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Friday, July 9, 2010

comment from pediatrician about TMAU

A comment was posted yesterday in our post on the TMAU story in Chat Magazine, purporting to be from a pediatrician, Dr Laura P. Shulman. We cannot confirm if it is genuine, but the advice is a good general rule for people who feel they have systemic body odor. That being: an ordinary Dr is likely to not know anything about TMAU, but there is probably a better chance a pediatrician will be interested in investigating it, since they are trained to look for inborn errors of metabolism in very young children. Even though secondary TMAU is the non-genetic type, it is natural that someone with an interest in genetic TMAU will also become familiar with the secondary type.

It's so unfortunate that this poor man suffered from not only his socially crippling condition, but also the all-too-common indifference of the physician to his complaints. Instead of pricking up his ears, or, better, his nose (!) to the patient's description of his problem, the doctor in question poo-poo'd it. Ironically, if he'd gone to a pediatrician instead of an adult or family doctor he would have had his diagnosis straight away. Inborn errors of metabolism are something we're bred to detect!
Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA, FAAP

Sadly even TMAU may not be on the radar of most pediatricians, but it would seem they could be more interested. Nowadays there are often Adult Metabolism Units as well, such as the one run by Dr Robin Lachmann in London. However, even in a typical AMU, there is a good chance they will be unaware of TMAU. This is why most people at the moment prefer to miss out society's medical system and just test direct instead.

Hopefully, over time, the community can make all pediatric units and adult metabolism units (or similar) aware of TMAU, so that sufferers in the future do not have to go through the lack of a diagnosis and dismissiveness of today, where people can go undiagnosed perhaps for decades.

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