British Liver Trust
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we don't know biopsy results yet he has to go into hospital - advice needed

my son son is still in final diagnosis stage All we know at this point is that he has a non alcohol cirrhosis of the liver and has this ascites issue.

he has had 1 bout of fluid drained we are still waiting for liver biopsy results and he has been told to go to ward as his acites is bad again tomorrow morning for it to be drained

We haven’t had the appointment through about his results and we don’t want them telling him randomly during this visit – as they will maybe assume he knows.

I think maybe his records will have been updated with the biopsy results before he has seen the consultant. Should he tell them when he arrives that he hasn’t had the biopsy appointment through and wants someone there if they are going to discuss his results?

he knows that I am going to the appointment with him as we need to understand exactly what he is facing.

Also his dad is going to talk to him today, he has an odour about him which he never had before, he needs to tell the Dr tomorrow in case it is relevant to what he is going through, as his mum I am devastated that we even have to mention it to him but am worried in case its all related to the liver issue?

has anyone come across the smell unsure if it is related to the fluid its a offensive smell but not like body odour?

any suggestions to make sure they dont tell him results without someone being there ?

meltdown mother x

5 Replies

There are smells associated with liver disease - particularly the breath can be rather pungent and is known as fetor hepaticus - sometimes has a sweet and musky aroma - some people liken it to the smell of death (it doesn't signal that don't worry but does have that sort of smell). In my hubbies case it unfortunately occasionally smells of dogs doings and is rather yuk! He had good oral hygiene and this is purely a liver related smell.

Dehydration can cause these 'liver smells' and toxin build up under the skin can lead to smells from the skin.

From an online page "the breath may take on a pungent, strong and noticeable odor that smells like “rotten egg”. Sulfides build up (dimethyl sulfide) and are released in urine, breath, feces, and sweat.

Living with liver disease sometimes requires extra attention to hygiene issues. Those who are not able to sufficiently care for themselves will “smell”. Some people can't smell the ammonia and sulfur odor on themselves, but others have heightened senses of awareness and smell. Washing clothing, body, and hair frequently helps combat the problem.

Any changes in symptoms, including changes in bodily and breath odors, always need to be addressed with your physician promptly, as life-threatening complications may be occurring."

This noticeable aroma should be mentioned to your sons doctors.

Hope you all get some full answers soon from medics as to where you go from here.

All the best, Katie

1 like

Thank you, if his stomach is full of the fluid I thought maybe it was coming through his skin ? I have told him he should tell them he is awaiting biopsy results but wants someone with him when he gets them... I just don’t want him being on his own as this is a unexpected admission to drain the fluid as opposed to a planned procedure ...


Hi Worried mum my husbad had a fusty smell when his sugar levels were high

he had type 2 diabetes

did they blood test for this

I had 13 kg of fluid before and just after my Transplant and the fluid brust though on my arms.

was very weird but caused no pain and didnt smell

Best wishes E


thank you omg thats a lot of fluid..... no they haven't i will mention to him, i hope you are keeping well....



A musky odour can also be a sign of Hepatic encephalopathy (HE). You should speak to the doctor about that also.




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