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Monday, February 20, 2012

Quality of Life with odor condition Study


Since his inception on January 5, 2012 into the directorship of MEBO Research in the UK, Dr. Colin Harvey-Woodworth, BDS, has begun a Health Related Quality of Life Study in which he attempts to depict the psychosocial trauma that body odor conditions produce. As noted in his introductory post in this blog, he states, "I believe that malodour conditions need to be considered together because they are alike in their social unacceptability, with all the psychological co-morbidities that this usually implies for the sufferer."

Below are excerpts from this study:



Human beings have odor, this is ubiquitously true and can most definitely be considered normal. The current view of society towards human odor has been shaped by hundreds of years of pressure on consumers by profit driven advertising campaigns. Thus, these normal attributes have become something disgusting, abnormal, uncivilized and unhygienic in the mind of the average person. These topics have become taboo, and there is stigma attached to smelling of sweat or having physiological genital odor. Even though all human being smell, they do so to varying degrees. There is a spectrum of normal variation.

The complaint of malodour can be thought of as a summation of physiological odours, and possibly pathological malodour(s), all of which may need to be considered for successful management.
What is physiological can thus be viewed by the individuals themselves or by those around them as abnormal and in need of management. It is difficult to estimate the boundary between what is perceived to be normal and what is considered abnormal. This is likely to be highly subjective, with possible variables such as ethnic group, age, gender, personality type, social status, occupation and cultural factors. This document aims to apply a methodical approach to all patients with a complaint of malodour, including a clinical evaluation, which attempts to identify the issue of an overly sensitive patient with no provable pathological odour...


with patients who have a pathological malodour condition, treatment may also be indicated for other sources of physiological odor even though in isolation these are within normal limits.
Colin makes an excellent point about how a person can have a borderline negative test, such as the TMAU test, and if also has borderline negative results in other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) tests, it would seem to suggest that the person may not have a body odor condition. However, the combination of these (borderline) odorous compounds can indeed produce a "strange" odor, that may not be simply fish odor, or sulfur-like rotten egg odor, but rather more typical odors that come from a mixture of chemicals such as those found in garbage dumps, sewers, feces, etc.


As discussed in the section ‘the physiology of malodour detection’, volatiles need to exceed a certain threshold for the average person to be able to detect them. Thus in patients with multiple sources of high-normal physiological odours, the total volatiles produced may exceed the socially acceptable threshold. Similarly, with patients who have a pathological malodour condition, treatment may also be indicated for other sources of physiological odor even though in isolation these are within normal limits. The complaint of malodour can be thought of as a summation of physiological odours, and possibly pathological malodour(s), all of which may need to be considered for successful management.


We ask that all our readers consider participating in this program by filling out the survey, once it becomes available, as MEBO Research commits to protecting the privacy of all participants.
Dr. Harvey-WoodWorth is currently designing a survey that he hopes our international community will participate in to best depict the physical manifestations of body odor conditions, including test results, and the psychological impact it has on sufferers, as well as the social consequences, including personal relationships and employment. We ask that all our readers consider participating in this program by filling out the survey, once it becomes available, as MEBO Research commits to protecting the privacy of all participants. It is Colin's hope to publish this study when concluded in medical/scientific journals.

From time to time, I will be posting excerpts from this study, which is currently 33 pages long, so that the community can become informed of its in-depth and thorough process. It is hoped that sufferers will become familiarized enough with this effort to inspire trust and a desire to be a part of this project through participation.

María

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María de la Torre
Founder and Executive Director

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