New Word Of The Week: Trimethylaminuria

Someone have not been smelling like a baby. In fact, Lucas smelled like a fish.

Photo from

Recently when we pick up Lucas from his infant care center, we were greet by a “fish head”. His head smelled like its been coated with Cod Liver Oil. At first I thought maybe cause he perspire alot, and he does. His teacher says that because we didn’t provide shampoo for Lucas (we gave them the Johnson and Johnson Top to Toe shower gel), hence it didn’t clean his head well.

So Lilian went to buy the most fruity smelling shampoo for Lucas. Oh he smell real fruity after shower. But by bedtime, his head was smelling like a fish again. And so I goggled and the word Trimethylaminuria comes out.

According to Wiki, Trimethylaminuria, also known as fish odor syndrome is an incurable metabolic disorder. Basically the body cannot break down trimethylamine present in certain food and so you end up smelling like a fish your whole life. We were going to seek clarification from his PD on the next visit but I could not help feeling sad for Lucas.

Lilian didn’t believe Lucas had this condition and stick to the belief that the center didn’t clean him well enough. Strangely, Lucas didn’t smell like a fish on weekend. So Monday, Lilian discussed with his teachers about it and from then on, he didn’t smell like a fish anymore. Safe to say now it was overreaction by me from the overloaded information from Goggle.

We still do not know how did Lucas get that smell in the first place. Could be his drool during his sleep after his fish porridge lunch that “flow” to his head. But we now know there is such a medical condition that exist so the next time someone beside you smell like a fish, please keep that condition in mind and be more sensitive to their feelings.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top