Never TMI About TMAU
Over the past ten years that PoopReport has been online, many of you have written in claiming that you are plagued with, for a lack of a better term, butt odor. You have submitted over one thousand comments under a few famous front page requests for help on the subject (here and here) that have ranged from jocular to suicidal. The subject of butt stink eventually lead to whole body stink, and many of you started to ask the same questions:
“Why do people hold their noses when I am near?”
”What’s wrong with me?”
"Has anyone beat this?"
”Why can’t my doctor help me? Why is he telling me that this is all in my head, even though he is holding his nose?”
”Is there anything that I can do to change this? My life is ruined.”
Some of you have contributed excellent advice to these frustrated people, such as telling them to ask a doctor to perform a candida yeast test. What happens when you have a candida yeast overgrowth, you might ask? This ailment causes pathways to be made between your digestive system and blood stream, and, well, you can draw a conclusion to what happens next – the contents of your intestines can be dispersed throughout your body and secreted, causing you to stink. Worse, these pathways can lead to your body’s organs, which can make you very ill as well as smelly. The good news about candida yeast infections is that they can be cured by a special diet and a physician's help. The bad news is that many people do not know they have them.
Another ailment that has been discussed here at PoopReport is TMAU, which stands for Trimethylaminuria. Also called fish odor syndrome, this disease is the result of one’s body lacking an enzyme that breaks down triethylamine into triethylamine N-oxide. Triethylamine smells; triethylamine N-oxide does not. When triethylamine builds up in someone’s body, it is excreted through the saliva, sweat, urine, and in other manners, and the sufferer will smell terrible. Foods that contain choline are the source of this digestive trouble. The problem is that choline is present in many foods, and malnutrition can result from eating a diet too restrictive in choline. There is no cure for TMAU, but there are preventatives measures: Most important is to eradicate as much choline from one’s diet as possible without causing malnutrition; there are also now claims that activated charcoal, supplements, and antibiotics to reduce gut flora may help as well.
Recently someone posted a video link to the site about a woman who has TMAU. The video moved me so much that I wanted to share it. It’s sometimes easy to forget that there are real people behind the comments and stories we receive. I hope that you all can take a few minutes to watch this video to better understand what people with TMAU suffer through. Body odor can drive people to consider ending their lives.
The video runs under fifteen minutes; you can sit still that long!
When you are finished, I hope that you take the time to visit the sponsoring organization’s website, MEBO Research. This organization is a patient advocacy group that researches two of the most taboo medical conditions that affect people: body odor and halitosis. There is a page that addresses fecal body odor here (you have to scroll down), and an accompanying link to their extremely informative blog can be found here. Any of you that are suffering from what you think is a pervasive body odor should visit these links and research what this organization has compiled. I hope you will find some very useful information.