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Date of last update: 10/09/2017.

Forum Name: Renal Failure

Question: Sweaty Clothes smelling like ammonia

 WorkerVeryHard - Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:03 pm

I have recently noticed my old sweaty work clothes smelling like ammonia. I am a heavy sweater as I am an outdoor laborer. My wife claims this is my smell, but within the past few days, I notice it....something I never paid attention to or nopticed in the past. I am 37 and a daily drinker 3-6 per day. I have been drinking since 18, though 1-3 a day in 20s. Had a CT scan of abdominal with the dye back about 5 months ago found Diverticulitis. Had 2 rounds of blood work and urine 5 months ago and 4 months ago. All came back fine and Drs said I am healthy. Had blood and urine back in 2006 with one liver enzyme slighty elevated. Dr. said no big beal. Always informed doctors that I was a daily drinker. Whites of eyes have a slight yellowish tinge, but been like this for many yrs. Bowl movements are typically solid and 2 times a day. Sometimes they are spotted dark and brown. I take Claritn D everyday as I have alergies. I take 600mgof liver milk thistle detox a day with artichoke, dandelion root, vitamins a and c, broccoil root, licorice root, echinecea (super lysiene). My urine is dark in am until a good regiment of water drinking. Then it is light yellow to clear in color. I get bubbles when urinating, but they are gone withn 5 minutes. I drink at least 70 ounces of water a day, somethimes double. I work lots of hours with many hard "pushes" through the day working up a massive sweat. I am concerned about the ammonia smell.
Aside from it all, I know I drink too much. I am trying to cut back. My grandmother drank 2 beers a day until she died at 84. My grandfather drank heavily and smoked heavily until he was 75, then drank only a beer or 2 a day until he died at 92. Since I was just checked , do I need to be immediatley rechecked for liver and kidney since the ammonia is present? Sorry for the long question, just wanted to give as much background as possible.
 Dr.M.jagesh kamath - Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:01 am

User avatar Hello,The ammoniacal odor is likely an apocrine bromhidrosis which are more localized to axilla,and genital skin.In contrast eccrine or sweat based odours are less common and mainly caused by offending foods.The ammoniacal odor is caused by bacterial overgrowth.Disturbance in aminoacid mechanisms,and generally from young age are seen in the eccrine couterpart.Liver failure would produce a classic rotten eggs smell.
Many a times patient's perception and nothing more may be the cause eg Body dysmorphic disorder.
Antibacterial soaps do help so do antiperspirants.

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