How long do I pray for a cure for my TMAU?


I clearly understand that Jesus Christ is absolutely under no obligation to heal anyone.  He owes us nothing in the way of healing, health, prosperity or posterity.  If Jesus decides to heal anyone, He does so because it's His will.  I remember Paul's thorn in his flesh.  He prayed to God to remove this condition, not once but three times.  The result?  God didn't remove his condition.  God's plan for the Gospel and Paul were more important than Paul's momentary discomfort. 

Without belaboring the point, I have a medical condition called TMAU or Trimethylaminura.  It's a very embarrassing condition, one in which I won't expound on but I'm sure that you can Google or yahoo this disorder.  I've had this condition and was able to successfully deal with it up until about ten years ago; since then it's gotten progressively worse.  I've prayed and I've sought medical help to no avail.  This condition has literally destroyed my career in the medical field.  Everything I've learned and love about medicine is (in my opinion) gone.  Since then I have worked minimum wage paying jobs; jobs that are below my skill level. 

To wrap this up, at what point does one cease praying and wasting money on doctor appointments and start accepting the inevitable and move on? 

Again thank you so much for your time.


Trimethylaminura is a genetic condition that causes a person to be unable to breakdown a certain compound found in many foods. The compound has an odor similar to rotting fish, and so the sweat and breath of people with this smell strongly. The National Institute of Health Office of Rare Diseases has a write up on Trimethylaminura. There is no cure for the ailment, all that is available at the moment are diets avoiding foods that contain the odor causing foods. Thus foods rich in chlorine, such as: eggs, liver, kidney, peas, beans, peanuts, soya products, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, as well as rapeseed products. Also foods with trimethylamine N-oxide, which basically eliminates seafood has to be avoided, as well as milk from wheat fed cows. Clearly this makes coming up with a balanced diet very difficult.

Since the odor producing compound is a strong base, acidic tending soaps neutralizes the odor for a while. Doctors can proscribe antibiotics to kill off the bacteria in the gut that produces the compound, but it only lasts for a while and is mainly used to reset things when the odor gets out of hand.

This condition will not go away on its own. It will take someone to come up with either a gene therapy or a way to supply the missing enzyme to the body.

You asked about praying for a cure. How long does someone pray for a limb that was lost to be restored? How long do parents pray for a child with Down's Syndrome? Asking for help with dealing with this condition is appropriate. But that doesn't mean sitting back and waiting for God to do everything. Since you love medicine, this condition does make social interactions awkward, but it doesn't mean you can't get into lab work or other medical jobs that could be handled with limited direct interaction. You can still work on managing your symptoms and doing things like using soaps or lotions to neutralize the odor when you know you need to meet with people. Yes, it is a pain, but there are other people with handicaps who go through worse things to remain active in life.

God will help you as you learn to deal with the limitations that you have. If a cure is found, wonderful! But in the meantime there is work to be done. Accepting your condition means learning to work around it, not giving up.