Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

phantom smell - driving me crazy

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 57 Replies
  • Posted By: Acanthus
  • February 8, 2008
  • 08:27 AM

For a month I have been enveloped in a fog of this sickly sweet chemical-type odor. I smell it on my clothes, on my body, at home and at work. People around me say they smell nothing.
I sprayed Hartz flea spray in my house a month ago & at first it was an agreeable smell & I thought it would dissipate over time. Because of the timing, I believe it is this smell that is overwhelming me. However, when researching the chemicals that are in the product, nothing shows up like a persistent odor. It warns to watch for neurological or respiratory side effects - and I do not have any of that. Looking up permethrin, it says it metabolizes in 12 days. This has been going on for a month.
Spraying fabreeze over everything made it worse. I have put baking powder everywhere, vacuumed, thrown away bedding, rugs, and furniture covers. I have washed my clothes over and over again and finally thrown some of them away.
I've checked my dentist because of a recent root canal, thinking it might be leaking medicine into my mouth. They took x-rays and said the tooth looked intact. My blood tests don't show anything abnormal. My health is otherwise unremarkable.
I can smell it on my hands and it seems to emit from me and from clothing and furniture I am around.
Other smells remain the same. I have cats and a dog. The organic smells associated with them (litter box, etc.) are easily identifiable. I can smell food and coffee. The taste of some things I am eating can suddenly change mid-swallow because a wave of the chemically smell can engulf. I totally quit drinking Diet Coke (not a bad thing) over a week ago.
If you have any ideas or have heard of this happening to anyone else, please let me know.

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57 Replies:

  • If it smells like acetone, nail polish remover, bleach, or some kind of house hold cleaning agent, go to the doctor and get checked for diabetis ASAP.
    k333ly 59 Replies
    • February 16, 2008
    • 04:37 PM
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  • you really did a number on yourself...don't spray that stuff in your house...can you get a good air purifier (www.westcoastaircare.com) and rid the house of much of the odor? You probably need to clean the rugs and walls. You can take a hot bath and in the bath put one cup of plain clorox. Soak until the water cools. The clorox will leach the poison out of your body, but it won't do any good until you clean and air out your place. This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. You should consult a physician in all matters relating to your health, and particularly in respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. Any action on your part in response to the information provided is at the reader's discretion. Readers should consult their own physicians concerning the information
    Monsterlove 2,921 Replies
    • February 16, 2008
    • 09:03 PM
    • 0
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  • LACTOSE INTOLERANT?I used to get that, odor that i couldnt stand coming from me, that no one else smelled, though i figured they did and i was quite embarrassed at work about it. I figured out it came from when i had coffee with rich cream in it. I have a lactose intolerance, can take milk but creams do a number on me though i love it. When I was pregnant my dairy intolerance was very high for any dairy products ( i couldnt hold anything down), which just confirms my intolerance to dairy products.
    prone2injury 28 Replies
    • February 17, 2008
    • 00:09 AM
    • 0
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  • Hi I have a very similar problem I constantly smell a chemical type smell 24/7 have had all sorts of tests , psych and physical (had cat scan and psych evaluation ear nose throat specialist). Most believe in my case , it to be a psych disorder ..If you ever find out what the ***l this thing is let me know. I just live with it now . Personally I believe it to be real , I have inhaled plenty of nasty chemicals thru my life , I think they screwed my receptors up , made me hyper sensitive to a chemical or two . Thats my theory anyway........... cheers
    darbnikta 2 Replies
    • February 17, 2008
    • 06:09 AM
    • 0
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  • If noone else can smell it maybe consider getting an eeg.Also did you used to drink alot of diet coke?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 17, 2008
    • 08:34 AM
    • 0
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  • I have the same problem. It is a sweet unusual smell. It lingers and it is sometimes sickening. I'm also the only one who smells because I've asked others around me, but no one else smells it. It comes and goes, sometimes lasting for days, sometimes for a week or so, however, it is less frequent now. I thought it was my sugar intake because I have a major sweet tooth, but when I decreased the sugar in my diet I still had the same problem. I don't know what it is, but it drives me crazy too.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 17, 2008
    • 11:51 PM
    • 0
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  • I have been a major diet Coke drinker for years. I just quit a few weeks ago (after I started smelling that sweet chemical smell). I still smell it. It's been over a month. I've cleaned and gotten rid of stuff. Now I have a sinus infection - and it's a relief, because I can't smell it as strong as it used to be.
    Acanthus 1 Replies
    • February 20, 2008
    • 05:56 AM
    • 0
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  • the first time the smell occurred for me was after i a work trip to the **s end of the universe, there were a million mosquitos in the room i had to stay and no fly screens and no airconditioning and a plague of the little bloodsuckers outside , and you could say i drowned the room in surface spray to get rid of them, i think i must have breathed in half the can. (should have suffered the mosquitos) ,anyway i dont know if this is any help to you or even related to "THE SMELL", it seems more then coincidential that you sprayed chemicals and the smell materialised the same time, very similar story to mine,,,,, cheers.
    darbnikta 2 Replies
    • February 22, 2008
    • 02:43 AM
    • 0
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  • Maybe see a GI dr and get your stomach checked out... since you have a new aversion to carbonated beverages. Odd odors in the mouth/nose can often come up from the stomach.... just an idea. Check out the gut.:eek: For a month I have been enveloped in a fog of this sickly sweet chemical-type odor. I smell it on my clothes, on my body, at home and at work. People around me say they smell nothing. I sprayed Hartz flea spray in my house a month ago & at first it was an agreeable smell & I thought it would dissipate over time. Because of the timing, I believe it is this smell that is overwhelming me. However, when researching the chemicals that are in the product, nothing shows up like a persistent odor. It warns to watch for neurological or respiratory side effects - and I do not have any of that. Looking up permethrin, it says it metabolizes in 12 days. This has been going on for a month.Spraying fabreeze over everything made it worse. I have put baking powder everywhere, vacuumed, thrown away bedding, rugs, and furniture covers. I have washed my clothes over and over again and finally thrown some of them away. I've checked my dentist because of a recent root canal, thinking it might be leaking medicine into my mouth. They took x-rays and said the tooth looked intact. My blood tests don't show anything abnormal. My health is otherwise unremarkable.I can smell it on my hands and it seems to emit from me and from clothing and furniture I am around.Other smells remain the same. I have cats and a dog. The organic smells associated with them (litter box, etc.) are easily identifiable. I can smell food and coffee. The taste of some things I am eating can suddenly change mid-swallow because a wave of the chemically smell can engulf. I totally quit drinking Diet Coke (not a bad thing) over a week ago. If you have any ideas or have heard of this happening to anyone else, please let me know.
    TaylorDeelwithit 382 Replies
    • February 22, 2008
    • 03:09 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I have Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) . With this condition once you become sensitized to a chemical.. you can usually smell it even when others cant. I can be over powered by the things Im sensitive to.. when others may not notice them at all. eg I went to visit a friend, Peter, several weeks ago who works in a big shed/warehouse. And on entering his very big warehouse, was over powered with the smell of fly spray. The strongest area being by his desk. It was hard for me to ignore and making me feel quite uncomfortable and affecting my head some. Another friend was there too..so i queried that one if he could smell fly spray.. he said no and that none had been sprayed while he was there (past couple of hrs). On further querying thou. I finally found out that the desk had been sprayed a little as some ants were on it, 3-4 hrs before I arrived. Im a little sensitive to cigarette smoke too.. even outside with wind blowing away from me, it still affects me if someone is smoking within 10 metres of me. Most deorderants.. even if someone uses them on other side of my house with door shut. I will know the moment one is used.. as im highly sensitive to them and they make me ill (and overpower with smell), so i cant have any of them in the house now. (along with other perfumes.. even perfumed washing powder, i cant have in my house now)............... If it is MCS.. i advise you to cut back on the chemicals you are using as once one starts getting sensitized to things.. further sensitivities to other things may quickly develop and once a sensitivity develops.. they can be hard to get rid of. (Ive found COMPLETE AVOIDANCE of that chemical and any others one is sensitive too, for 3-6 mths..sometimes will get rid of the sensitivity. But if you've sprayed in your house.. you will not be able to get rid of the exposure except by moving.).
    taniaaust1 2,267 Replies
    • February 22, 2008
    • 08:01 AM
    • 0
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  • this is a yeast infection the smell is coming from your nose.its called leaky gut syndrome. it is caused by candida glabrata its harder to treat than regular yeast.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 25, 2008
    • 03:25 AM
    • 0
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  • check for a sinus infection. You may smelling your own infection in your nose.I had that - it drove me crazy - was treated for a sinus inflection and it went away.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • The can said to watch for neurological symptoms? Did you know that smell is one of the strongest parts of our memories? Poking at the right spots of the brain can cause the body to think its smelling something that it isn't. Could the phantom smell be a neurological symptom maybe? I think you can actually call poison control and tell them what you sprayed and they should be able to tell you if its related to your phantom smell. They would be much more familiar with that than a general practicioner.
    chromegirl666 101 Replies Flag this Response
  • this is a yeast infection the smell is coming from your nose.its called leaky gut syndrome. it is caused by candida glabrata its harder to treat than regular yeast. Yes, I agree with this. Leaky gut/candida overload can cause these symptoms, including sinusitis. Research candida and sinsusitis and cleanses...Threelac can kill candida overgrowth. So can a lot of other cleanses. Make sure you had a fasting blood glucose test as well, not just a regular blood test for diabetes, which is less accurate. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am looking for info about this for my daughter. Is it related to headaches? this seems to be sudden onset combined twith the headaches.,And tylenol does nothing for her......help
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 26, 2008
    • 10:46 PM
    • 0
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  • I've been having that same sort of phantom burnt sugar sort of smell going on for a while. At first, it seemed to be related to when I ate something sweet- I'd smell the smell an hour or so later. After a while, though, I realized it wasn't that simple- it was only when I ate something that had high fructose corn syrup in it that the smell returns. I'm experimenting now with eating food and drink sweetened only with sugar (hard to do!) and finding that the phantom smell has not returned. I don't know the hows or whys- but that's what I know so far.
    mariaofcolumbia 1 Replies
    • November 14, 2008
    • 06:30 PM
    • 0
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  • I have no sinus problems, no allergies, do not work around chemicals...housewife...no cleaning products I haven't used all my life. Age 56. In the summer of '04 I began having a smell like that of strong exhaust fumes. It wakes me up at night...can't get rid of it. It doesn't affect my taste. It sometimes is so strong as to burn my throat and sinuses and makes my eyes burn. No one else smells it. I don't smell it on my clothing or skin, hair, etc. It comes and goes. Sometimes nothing for months then for weeks it's present. Sometimes only a few days. This time it's been here for the past 10 or 12 days and isn't dissipating. I hate it! I can still smell other things like food or perfume and if I breathe through a cloth I don't smell it...like if I put my pajama top over my nose. And once I take the fabric away it takes about 15 seconds before it returns. HELP! O.o
    BlueLotus27 2 Replies
    • February 19, 2009
    • 03:06 PM
    • 0
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  • To Blue Lotus especially. Get a carbon monoxide alarm for your house and see if you are smelling exhaust from your furnace. This can be deadly.
    rad-skw 1,605 Replies
    • February 20, 2009
    • 00:34 PM
    • 0
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  • Thank you for answering but I have had the fire dept out here twice in the last few years...have a detector...nothing. So I know it isn't that. Still a dead end. I did read on another medical site that it could be indicative of a brain tumor... O.o... so I'm heading back to the doctor next week! If that's ruled out I haven't a clue where to turn. Please, people, keep giving me ideas! Thank you all very much!
    BlueLotus27 2 Replies
    • February 20, 2009
    • 08:18 PM
    • 0
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  • Get an EEG: you may be having partial temporal lobe seizures. Hallucinating smells is a common sign. Do you also have staring spells, feelings of detachment from reality, unexplained muscle twitches, blinking fits, or frequent lapses of short-term memory? Have you ever had a ferbile seizure?
    MissPickwickian 15 Replies
    • February 20, 2009
    • 11:44 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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