A New Decade of ME Research: The 11th Invest in ME International ME Conference 2016
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Sweat smelling strongly of bleach / ammonia?

Discussion in 'General Symptoms' started by Kristianshaw87, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Kristianshaw87


    Hi all - could I pick your brains for a minute? Ever since my ME/CFS crossed over into the severe end of the spectrum, my sweat has been smelling very strongly of ammonia (bleach). Its been this way for a few years now and I'm sure it's been constant the last few months. After a week away holiday with my family last year, constantly pointing it out I figured I should probably get it looked into - so I went to my GP and saw two different Drs, both just dismissed it straight away and one even suggested some personal hygiene tips :|

    There's been a definite change to my normal 'aroma' though, and it really smells strongly of ammonia. Google says its either late stage liver/kidney disease which I'm sure Idon't have, or its because of protein breakdown, occuring because the body has used up its carb stores (similar to how people supposedly smell of bleach after marathons or heavy gym sessions). I'm not exercising at all though as I'm almost entirely housebound.
    I do find this interesting ive always said from the beginning my issues have felt completely food/metabolism related.

    Is this normal for PWME? Any ideas on what I can do - it is kind of worrying!

    Thank you!
    Art Vandelay and Countrygirl like this.
  2. ChrisD

    ChrisD Senior Member

    East Sussex
    Hi Kristian, in one of my worst periods with ME and Fibromyalgia too, I experience this same thing and also was very worried about my liver and kidneys. I had the ammonia smell both in my urine and from perspiration. At the time I was seeing a Naturopath who recommended that I take Butyrate, Arginine and Ornithine, these worked and the smell went away. This is not a medical recommendation but I do recommend seeing a functional medicine doctor who can help work your liver and kidneys through this.
    TreePerson likes this.
  3. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

    Hi @Kristianshaw87 . From my experience this is quite normal for someone with ME. I allso noticed that if I 'tasted' my wrist the persperation was very bitter when in a relapse. There is a certain .............perfume :D........that accompanies ME.

    My mum, who did possess a good sense of smell..............would stand behind people in an ME meeting and give me a thumbs up sign if she diagnosed them with what she identified as the 'ME aroma'. They say dogs can diagnose cancer by smell, well, my mum could identify ME by smell too. :D
    TreePerson and Moof like this.
  4. Moof

    Moof Senior Member

    Although metabolomics research is at a very preliminary stage, at least one scientific team (forgive me, I can't remember which at the moment) has suggested that there are different 'survival' mechanisms in men and women with ME, when they can't produce enough energy via glucose metabolism. Women appear to be using alternative energy substrates such as amino and fatty acids; men's results were completely different, and suggested they may be consuming their own muscle tissue as an emergency backup. Could that make sense of the smell coming from protein breakdown?

    I'm sure someone else will remember who did this work – I've got wallpaper paste for brains at the minute.
    Countrygirl likes this.
  5. Ravn

    Ravn Senior Member

    Can't comment on the total protocol but would be careful with arginine if suspecting herpes involvement in your ME - herpes uses arginine to replicate.
    ebethc and Countrygirl like this.
  6. Webdog

    Webdog Senior Member

    My sweat smelled like ammonia for a few months early on in my illness. I thought I was the only one. Hasn't happened since, however.

    I had lost a lot of weight and was hardly eating, so I assumed the ammonia smell was likely due to my body trying to use protein as fuel.
  7. ebethc

    ebethc Senior Member

    agreed.. also, note that Epstein Barr, CMV and HHV-6 are all herpes viruses and they are frequently problematic in CFS

    I have also had the ammonia smell... I don't know why I don't anymore
  8. rwac

    rwac Senior Member

    Eating some potatoes should work. Ketoacids in the potato will scavenge the ammonia and convert it into some amino acids. You might be stressed anyway, even if you don't exercise at all.

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