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Digestive Disorders

Metabollic Disorder

07/09/2008

Question:

I have been going through alot lately concerning body odors. I am a healthy virgin female. I recently went to a doctor about this and was tested for any bacterial infections that cause odors. But all tests came back negative. Plus I tried everything-soaps, perfumes, lotions, showering multiple times a day, and nothings working. I still go through many days dealing with this. Others around me constantly make comments about me, which makes it hard for me to be out in public or work around others because of this. 

 I notice the odor getting very strong after I eat food everytime, or if I drink a certain drink, and when I am very nervous the odor gets very strong where it fills a whole room. I have been doing some research on my own and came across a metabollic disorder called TMAU or Trimethylaminuria (aka Fish Malydor Syndrome). I believe I have this, but everytime I go to the doctor they don`t know how to test for this or treat it. I guess because it`s very rare.

So I want to know what kind of doctor should I see about this that understands me and really can help me? What kind of treatment can be done to lessen the odor? At this point I don`t know what to do. Because I have been going through this for three years now and everything I have tried has failed me. So any advice would be helpful. Thank you.

Answer:

This is not my area of expertise and I don't know your age, but this usually is related to an inborn error of metabolism, best evaluated by a pediatrician or geneticist. Fatty acid oxidation in sweat can do this and is generally handled by a dermatologist.

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Response by:

D Roy Ferguson, MD D Roy Ferguson, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University