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  • Uremic fetor

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    Uremic fetor is a urine-like odor on the breath of persons with uremia. The odor occurs from the smell of ammonia, which is created in the saliva as a breakdown product of urea. Uremic fetor is usually associated with an unpleasant metallic taste (dysgeusia) and can be a symptom of chronic kidney disease. People with uremia can also develop anorexia, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal bleeding. These symptoms can follow gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, or mucosal ulcerations at any level of the gastrointestinal tract in persons with uremia.

  • Phenylketonuria

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    Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an inborn error of metabolism that results in decreased metabolism of the amino acid phenylalanine. Untreated, PKU can lead to intellectual disability, seizures, behavioral problems, and mental disorders. It may also result in a musty smell and lighter skin. Babies born to mothers who have poorly treated PKU may have heart problems, a small head, and low birth weight. Phenylketonuria is a genetic disorder inherited from a person's parents. It is due to mutations in the PAH gene, which results in low levels of the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase. This results in the buildup of dietary phenylalanine to potentially toxic levels. It is autosomal recessive, meaning that both copies of the gene must be mutated for the condition to develop. There are two main types, classic PKU and variant PKU, depending on if any enzyme function remains. Those with one copy of a mutated gene typically do not have symptoms. Many countries have newborn screening programs for the disease. Treatment is with a diet low in foods that contain phenylalanine and special supplements. Babies should use a special formula. The diet should begin as soon as possible after birth and be continued for at least 10 years, if not lifelong. People who are diagnosed early and maintain a strict diet can have normal health and a normal life span. Effectiveness is monitored through periodic blood tests. The medication sapropterin dihydrochloride may be useful in some. Phenylketonuria affects about 1 in 12,000 babies. Males and females are affected equally. The disease was discovered in 1934 by Ivar Asbjørn Følling, with the importance of diet determined in 1953. Gene therapy, while promising, requires a great deal more study as of 2014.

  • Trimethylaminuria

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    Trimethylaminuria (TMAU; primary trimethylaminuria), also known as fish odor syndrome or fish malodor syndrome, is a rare metabolic disorder that causes a defect in the normal production of an enzyme named flavin-containing monooxygenase 3 (FMO3). When FMO3 is not working correctly or if not enough enzyme is produced, the body loses the ability to properly convert trimethylamine (TMA) from precursor compounds in food digestion into trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), through a process called N-oxidation. Trimethylamine then builds up and is released in the person's sweat, urine, and breath, giving off a strong fishy odor or strong body odor. A variant of TMAU (secondary trimethylaminuria or TMAU2) exists where there is no genetic cause, yet excessive TMA is secreted, possibly due to intestinal dysbiosis, altered metabolism, or hormonal causes.

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