A woman, with an extremely rare condition causing her to always smell like fish, reveals the agony and extraordinary lengths she goes through.
Kelly Fidoe-White has lived her entire life with Trimethylaminuria – a disorder more commonly known as “fish-odour syndrome”, which is a metabolic condition that causes a production of strong bodily odours including rotten fish, onion and faeces.
Kelly became aware of her condition when she was in school and kids always taunted her about smelling of fish.
She said she gave excuses of eating fish sandwich until she ran out of excuses and became the object of extreme bullying.
To reduce the smell, Kelly spent lots of time in the shower, scrubbing her body till it was red, soaking herself in deodorants and perfumes, yet nothing worked and the bullying only worsened.
Now, she copes by taking a cocktail of medications, but is unsure if they have any effect or not.
To limit the number of people she comes in contact with, Kelly works a night job where colleagues say you can tell if she’s been in a place and some of her co-workers make complaints about her smell.
Kelly has found love, revealing that her husband’s acceptance of her condition has helped boost her confidence.
Trimethylaminuria is a condition which causes one’s body to be unable to break down a compound found in food that contains a substance called Choline, meaning a lot of ingredients are off the menu. People suffering from the condition regularly produce a range of strong bodily odours including rotten fish, onion and faeces. Kelly describes her own smell as ‘fishy-oniony’.
The condition is relatively unknown, even amongst doctors, and affects between 300 – 600 people worldwide. This means that Kelly had to research and diagnose herself and a test was done, confirming her diagnosis. There is no cure for the condition.