to help reduce the levels of ethanol in her body.
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.
Doctors 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.
Brooke hopes that by sharing her daughter’s story, more people will become familiar with the condition and more research will be done to help those who have to live with it.
Alyssa’s family are now fundraising for her continued treatment on GoFundMe, which you can donate to here.
Our thoughts are with Alyssa and her family as she continues on her road to recovery.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).