Livin' on the MDedge

A bladder brewery and a neurosurgical violin solo


One bikram, one shakti, one beer

Novelty yoga is a thing, and there’s no stopping it now.

There’s cat yoga, aerial yoga (performed in a harness or hammock suspended above the ground), karaoke yoga, laughter yoga (done while listening to the LOTME podcast, no doubt), snake yoga, toega (yoga for toes), and, of course, goat yoga. So what’s next, beer yoga?

Why, yes, it is beer yoga.

Woman meditates next to a bottle of beer lolostock/iStock/Getty Images Plus

In our travels around the dark, deserted corners of the Internet, we came across an article on that said a beer yoga class “involves picking up a beer, drinking it, and putting it back down again, in many different ways.”

Pretty straightforward. Then we saw a photo on Germany’s that showed all of the participants doing the tree pose while balancing a beer bottle on their heads. Not so straightforward. Trust us, we tried.

Bieryoga explains that “the exuberance that comes with drinking beer and the body awareness of yoga can be combined into an energizing experience. In the beer and now.”

How can we say no to “in the beer and now”? Well, we can’t, but we do have one teeny tiny problem: We’ve gotten into “downward-facing dog with IPA on rump,” and now we can’t get up.

Little help … anyone?

A surgical symphony

A patient playing the violin during her own brain surgery? That sounds way more interesting than paying hundreds of dollars to attend any old normal concert.

A brain plays the violin fberti/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Violinist Dagmar Turner found out in 2013 that she had a brain tumor that was gradually advancing in size. After learning the tumor needed to be removed, Ms. Turner worried she might lose her talents if the parts of her brain crucial to playing the violin were destroyed.

Luckily, her well-orchestrated surgical team composed a plan to ensure they spared the vital parts of the brain used when playing the violin: They would wake their patient during brain surgery and have her play her violin. Yes, you read that right – she played the violin during surgery to help her surgeons make certain there was no damage to the violin-related areas of her brain.

Personally, we here at the profit-minded Bureau of LOTME believe the surgical team missed a perfect opportunity to sell tickets to this event. Ms. Turner successfully made it through the surgery both 90% tumor free and fully able to play her violin. We love a happy ending! Bravo! Though maybe not “Encore!”

Belly up to the bar, boys

Quick, what would be the worst superpower? No doubt your head is flooding with ideas, each more comical than the last. But did you think of “able to pee beer?”

That’s right, it’s the return of an old LOTME favorite – auto-brewery syndrome. But this time, there’s a twist.

Our daring hero in today’s exciting case report from Annals of Internal Medicine is a 61-year-old woman from Pittsburgh who presented with liver damage and poorly controlled diabetes, and who sought placement on the liver transplant list.

But hang on, the woman’s history seemed to indicate her liver problems stemmed from alcohol addiction, because her urine tests were always positive for alcohol, and the current tests said the same. Hmm, this is sounding slightly villainous!

There were, however, some discrepancies. The woman didn’t appear to be intoxicated during clinic visits, tests for ethanol metabolites were negative while urine tests for ethanol were positive, and there were large quantities of glucose and budding yeast in the urine. Something strange was going on, so the doctors decided to dig deeper.

The yeast in question was Candida glabrata, which is closely related to brewer’s yeast. The doctors found high levels of ethanol production in the urine, suggesting that the yeast was fermenting sugar inside the bladder. The patient was quite literally urinating alcohol, becoming the first documented case in a living person of what the doctors dubbed “urinary auto-brewery syndrome.”

As much as we love a good drink here at LOTME world headquarters, we’ll have to pass on the urine cocktail. Just don’t tell all the beer yoga enthusiasts, this seems right up their alley. You know, positive natural energy flow or something like that.

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