Despite showering multiple times per day, a woman in the United Kingdom has a rare disease that causes her to smell like fish.

“People call it a curse, and I can see why,” said Kelly Fidoe-White, 41, describing her situation. “To sum it up in two words, it’s confusing and isolating.”

She continued, “The worst part is feeling like you’re going crazy from it. If you let it, the condition can begin to take over your thoughts.”

Mr. Smith is a victim of Trimethylaminuria, also known as TMAU, which is a rare metabolic disease known as “fish-odor syndrome” owing to the odour. However, other patients have mentioned producing a smorgasbord of odors that range from onions to feces.

When the body is “unable to turn a strong-smelling chemical called trimethylamine — produced in the gut when bacteria break down certain foods — into a different chemical that doesn’t smell,” TMAU occurs NHS.UK explains

Trimethylamine builds up in the body and gets into bodily fluids, including sweat and urine, giving rise to the foul odor.

TMAU is a unique disease that has only been observed 100 times throughout history, despite the fact that it’s quite common. Unfortunately, being identified is difficult “as the smell is often intermittent, and [general practioners] tend to not refer based on the individual’s testimony alone,” Fidoe-White added.

When she was 6 years old, the X-ray technician noticed that her urine smelled like fish, according to Jam Press. This stench got worse when she hit puberty, and Fidoe-White began producing a foul odor. It wasn’t until 2015, after she was diagnosed with TMAU, that she recognized there was an issue.

The noxious virus made Fidoe-White the target of ridicule, with the poor girl reportedly suffering decades of name-calling as a result.

“People generally don’t like to confront body-odor issues head-on, so when you ask them outright, they tend to tell you they don’t smell anything,” she explained, “but unfortunately you will then get the odd person who talks about it behind your back, rather than dealing with you face-to-face.”

She continued, “It’s isolating, because you don’t want to offend people with the smell, so you are constantly thinking, ‘Am I sweaty? Am I over-warm? That person is coughing, is that because of me?’ “

She also recalled one humiliating occasion when her mother was forced to come to work with clean clothes after someone complained about her odor.

“As a health-care professional, to be asked if you know you should be using soap when you wash, is really upsetting,” added the woman, who had to undergo years of therapy to cope with the bullying.

The persecuted woman grew severe depression and secluded herself indoors to avoid being mocked as a result of the ongoing torment. She even changed jobs, working evenings so her stench would not be an issue.

Fidoe-White also took measures to disguise her unpleasant odor, such as changing her clothes twice a day, using full cans of deodorant, and showering up to four times a day.

However, as the patient noted, TMAU has “has absolutely nothing to do with personal hygiene,” so these odor-reducing techniques were largely ineffective.

“I could wash every hour of every day and it would only be a short-term fix,” she lamented, claiming that sufferers often “smell worse after a shower because the pores open more due to the warm water.”

Fidoe-White said, “So you wash more, use stronger soaps, wash your clothes using soda crystals, etc., etc., apply more perfume and body spray – all of which makes it worse.

And a lack of showering apparently isn’t the only myth regarding TMAU. Fidoe-White said trolls would falsely claim her condition was caused by her weight — an accusation she deemed particularly ludicrous as “my smell was worst when I was at my lightest.”

Fortunately, the brave patient reported that she has been able to reduce her noxious symptoms by avoiding chlorine-rich foods like liver, kidney, soybeans and broccoli. She also says she’s taking “supplements scientifically selected to reduce TMA production and boost TMA oxidization.”

“Currently, I believe I am relatively symptom-free,” Fidoe-White said. Finding a community on the Internet, she said, helped her to cope psychologically.

The courageous woman is now using her expertise to raise public awareness about TMAU.

“I want to give a voice to my fellow sufferers, who suffer in silence because of the stigma attached to BO,” Fidoe-White said. “It’s difficult, because once you are labeled as someone with a BO problem, some people do use it as a stick to beat you with if they don’t like you.”

She continued, “People are generally scared to speak up for fear of being ridiculed.”