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  • Ammonia Smell

    I'm just back on the wagon after quite a while of carb cravings. I've noticed a rather unfortunate side effect and I'm kind of worried. My body odor smells like ammonia? I tried doing a bit of research and a lot of places were talking about dehydration and/or kidney/liver disease... Is this a normal side effect of low carbing or should I be rushing to visit my GP?
    ---
    ~Christine

  • #2
    Hmmm I've never smelled like ammonia.. I would go see the doc just to be safe..

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    • #3
      To clarify, the reason it's said that it could be a sign of liver disease is from processing too much protein, which is what makes me ask if it's low carb related. I know I've been getting more protein then I REQUIRE lately, but I didn't think there was any huge detriment to eating a bit too much protein.
      ---
      ~Christine

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      • #4
        Also, for those that don't know what ammonia smells like, it smells like cat pee. I actually thought one of my cats had peed on the bed when I woke up this morning!
        ---
        ~Christine

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        • #5
          GOOD NEWS! I've done some more research, and for your guys' benefit here's what I've found out:

          Ammonia is a nitrogen breakdown product of amino acids within the body. If your body uses theses amino acids in for energy instead of the normal use of carbohydrates, nitrogen atoms will be chemically stripped of the amino acid molecules. The kidneys process this stripped nitrogen atom and then form urea for excretion. It is when your kidneys cannot handle the overload of urea that this nitrogen is excreted through your skin in your sweat, as ammonia. Anytime you are eating too much protein and your body is burning amino acids for energy, you run the risk of smelling like ammonia.

          Good to know!
          ---
          ~Christine

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          • #6
            Cat pee, ammonia, acetone, it all sounds like ketosis. I know that since starting primal I sweat an odor I've never had before on occasion, cat pee is pretty close. In this context it's a good thing. It's been discussed before: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...t=ketosis+odor
            Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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            • #7
              Yeah I realized that after doing the bit of reading. I was just more then a bit freaked out when I was reading liver problems everywhere. But really... You'd think a person would be at least a little jaundiced if that were the case. I FEEL GREAT too, so that definitely has to count for something.
              ---
              ~Christine

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              • #8
                Ok so now how do you get rid of it??

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                • #9
                  the only way to not smell like ketosis, as far as i'm aware, is to not be in it!
                  And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair
                  Kahlil Gibran

                  http://simplesunshine.wordpress.com

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                  • #10
                    Hmmm...I am new to the forums and am planning to go primal once the new year hits (I am not going to fool myself into thinking I can do it before Christmas) and I have to say that "Go primal - Now with that cat pee smell" does not a great slogan make. Is this something I should expect from a primal diet? I've read the linked thread and it seems to be a mix of smelling awful and not smelling at all. Would the awfulness be the expected?

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                    • #11
                      My body has never smelled like ammonia and I have been low carbing for about six years now and am in ketosis regularly.

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                      • #12
                        I have this too, especially when I'm exercising.
                        "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by canio6 View Post
                          Hmmm...I am new to the forums and am planning to go primal once the new year hits (I am not going to fool myself into thinking I can do it before Christmas) and I have to say that "Go primal - Now with that cat pee smell" does not a great slogan make. Is this something I should expect from a primal diet? I've read the linked thread and it seems to be a mix of smelling awful and not smelling at all. Would the awfulness be the expected?
                          Not everyone who is primal is in ketosis (in fact, I would guess most aren't)
                          Not everyone who IS in ketosis smells as a result

                          So I certainly wouldn't let this deter you.

                          I am shampoo-less and mostly soap-less now, and in ketosis much of the time. I do notice a slight ammonia smell in my armpits, but only if I don't shower (water-only) for more than 1 day. No-one else has commented on it (though my husband does say my breath smells different than it used to).
                          Liz.

                          Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                          Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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                          • #14
                            Yeah, newbie. Do not let it deter you. Do not find a reason not to do this.

                            There are two ammonia-smelling people out of thousands here.
                            (Lucky me!)
                            "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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                            • #15
                              I find that I smell like ammonia sometimes after an intense workout, too. It's nothing a shower and a little deoderant can't fix. Maybe try a small boost to your post workout carbs.

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