Stinking of rotten fish, woman took 10 showers a dayApril 17th, 2012 - 11:50 am ICT by IANS
London, April 17 (IANS) A British woman suffers from a rare metabolic disorder that makes her stink like rotten fish. Strangers shout at her in the streets and she even quit a job and took 10 showers a day to get rid of the smell.
Claire Rhodes, a 34-year-old mother-of-four, has a disorder called Trimethylaminuria — also known as “fish odour syndrome” — where the body cannot break down trimethylamine, which is found in certain foods like milk and eggs.
The disorder causes the chemical to build up in her system before it is released in her sweat, urine and breath, giving off a strong fishy odour, the Daily Mail reported.
She has now been able to control the condition with a special diet of fruit and vegetables for two years.
“You’re supposed to have other things in small amounts but they still make me stink. So I only eat fruit and vegetables. It’s made me lose six stone (38 kg). The diet does get me down but I have got to stick to it. I wouldn’t be able to go out if I didn’t. I’d be too embarrassed,” said Claire, a resident of York.
Claire was having up to 10 showers a day after friends started commenting on her fishy odour.
When she went to see a doctor, they did various tests, which all came back negative.
“I thought it was coming from my teeth so I lied to my dentist and said I was in pain so he removed some of them. I was brushing my teeth 20 times a day. I was brushing so hard my gums were receding,” she said.
She started having panic attacks and for a year, she only left the house when she had to go to work.
Claire even contemplated suicide, and was put on anti-depressants as well as counselling.
However, after watching a programme about someone with fish odour syndrome, Claire was finally diagnosed with the disorder.
A dietician put Claire on a strict diet and warned her to cut out any foods that make her disorder worse.
Most foods cause her to stink. So Claire limited her diet to strawberries, pears, carrots, turnips, potatoes and salad.
She can eat honey and rice in small amounts as well as bread, but only if it is freshly baked.
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Tags: anti depressants, british woman, brushing my teeth, carrots, daily mail, dietician, fish odour syndrome, fruit and vegetables, gums, old mother, panic attacks, pears, rare metabolic disorder, rotten fish, special diet, stink, strawberries, strict diet, trimethylamine, various tests