Trimethylaminuria, also known as fish malodor syndrome or fish odor syndrome is a metabolic disorder which causes a malfunction in the production of Flavin enzymes that contain FMO3 (mono-oxygenase). If the FMO3 doesn’t work properly, the body is unable to break down correctly the trimethylamine (TMA) into trimethylamine oxide from the precursor compound in food digestion. Because of that the TMA is released in the sweat, breathing or urine and gives a strong body odor. Below are 5 steps on how to deal with trimethylaminuria.
Step 1: Learn about the symptoms of trimethylaminuria. Many people with trimethylaminuria have a body odor which can be strong or moderate. The odor intensifies in time and those suffering from this condition appear healthy and don’t have physical symptoms. Usually, the condition appears more in women than men but no one knows exactly why. The body odor depends on various factors such as: other smells in a place, stress level, diet or hormonal changes.
Step 2: Learn about your genetic tree. The trimethylaminuria is a rare disorder and it is usually caused by environmental factors as well as genetic factors. The disorders generally proves to be a life disruptive affection and dealing with the disorder can be very challenging. Not only that the trimethylaminuria affects the person that has it, but it also disrupts the livelihood of the entire family. Children are the ones most affected by this disorder because they face lack of understanding and rejection.
Step 3: Get diagnosed. If you feel that you might suffer from trimethylaminuria, it is best to get diagnosed early to know what you are dealing with. It’s easier to accept the disorder and live with it than rejecting it. You can take urine tests that must be done at least a few times in 24 hours.
Step 4: Learn about ways to reduce the fishy odor when you have Trimethylaminuria. First of all, you need to stay away from certain foods which contain trimethylamine, trimethylamine N-oxide, choline or lecithin. Usually these are found in seafood, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, soy products, peanuts, peas, beans, liver, eggs or milk from cows fed with wheat. Also, you can use acidic detergents that have a 5.5 – 6.5 pH; you can take low doses of antibiotics reducing thus the gut bacteria. A study showed that ingesting copper and/or charcoal chlorophyllin might be very useful, but the success rate varied from one person to another. 85% of the test subjects lost the fishy odor for good, 10% of them had a significant reduction and in 5% there was no detectable loss of the odor.
Step 5: Get professional treatment. This is perhaps one of the most important steps when dealing with trimethylaminuria. Even if there isn’t a cure or a specific treatment for the disorder at this moment, many people live a normal life. That is because they accept the fact of having a disorder and manage their symptoms. In this case, counseling is highly recommended because a professional can help you deal with your disorder.