Rare Condition Means Woman CONSTANTLY Smells Like Fish
A woman in the UK has spoken out about a rare health condition that means that she constantly smells like fish.
Kelly Fidoe-White first started suffering the symptoms of Trimethylaminuria, or "fish odour syndrome", as a child, and endured years of teasing throughout her schooling as a result.
The metabolic illness occurs when a person's body is unable to break down the particular compounds that are found in foods with a substance called choline; the result is a potent body odour that smells like rotten fish, onion and faeces.
"Besides the smell itself, there are very few other symptoms at all," the 36-year-old told Barcroft. "And of course you have the side effects of anxiety, social isolation - it's hard.
"As far as I know, this condition affects 300 to 600 people worldwide; it's not very well known."
In a bizarre twist, though, Kelly is also anosmic - meaning she has no sense of smell - and so can't tell when the odour is becoming too much.
"There's no magic pill that you can take to make it better," she said. "I personally take a cocktail of medications.
"One of the things [the doctors] turn around and say to you is: 'If it smells going in, it's going to smell going out.'
"So things like fish and seafood are major triggers."
Kelly, who now works night shifts as a radiographer because colleagues had complained about her smell during the day, was only officially diagnosed with Trimethylaminuria two years ago.
"That was difficult to deal with as a teenager," Kelly remembered. "I was spending a stupid amount of time in the shower just before my diagnosis.
"Using red hot water, scrubbing until my skin was bright red and it was just too stressful."
Despite her condition, Kelly's husband Michael, who she met 16 years ago, says that the best way to help her is to be supportive.
"Kelly's smell has sometimes affected me in a negative manner, but I haven't said anything to Kelly," Michael admitted to Barcroft. "I've just kept it to myself.
"If that was me living with the condition, I think I would struggle to do as much as Kelly does."