Mathew Hogg is a 34 year old man whose digestive system has an excess of yeast. The British man gets drunk on eating bread and pasta. It’s like his body is capable of producing its own alcohol! Cool, right? No! Hogg has a very rare disorder known as auto-brewery syndrome. Imagine every time you eat a doughnut or hamburger, you get hammered and the following day you are nursing a hangover. It’s fun to get tipsy sometimes but when you have to always be drunk or hangover, the fun becomes a horror story. It’s extremely hard to hold down a relationship, job or even drive a car.
Whenever Hogg eats carbohydrates or sugar, his intestines convert the food into ethanol, which as we know, is purely alcoholic. A slice of pizza to him is like doing shots of Everclear. In an interview with Vice, Hoggs explained he has to struggle to make through his day. It’s not fun getting drunk for free if you are in his situation. “It’s had a huge and devastating effect on my life,” he told Vice.
He was always tired and disoriented as a teenager before he was diagnosed. Once a straight A student and Athlete, he found himself exhausted after few jogs and lost focus during exams. $80,000 is all it took for Hog to be diagnosed with the auto-brewery disorder by a Mexican doctor. (The disorder is also known as the gut fermentation syndrome.) He now has to observe a strict diet to manage his condition.
His chronic fatigue affects him in many ways and it becomes hard to sometimes hold a full time job. He runs the Environmental Illness Resource website that’s about disorders like his for income. He lives with his girlfriend Mandy who is a teacher.
“Stubborn disbelief” from those around him is one of the difficult things Hogg has to deal with. “I’m constantly reading messages from visitors to my website who suffer from the condition, saying their doctor, boss, co-workers, and even friends, family and partners, just don’t understand,” he tells Vice. “People think we’re just making this condition up.”