A man whose life was shattered because he always seemed drunk found out he actually had a rare disease.
Brandon Jacobs, 42, for decades acted like he’d hit the booze, despite never touching a drop of alcohol.
Baffled as to why he was feeling so drunk, Brandon developed a crippling fear of how people would treat him, including his family.
He was fired when employers refused to believe he was sober and ended up on suicide watch.
“People just thought I was a closet drinker,” said Brandon of Alberta, Canada.
He spent years looking for answers until one day he came across a leading doctor on a TV show who was talking about known symptoms.
After contacting the doctor, Brandon was diagnosed with autobrewery syndrome, where his body turns the carbs he eats into alcohol in his bloodstream.
It is so rare that only a few cases have been documented in the last few decades.
Brandon’s symptoms first began when he was just 13 years old.
He said: “I started feeling everything I could identify as ‘not good’ at the time and it was just assumed I had hypoglycemia and low blood sugar.
“My first memory was of playing baseball at that age and not feeling like myself but not realizing what was going on.”
Over the years, Brandon’s symptoms have continued on and off. But in her mid-30s, the problem got much worse.
The health enthusiast said: “[I] often felt drunk even though they had not drunk alcohol. I ate well, practiced yoga, exercised often, but I seemed to get sicker and sicker.
“My everyday life was extremely arduous, difficult, anxiety-provoking and lonely.
“I just seemed high to other people and the shame was so great that I tried to deny that I wasn’t feeling well.
“My language has changed, as have my cognitive functions. I felt like I was moving very slowly and felt like I was looking down on myself from above.
“I heard things like ‘What’s wrong with you?’, ‘What were you doing before you came here?’ and ‘What have you been drinking?’.
“I’ve always told people that I’m fine and that I’ve ‘did nothing’, but it’s always been extremely embarrassing to have to fight my family’s thoughts.
“People assumed I was scared and drank to go to family gatherings to calm my nerves.
“I received a lot of discernment and found that many members of my family were talking about me behind my back.
“I didn’t have much to say other than that I wasn’t drinking and I didn’t know what was going on.”
Brandon added: “Nobody said anything to my face except my family.
“But I’ve lost jobs and given commissions to people who didn’t believe me, especially in our yoga community.”
Brandon said despite his pleas, people made “preconceived notions” and fired him.
He would bottom out with severe anxiety and often felt unable to leave the house.
“My fear was valid, but it almost resulted in my being unable to work at all,” Brandon said.
“I’ve always waited for something bad to happen, even though some days nothing happened.
“I was on suicide watch and often talked about taking my own life because no one would help me (except my partner) and everyone had already labeled me.”
When Brandon turned on the TV seven years ago, he was shocked to find possible answers to his lifelong problem.
He said: “The show was a portrayal of a man who appeared to have been drinking and driving, although he had not been drinking, and was eventually diagnosed with ABS.”
On the show was an Ohio-based doctor named Dr. Kanodia involved, which Brandon and his wife immediately agreed they had to see, no matter the cost.
Brandon said: “I went through a series of tests (blood, urine, saliva and stool) to be diagnosed with ABS and SIBO [small intestinal bacterial overgrowth].”
ABS can be caused by too much yeast in the gut — where carbohydrates are converted into alcohol.
SIBO, on the other hand, is when bacteria build up in the gut causing symptoms like bloating, constipation, and sometimes malnutrition.
With a diagnosis, Brandon was finally able to receive treatment, which for ABS usually involves dietary changes and sometimes antifungal medication.
He has combined traditional treatments with wellness therapies such as acupuncture, massage and nutrition.
Brandon said his symptoms have been “completely resolved” and that he no longer lives in fear of his conditions.
His journey led him to found his company Park Integrative Health, a clinic that combines modern western and traditional medicine to treat diseases.
This story originally appeared on the sun and is reproduced here with permission.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/05/i-always-felt-drunk-without-booze-and-ended-up-on-suicide-watch/ Without alcohol I always felt drunk and ended up on suicide watch