Can you smell TMAU on others?

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Can you smell TMAU on others?

Postby coffeebean » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:02 pm

Hi everyone

I was wondering if you think/know TMAU sufferers are able to detect the condition it in others? I am in the process of being tested for TMAU at the moment and can't detect my own odour (it's faecal not fishy), but the other day a lady got on the underground and sat next to me and I strongly suspect she had TMAU. I could smell a strong fish odour immediately which faded after she got off, and was wondering whether anyone else has ever noticed the condition in others?

I also had a friend at school who I now realise had TMAU as she often had a fishy odour but I knew her before my own symptoms developed so I'm not as curious as to why I was able to notice her odour.

I'm sure there's a complicated scientific reason behind it but I find it odd that I can't smell myself but can smell others. Could it possibly be the difference in odour type? Curious to hear other people's views or experiences on this!

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Re: Can you smell TMAU on others?

Postby robert123 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:47 pm

Hi Coffeebean,

It's an interesting question you pose alright. I did get a chance to meet up with someone who was diagnosed with tmau2. As it turned out I couldn't detect any bad odour coming from him and he could'nt smell me either. I know in my own case anyway my odour seems to be fairly constant from the daily reactions I get so I thought it was interesting he couldnt smell me. However later on I was thinking in most social settings my anxiety levels are huge but I was pretty relaxed meeting a fellow sufferer so perhaps I genuinely didnt smell.
In all my years I never really encountered anyone with a tmau type smell except this one time. I was in a library near the front door when a female teenager walked in. Unfortunately I could sense a stong stale musty odour that seemed to follow her. However later on I was walking past where she was sitting and it was like raw sewerage had exploded around her. It was one of the most profoundly depressing days of my life.
Firstly obviously that poor girl, what an horrific life she must have gone through. I suspect she couldnt have smelt it herself as she wouldnt have wanted to be around anybody. That lead me to think though how many times must have I been in that exact same situation. Being somewhere not realising how utterly awful I was smelling. Looking back at some of the reactions I have gotten it must have been a great deal of times :(
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Re: Can you smell TMAU on others?

Postby PoetFire » Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:12 am

my current theory is there needs to be a detection gap for one to smell another.
What I mean is, someone severe may be smelt by someone mild.
But in general I think the gap is too narrow for most sufferers and so are 'anosmic' to the smells.
I also think this may be true for carriers, e.g. family.
And perhaps carriers could be 10-20% of population. Some of the variants are very common.

The 3 main variants are at codons 158, 257, and 308.
So my current theory is :
carry none of the above, normal, can smell any sufferers (maybe 80% population).
carriers of the above, can't smell sufferers.
sufferers, carry 2 or more of above, tend to not smell other sufferers.
Could be wrong.

It is one of the big mysteries.
That said, it seems for any type of BO or halitosis the person cannot smell themselves, and neither can anyone who cares about them ... otherwise they would tell them to wash, get tooth fixed etc. (not metabolic).
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