Two liters of distilled spirits a day definitely cannot keep the doctor away.
A 53-year-old man from Guangzhou in southern China who spent more than 30 years of his life consuming two liters of baijiu or Chinese spirits every day has developed massive and fatty tumors in his throat called a "horse's neck".
Media reports say that Hong Shu now struggles to breathe, sleep or eat after because of the rare Madelung disease. The disease causes deposits of fat to gather in different parts of the body such as the legs, neck and arms.
Shu recalled that he had started noticing the changes in his body ten years ago when the area behind both of his ears had swelled up, and then slowly spread to his throat.
After a long time, the disease took over his neck, and he was known to be "the man with the horse's neck."
Doctors say that the tumors were more than 15 centimeters or 5.9 inches wide and 14 centimeters or 5.5 inches long. Two lumps behind Shu's neck were 18 centimeters or 7 inches wide.
Because of his disease, Shu said that he had become withdrawn and depressed, and he rarely went outside.
Shu had undergone three surgeries and is on the process of being discharged from the hospital. He said that he has been given fresh hope because of the surgical operations.
Chinese spirits are made from grains such as rice and sorghum, and its alcohol by volume (ABV) is 40 to 60 percent.
Doctors say that there are only about 400 cases of rare diseases such as the Madelung disease worldwide.
Meanwhile, in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers examined a 43-year-old man who also had the same disease. The man was experiencing painless and soft swelling on his shoulders, upper back, upper trunk and neck. Like Shu, the man also had a history of heavy alcohol consumption.
Researchers said that 90 percent of patients who have had a history of severe alcoholism were more at risk of getting the Madelung disease. Patients who were asymptomatic or who were not experiencing any other symptoms were under a lipid-lowering therapy and an alcohol detoxification program, the study said.