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Mettalic body odour, consistently elevated liver enzymes, liver ultrasound, Suggest?

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Practicing since : 2005
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Since the end of March I have noticed a metallic body odour when I perspire. I am 56 years old, female, 127 lbs. with three children and with an incredibly boring medical history except for consistently elevated liver enzymes that I understand are probably attributable to years of hearty wine consumption. I have consistently had about 2 drinks a day for a long time until recently when I have cut back to about 3 glasses a week. I do not drink hard liquor, nor do I take drugs or any medications. I have never taken an anti-biotic. I was cycling through India in XXXXXXX through to March and did get exposed to a lot of pollution but do not seem to have any symptoms of heavy metal poisoning (fatique, weakness etc.). A liver ultrasound about a year ago came back normal. Do you have any ideas?
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 2 hours later

Metallic body odour can be due to multiple causes.

I would like to know following:

Are you taking any vitamin or other nutritional supplements lately?
Do you have any other symptoms like increased urinary frequency or increased thirst?
Any change in soaps ,sprays , food habits?
Do you have any skin lesions in axillary lesions?
Any other family member having same complains?
Do u get metallic taste in mouth any time?

Apocrine bromhidrosis or corynebacterial infection can be the cause in your case.

Recent history of travel to INDIA also complements as India has considerably high temperature in XXXXXXX to march, Which can lead to bacterial colonization of skin and axilla.

Perhaps a visit to your physician will confirm the diagnosis.

Meanwhile you can use an antibacterial soap which contains triclosan or tea tree oil.
Regular use of deodorant spray containing aluminium ,zinc salt, zirconium will help.
Use of non sensitizing anti bacterial agents like fusidic acid topically can be helpful.
Using an absorptive powder is advisable.

Liver involvements seems unlikely.

Hope this helps.

Reply with above answers and It will be helpful in further answering your query.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Mettalic body odour, consistently elevated liver enzymes, liver ultrasound, Suggest? 3 hours later
This is less a question, but rather answers to your questions:
I have no lesions of any kind.
I have not undertaken any changes in food habits, soaps etc.
No other family members suffer from this.
I have no metallic taste in my mouth, nor do I have increased thirst or urination.

In India, I took a package of vitamin mineral supplements including Vit.B (50),C (500),D (1000), mixed tocopherols, EFAs, multi mineral, turmeric force (as an anti-inflammatory rather than advil), silymarin (for my liver!??). I also took Malarone daily when in Malaria "danger zones" and for three days afterwards - a total of about 30 pills.

I do generally take a variety of supplements, but not rigourously, preferring to get my nutrition from my food. I take sublingual B12 quite consistently and try to eat an XXXXXXX a day for my salycylic acid. I eat everything including lots of fat and protein. I have been within the same weight range (126 - 131) for 35 years (not counting pregnancy).
I am going now to google those infections you mentioned.
This is progress, for which I thank you.
Does cancer produce any strange body smells. Many illnesses DO produce odours. In the "olden days, Doctors could smell diptheria instantly, for instance.
I look forward to hearing more,
sincerely, XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 11 hours later
Hi again,

Thanks for writing again.

May I know whether you have reached your menopause?

As you dont have any of above mentioned conditions.

The efficiency or otherwise of our XXXXXXX detoxification processes are commonly affected by nutrient imbalances with aging - for example the micro-element zinc has been reported as being deficient in people with body odor.
So a zinc supplement is worth trying.

Body odor is sometimes associated with specific health problems including liver dysfunction, diabetes, digestive problems (parasites, etc) and yeast infections and these conditions require professional advice and thorough check up.

Some people with body odor have imbalances affecting the 'friendly bacteria' which live inside all of our digestive systems.
If these vital micro-organisms are unbalanced through use of medication or a high fat, high sugar, high red-meat, low fiber diet the vital role they play in detoxification of the bowel and in manufacturing important nutrients is impaired and this can lead to aggravation of Body Odor, as well as to numerous other health problems.

Taking a probiotic supplement will help balance it out.

A balanced diet is also called for in your case, ideally one in which 20% of the diet comes from protein (fish, poultry or vegetarian combinations of pulses and grains), 20% of the diet can come from oils and fats (avoiding animal fats as much as possible) with the balance from vegetables, fruit, pulses and grains.

This should be supported by a daily high potency multivitamin /multimineral supplement.
Application of 2% aluminium chloride in axillary region may help in reducing odor.
Clothing apparel may require special laundering.

Cancers usually do not produce such body odors.
Some diseases like diabetic ketoacidosis(fruity smell), amino -acidurias do produce specific characteristic smells.
But it is not applicable in your case.

An visit to your physician and thorough examination will help in clinching the cause of body odor.

Hope this helps .
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Mettalic body odour, consistently elevated liver enzymes, liver ultrasound, Suggest? 4 hours later
Thank you very much for your insight. I will add the probiotics and the zinc although I do eat a lot of zinc containing foods and do not think that I have the kind of body odour affected by zinc. I really do feel there is something chemical going on. This is not a question of "normal" body odour and it is not "axillary". I do not even wear deodorant of any kind any more unless I have a long day ahead of me in the same clothes ... in that regard I would say I have low body odour since I am sweating profusely almost daily (eg. long training rides of 4 hours or more). The menopause question is interesting. I had wondered whether perhaps it was my NOSE that was the problem since NO ONE else notices any change in odour. I will look into this further if the condition persists after all these small but perhaps significant changes. Again, I thank you for your answers.
On the subject of diet you may be interested to note that I have never bought margarine or a low fat product of any kind in my life, have always eaten lots of eggs and butter and take cream with my coffee and now am eating even MORE fat, especially saturated fat and MORE meat these days on the advice of my daughter who studies neuro-science and is particularly interested in hormones as they pertain to the brain and to metabolic processes. She claims that the American Diabetic Association does the best research and THEY claim that all those "critical" studies that had the media badgering us about saturated fat NEVER controled for sugar or anti-oxidant consumption...they say.."duh...". For my bones, I do what cows do, get weight bearing exercise, eat lots of XXXXXXX food and stand in the sun (in moderation). Okay, I am blabbering now. If you want a peer reviewed article on why we should be eating more saturated fat, let me know.
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 2 hours later
Hi again XXXXXXX ,
Nice to know you are very much interested in nutrition and are aware of healthcare related issues.
Make the small changes advised by me earlier and if problem is not resolved than you may have to undergo thorough physical check up and some routine lab tests.
Till then keep up the routine hygiene and diet you are on.
take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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