- A woman talks of her plight with Trimethylaminuria
- She suffers from this rare condition since she was a girl
- The syndrome makes people expel a foul fish-onion smell
A woman who has spent her whole life suffering from a rare disease that makes her expel an onion-fish odor, has come forward with her sad story of bullying and how she has managed to go on with her life despite the odds.
Kelly Fidoe-White suffers from Trimethylaminuria, also known as “fish odor syndrome”, an uncommon genetic disorder, in which the body is not able to break down trimethylamine, a chemical that is produced in the gut, especially if the person eats choline-rich foods.
The 36-year old works night-shifts at her job as a radiographer at the Royal Oldham Hospital, so he does not have to deal with the rejection of the crowds she would encounter is she worked during the day. Her colleagues complained they "could trace her smell up the corridor.”
The only way to treat this disorder is by the administration of antibiotics, which gives a short-term solution, as well as diet changes. Those suffering from Trimethylaminuria simply avoid dark-green vegetables like broccoli, eggs, meat and seafood, which diminishes the strong body odor they expel.
Fidoe-White used to shower over four times a day, and tried to mask her smell with perfumes and body lotions. She received constant bullying as a child, which has made her suffer from anxiety, but managed to find a man who loves her beyond the fact that he is disgusted by her odor.
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Her husband, 45-year-old Michael, has become used to her smell. “[It] has sometimes affected me in a negative manner but I haven't said anything to Kelly. I've just kept it to myself,” she says. He has always wanted to be a support for her. She affirms “Michael has helped me to cope by making me see the funny side of the condition.”
Fidoe-White disposes the smelly compounds through her sweat, breath and urine. She now has been more open about her condition with her present work mates, which has been very positive for her job relationships.
No doctor was ever able to pinpoint what her problem was, even though Fidoe-White visited specialists since she was a teenager, in order to try to find out what was wrong with her. It was only through her own investigations, and watching documentaries, that she pushed experts for an answer. She was finally diagnosed with Trimethylaminuria in 2015.
She now uses body wash for her skin, takes m*dication that aids her body's ability to break down choline.