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11/10/2011 06:19 PM

Strange New Body Odors a Symptom of Liver Disease?

MoonWatcher
MoonWatcherPosts: 733
Member

Hi, and thank you all for keeping this forum alive and well. There really is nothing else like it I can find.

I'm mid 50s, life long drinker, but never got in too deep. A "functional alcoholic". I've always watched my health closely and recently quit drinking (six months ago) due to some strange symptoms I've been having. My doctor thinks I'm crazy as my enzymes were normal (even when drinking) and ultrasound looks fine.

What happened was some strange new body odors coming right out of my skin (head and chest) that began stinking up my bed. These odors were not "stinky pits" / need a shower type smells. I shower and wash my hair every single day. These odors result from what I eat. If I drink coffee, I smell strongly like coffee for hours; vitamins make me smell like vitamin pills. I've been drinking coffee and taking vitamins for years and never had these problems.

I'm thinking they may be the result of portal shunting. It seems logical that blood from the GI tract bypassing the liver would result in GI odors in sweat. I've scoured the internet looking for clues on this, but no where can I find any indication of body odors associated with liver disease except for advanced disease situations with ammonia.

When I quit drinking, my blood pressure was high for a while and I developed some minor palmar erythema and some (half dozen) blurry pinkish/purplish spots on my chest. These are irregular in shape, around 5mm across and have no visible blood vessels in, or radiating from them.

I've had no other symptoms, and feel fine now, but the strange odors, minor palmar erythema and spots on my chest linger on.

Has anyone ever heard of something like this occurring? I don't know where else to turn for information on this. My doctor says he's done checking things, and thinks as long as I abstain from alcohol I should be fine. If this is an early sign of liver disease, I would think it should be documented and written up somewhere.

Please help me if you can, and Thank You All for helping us learn more about this disease!

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11/11/2011 04:40 AM
mikealpha1
mikealpha1  
Posts: 2286
Group Leader

I have no experience with strange body odors. But, like you said, if this were a symptom of liver disease I would think it would be documented by now. So I'm hoping it is not an indication of that.

11/11/2011 07:53 AM
cyndel
cyndel  
Posts: 65
Member

My husband has strange body odor from time to time. Not everyday though. I think it depends on what he eats. Like greenbeans. I have to open the bedroom door and let my bedroom airout. I also have googled looking for an explaination on this and found nothing. Now I just watch what he eats and eliminate it when he has the odor.

11/11/2011 04:59 PM
prayer
prayer  
Posts: 526
Member

my husband has had an odor, I noticed it around 6 months before we knew what was wrong with him. We would be sitting in church and I would smell something odd, he had just had a shower and his clothes were of course clean, it wouldnt be all the time just once in awhile. When his ammonia levels were high I could walk into the bedroom and smell it. Since he has been on lactolose I havent smelled it at all. Glad to hear that I am not crazySmile and others have also smelled something odd. I cant even tell you what it smells like, just different and not pleasant.

11/11/2011 06:04 PM
mpmom
mpmom  
Posts: 3275
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Yep , Been there.

Not as often with the food odor But the ammonia odor can be embarrassing.

If you ever go to a group meeting with other cirrhosis patients you'll be surprised at the odors.

The Hepatologist I see says they don't have any studies showing why But that it's liver related and very common.

Also watch for the musty fruity odor (breath) that can happen with Encephalopathy.


11/11/2011 08:24 PM
MoonWatcher
MoonWatcherPosts: 733
Member

Well this is certainly interesting... On comparing some of your older posts to the current responses, I see some can go through extremely advanced cirrhosis (right up to transplant) without odor issues, while with others, it may be one of the earliest symptoms of liver disease.

Thank you all for your input. It would be interesting to me to learn more about this.

Any additional input from other members/visitors would be greatly appreciated!

Post edited by: MoonWatcher, at: 11/11/2011 08:28 PM


11/11/2011 08:54 PM
mikealpha1
mikealpha1  
Posts: 2286
Group Leader

Moonwatcher, yeah, I saw that. I just checked with my wife and verified that I never had an odor. Of course, we had to keep my ammonia levels well below 50 or it was la-la land.

02/20/2013 04:10 PM
inreq
Posts: 2
New Member

MoonWatcher,

Did you ever figure out anything more about the smell you were talking about? I only seem to develop this smell when drinking alcohol and my doctor is kind of stumped like yours was. I've scoured the web myself and your post was about the only one I've found so far talking about some of these same symptoms you are describing... Kind of bizarre.

inreq


02/20/2013 06:07 PM
MoonWatcher
MoonWatcherPosts: 733
Member

Hi inreq... No, never did find out what the heck happened that induced my body to start producing my unusual odors. I'm just grateful it passed once I cleaned up my act. The smell was of old copper pennies if I remember correctly, and didn't come from my arm pits, but right out of my skin on the chest and head. Stunk up my bedding and clothes too.

The best theory I found was "lipid peroxidation" that generates Malondialdehyde (MDA) and Nonenal, which can cause a bit of a stink. I had developed high iron (from years of drinking) and iron is known to contribute to lipid peroxidation.

I detoxed promptly once this problem started and this seemed to make things much worse for a while. I found one other post in another forum about odor issues related to detox... "5 Things Nobody Tells You About Quitting Drinking" (by John Cheese).

"#5. The Stench: (edit)

As your body works overtime to rid itself of toxins, leftover alcohol and its byproducts that are stored in your lymph nodes will begin to seep out through not only your urine, but also your breath and the pores of your skin.

This isn't normal stink. If it was just persistent body odor, you could do something about it. No, this is stink on a demonic level. This is Stinkotronicus: Master of Stinkalarium, and it will make you do its bidding, lest it destroy you and all of those you hold dear. Showers do help, but their effect is very temporary and only seems to provoke it.

How bad is it? Another (edit) writer on the wagon (edit) was actually kicked off of a public bus because of this".

-------------------------------

I could relate to this guys post because showers didn't help me either. I was smelling funny again by the time I got dried off, and my (formerly clean) towel even smelled funny after using it when I had just scrubbed myself from head to toe.

You're not alone... And this too shall pass. Sobriety was the key for me!

Post edited by: MoonWatcher, at: 02/20/2013 06:25 PM


02/20/2013 06:43 PM
cyndel
cyndel  
Posts: 65
Member

My husband stinks when he eats greenbeans. They are banned at my house. Its so bad I have to open the window in the room and airfreshin big time!
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