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On January 1st, 2016 CNN reported a story that took place in upstate New York. A woman was arrested for DWI while driving just before Christmas, but was ultimately exonerated because she had an underlying medical condition called auto-brewery syndrome– her body makes internally alcohol. How is this possible?

The Case

The woman had been at a restaurant with her husband for food and drinks in the early afternoon. She had about one drink an hour and felt fine- no cloudy or woozy feelings. She then drove herself home but got a flat tire on the way. She tried to make it home on the flat tire, but another driver called the police to help her. Because she was driving with a flat tire, the police gave her a Breathalyzer test- and she failed! She was taken to the hospital and felt fine, but when they were about to release her, the husband requested she is observed for several more hours and repeat the blood alcohol tests. For several hours after her last drink, her blood alcohol level remained abnormal. What was going on?

The Disease

Her attorney reached out to medical experts and found out that there are cases of people that produce internally excessive alcohol after eating specific foods or sugary beverages- it’s called Auto-brewery syndrome. In patients with excessive yeast in their digestive tract, they are prone to having chronically elevated alcohol in their system. This is exacerbated of course by drinking alcohol, but also can be triggered by eating foods that are simple carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, and rice. If this sounds familiar to any of our regular readers, it sounds an awful lot like Candida hypersensitivity that we treat at Mitchell Medical Group in NYC and Long Island with excellent results.

The Candida Hypersensitivity Syndrome

For decades, the medical community rejected that something called Candida caused medical symptoms such as bloating, gas, irritability, anxiety or even chronic fatigue. But today the medical community is embracing that alterations in our microbiome- the balance of good and bad bacteria in our digestive tract- plays a critical role in many diseases. At Mitchell Medical Group, we have actually structured a staging system (see prior blog Candida staging) which helps patients understand the evolution of how they developed Candida. And more importantly, we have specific protocols with vitamins and antifungals to cleanse and detoxify patients to restore immune balance.

The Bottom Line


While Candida hypersensitivity is a real condition that has real symptoms impacting many patient’s lives…. I wouldn’t rely on this to get you off on a DWI charge. I would recommend if you notice you don’t react well after eating foods high in carbohydrates that you get checked for Candida.

– Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D.
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC

About the Author – Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D.

Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D.

Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D. is a Board Certified Allergist and Immunologist based out of NYC. He graduated from the Sackler School of Medicine and completed training at the Robert Cooke Allergy Institute in New York City. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the author of Dr. Dean Mitchell’s Allergy and Asthma Solution: The Ultimate Program for Reversing Your Symptoms One Drop at a Time. Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D. has also been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Fitness Magazine, Dr. Oz and News NY 1. Dr. Mitchell also hosts the podcast The Smartest Doctor in the Room – a combination of a lively, personal and in-depth interview with top healthcare specialists.