Sometime last year I developed a systematic body odor, non-hygiene related, that I kept getting strong reactions from people to (rubbing/holding noses, coughing, sneezing). I couldnít smell it myself and neither could my family. After a while, I determined it as due to an internal cause. I saw many doctors and specialists, none of them detected anything or could provide any help on the cause (as is characteristic of TMAU). After much researching, I narrowed this to be fecal body odor due to secondary TMAU, or Candida Overgrowth
or some bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO. My guess is that it is secondary TMAU due to bacterial overgrowth/gut dysbiosis. In the months prior to the evident onset of the odor, I had a bad food poisoning for many days. Also, prior to this I have had Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS for many years, and a non-celiac gluten intolerance that developed in more recent years. I am awaiting results for TMAU testing. I have read of many people with TMAU/TMAU symptoms who have IBS concurrently or prior. My theory is that, with IBS and later life gluten intolerance, they are developed from changes in the gut microflora/bacteria, this in turn brings a susceptibility to bacterial overgrowth, and in circumstances of exposure to certain pathogens or something giving rise to overgrowth in TMA producing bacteria, secondary TMAU onsets. Therein, there is some vulnerability that the individual has, to the catalysts to secondary TMAU onset, which are triggered from a bacterial overgrowth.
I am not fully certain of course, that the cause of my fecal body odor FBO, is not due to Candida Overgrowth
or one of the few other possible conditions that cause FBO. However, my fecal body odor, is detectable by most but not all people (my rough guess is about 5-10% of people I encounter daily, do not detect it, whilst the rest do). Somehow though, it is not detectable by all the doctors I see. This is certainly puzzling with this condition, and to an outsider it would seem illogical but as those with this know, there is a pattern of doctors not detecting the odor when a patient presents to them. This has also been documented in studies and in research foundation on fecal body odor, with possibilities as being due a transient appearance of TMAU odor and/or those not detecting the odor being carriers of the particular compound themselves.
I have tried many supplements to the point my fridge is a mini pharmacy, without any significant perceivable improvement, and a very controlled diet of low-choline vegetables, and small portions of rice. However, there may be worse reactions where I am on my regular unrestricted diet (lots of carbs and meat I would eat prior to my discovery of this possible condition and diet change). I also took two weeks of metronidazole, but there was not any improvement judging from the reactions I got to the odor, which is a little perplexing, as if it was secondary TMAU from bacterial overgrowth I would expect some improvement from antibiotics. Maybe a different antibiotic is more effective for certain people.
It may be that more time of the supplements and controlled diet is needed. Also, I find that clothes I wear may retain the odor after washing. When I wear drycleaned jackets and pants, I seem to have a worse reaction from people, which I believe is from ineffective removal of the strong odor in the clothes in drycleaning. Iím not sure if other conditions such as Candida Overgrowth
has such characteristics of certain people not being able to smell the odor, as there is with TMAU and its unique odorous TMA compound, or the same problematic retention of the odor in clothes.
Iíd be interested in those who have tried other antibiotics that are commonly prescribed for TMAU such as neomycin, and the possible effectiveness vs metronidazole.
This is a perplexing condition, as those suffering from it know, and of course there is only sporadic research done on the area in the medical field. I am analytical and with a successful career, but of course this onset has affected my daily life. Iíd hope to approach this to find how to help myself and others who are suffering from this, you all have my empathy, when we experience these tough times in everyday life do not give up, you are not alone. I guess for many of us, with good overall health apart from this, this problem is peculiar and troubling and has a major impact for us, not something that our friends and people in day to day life will readily understand in our encounters. There is so little knowledge of this amongst medical professionals, but surely for TMAU sufferers, there is a path to control or eradication of the problem, perhaps with time more and medical development.
Inputs appreciated on what has worked.
Thanks and God Bless.