Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Food smells and nausea

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 12 Replies
  • Posted By: kaclarey
  • February 10, 2009
  • 03:08 AM

For the past week or so, certain food smells make me nauseous. For example, if my mom is baking mint chocolate chip brownies, or blueberry muffins, the smell makes me want to run to the bathroom. Or, last night, I made a chicken and spinach lasagna. I spent an hour just preparing it, and as it was cooking, the smell was making me really nauseous. Now, these are all foods that I normally love! But you cannot really eat something if the smell effects you like that. The last time that this happened to me, it was with seafood and shellfish, and years later, I developed a severe allergy to it. I went to the doctor, but they cannot figure out what is causing it. Everything I find online about it has to do with pregnancy, however, I know for absolute certain that I am not pregnant. Unless of course I am the next virgin mary. Does any one have any ideas?

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12 Replies:

  • I am going through the exact same thing and I too am not expecting. If anyone out there has any info please let us know, as it is pure misery!!!!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • i also am going through the samething.. Meat all meat is making me sick. Pork chicken beef cooked uncooked... I love meat... But the last week i cant eat it because i run for the bathroom everytime its around. I know i'm not pregnant.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 16, 2009
    • 01:24 AM
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  • I don't know if anyone is still reading this, and of course I still feel sketchy attempting to hand out medical advice online without the patient's entire clinical picture. All I can do is offer an opinion, however in this case there might be a fix that's a whole lot simpler than you'd think. (but I could be wrong) Zinc deficiency causes changes in sense of smell and taste in a manner very similar to that which you all seem to be describing. There are also other causes, of course, most notably hepatitis and pregnancy both of which are far more serious and should be taken far more seriously and which any physician will rightly take more seriously. However... zinc is essential to the taste process and without the appropriate amount of it being present in the saliva you get a hypogeusia presenting in a manner similar to that which this board describes. There have been cases where the condition resolves after about 1 to 2 weeks of zinc replacement therapy, taste and smell return to normal. As always consult your doc before attempting to self-medicate at any time for any reason, I cannot stress this enough. This condition tends to gradually worsen over time, and can lead to some severe consequences, most of which being malnutrition and dehydration from vomiting at every smell of food, milk, grass, paint, etc. Another complication is that if you show up in the average ED and describe your symptoms, there's a good chance they're going to completely and utterly disregard you. Under the absolute best of conditions, if the stars align and you're real lucky, this happens: You manage to find a doc who will listen and not give you the "all in his/her head" brush off AND you have decent insurance, THEN you're going to have to go through a bewilderingly long series of tests and referrals, to rule out hepatitis, pregnancy, neurological dx, etc, and after a few months (or longer) someone will suggest the ridiculous idea of a tongue biopsy, where they will find atrophied taste buds that look worn down and eroded, then you'll start another course as someone tries to figure out what caused the erosion, all the while the symptoms get worse... and the tests continue. If your insurance holds up.And even under the best circumstances, you still have to make sure that the level of zinc is measured in the SALIVA AND NOT THE BLOOD. Sorry for the rambling nature of this explanation, brevity has never been my strong suit. However, you should all look into the possibility of zinc-deficiency UNDER THE CARE OF A LICENSED AND COMPETENT PHYSICIAN. (this is JUST A GUESS, and I could be wrong)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 26, 2009
    • 05:18 AM
    • 0
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  • I'm not sure if anyone will read this, and I hate the risks associated with handing out medical advice over the internet without patient contact and a full clinical picture, but in this case I came across the posts and the solution could just be a lot simpler than you might think. There are numerous causes for the symptoms described. Of course, most serious of them are pregnancy, hepatitis, and a number of neurological disorders, all of which are extremely serious and should be taken VERY SERIOUSLY BY BOTH THE PATIENT AND THE PHYSICIAN, however... Trace minerals play varied roles in human neurophysiology, and zinc is essential to the sense of taste and smell. When zinc is low (for whatever reason) there is a chance that a patient will develop a hypogeusia which presents itself in a manner very similar to that which is being described in this board. (but i could be wrong..)Hypogeusia is basically a loss of ability to distinguish tastes, often it comes complete with taste distortions very similar to that which I find described here. While symptomatic the levels of zinc will appear normal if measured in the blood. ZINC LEVEL HAS TO BE MEASURED IN THE SALIVA. This problem is probably a lot more common than you'd think but it often doesn't get reported, and if it does, it's likely to be dismissed when no lack of obvious cause is found, or sometimes it resolves spontaneously.However, it can progress to a point where a patient is almost unable to tolerate the smells of food, milk, soda, paint and even grass. This can cause serious complications, usually malnutrition from inadequate intake and dehydration from the vomiting which can become quite excessive.Most cases are treated with an oral supplement of zinc sulfate and typically resolve in 1-2 weeks. Again, do not attempt to self-medicate without contacting a LICENSED AND COMPETENT PHYSICIAN. But that's where you'll get into the other problem with this condition: Believeability. Most physicians have to practice defensive medicine, and will spend much more time ruling out all the serious causes so you don't turn around and sue them. So, even if the stars align for you and you have great insurance and you choose to seek treatment it will most likely go like this:If you walk into any average ed, you will most likely be completely dismissed. If you manage to find a doc willing to investigate, you'll spend weeks (if not months) going through a hundred tests to rule out pregnancy, hepatitis, psychosis, etc. You'll get bounced from specialist to specialist as the condition worsens, until someone comes up with the idea to do a (painful and borderline ridiculous) tongue biopsy as a last resort, where they will find that your taste buds have atrophied and appear worn down and flattened. Then the testing will begin all over again as they try to figure out why....Remember that the important thing to tell any physician you consult is to NOT MEASURE THE LEVEL OF ZINC IN THE BLOOD. This is not an adequate indicator for this condition. THEY HAVE TO MEASURE THE LEVEL OF ZINC IN THE SALIVA. Sorry for the length of this explanation, brevity has never been my strong suit. Long story short, oral zinc sulfate supplements may cause your symptoms to resolve.
    gregtfish 67 Replies
    • October 26, 2009
    • 10:31 PM
    • 0
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  • I too have the same problem, it started with severe abdominal/right side back pain, food nausea. Went to see a GI and had many many series of blood tests, CT Scan. NOTHING WRONG. Went for a second opinion to another GI and again series of blood tests, endoscopy, MRI etc. This time found out I had Acid Reflux, H.PYLORI, disfuntional Gall Bladder (had surgery to remove it). Then a week later went to an Infectious Disease Specialist who treated me with antibiotics for the H.Pylori. I the meantime the pain has gone but the nausea to food is still there. Got referred to a Liver Specialist who sent me again for Blood test (every 2 weeks since August 09 I have been having blood test) found out that I had taken some OTC medication for Hair Loss which contains NIACIN, along with my Multivitamins (which has NIACIN too) which damages the liver. Now I am off all medication and still feel uncomfortable after a meal and the NAUSEA IS STILL THERE. Unable to bear the smell of Onions, Garlic - raw or cooked, oil being heated. I AM A MESS!! Unable to cook at home at all since August 09. My poor Hubby is practically starving along with me.I CANT UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON WITH ME !! Or why the Doctors cant diagnose!!!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 4, 2010
    • 03:39 PM
    • 0
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  • I have the same problem. I can't stand the smell of any food without being sick to my stomach. It's not just food smells either but smoke, and perfume, which normally have never bothered me before. Even some beverages are starting to have a funny taste, making me even more sick.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 7, 2010
    • 04:08 AM
    • 0
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  • i also am going through the samething.. Meat all meat is making me sick. Pork chicken beef cooked uncooked... I love meat... But the last week i cant eat it because i run for the bathroom everytime its around. I know i'm not pregnant.I to have a problem. If the smell of it being cooked dont make me sick then the taste will for sure. Im not pregnant and before this came on i LOVED MEATS OF ALL KINDS. Ive about become a vegeterian. HELP!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 23, 2010
    • 00:22 AM
    • 0
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  • I had this same thing happen to me four years ago.For me it was casserole and brothy food smells that did it.Also TV dinners.If I would walk into the breakroom at work and someone had just microwaved a TV dinner or casserole I would have to run outdoors real fast just so I would not sick up.My condition resolved on its own and I never went to have it examined.My conclusion after reading these various blogs on this matter is that this one symptom can be caused by many different things.Also don,t let any strange and presistent symptom go ,LIKE I DID,or speculate because it can be something that could bite you back later.:cool:
    bigboy 64 Replies
    • September 24, 2010
    • 07:56 PM
    • 0
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  • For the past week or so, certain food smells make me nauseous. For example, if my mom is baking mint chocolate chip brownies, or blueberry muffins, the smell makes me want to run to the bathroom. Or, last night, I made a chicken and spinach lasagna. I spent an hour just preparing it, and as it was cooking, the smell was making me really nauseous. Now, these are all foods that I normally love! But you cannot really eat something if the smell effects you like that. The last time that this happened to me, it was with seafood and shellfish, and years later, I developed a severe allergy to it. I went to the doctor, but they cannot figure out what is causing it. Everything I find online about it has to do with pregnancy, however, I know for absolute certain that I am not pregnant. Unless of course I am the next virgin mary. Does any one have any ideas?Rofl!!! i know what youu mean. I get headaches randomally and when i do they are crazy rough, im nausea and cant handle certain foods, loss of appetite, and hard time concentarting.All my friends think im pregnant too! Now if im the virgin mary and getting ready to give birth in 3 day thennnnnn I got another problem on my hands! hahahow u get better though
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 22, 2010
    • 03:05 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hey guys. The Zinc thing sounds like a possible cause of all these symtoms. There is a simple way of testing how defficient you are as well. You can just go to a pharmacist of naturopath and they should have zinc liquid. You may have to pay for it but sometimes they let you try it for free. All it is is a cup full of liquid and you hold it in your mouth for a few moments and if you can taste metal taste then you have a resonable amount of zinc, if you cant taste anything then you are defficient, when i was severely defficient I couldnt taste anything it just sort felt fuzzy. The level you can taste relates to the amount of zinc you have. Its not a pin point accurate test but it will give you an idea if you are lacking. Zinc is important too, so best to find out!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • For the past week or so, certain food smells make me nauseous. For example, if my mom is baking mint chocolate chip brownies, or blueberry muffins, the smell makes me want to run to the bathroom. Or, last night, I made a chicken and spinach lasagna. I spent an hour just preparing it, and as it was cooking, the smell was making me really nauseous. Now, these are all foods that I normally love! But you cannot really eat something if the smell effects you like that. The last time that this happened to me, it was with seafood and shellfish, and years later, I developed a severe allergy to it. I went to the doctor, but they cannot figure out what is causing it. Everything I find online about it has to do with pregnancy, however, I know for absolute certain that I am not pregnant. Unless of course I am the next virgin mary. Does any one have any ideas?I have had problems with nausea, migraines and vomiting from certain smells of foods cooking, since childhood especially when my dad use to cook cabbage or brussel sprouts. Since then I noticed that my sense of smell is hightened when I am on my period and my migraines are triggered by strong smells, bright sunlight, loud sounds, stress, and lack of sleep. Strong smells effected me the quickest way to cause nausea, migraines, and vomiting seemed to follow.
    Destra 1 Replies
    • September 24, 2013
    • 05:45 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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  • I gradually started switching to a more natural lifestyle a year ago - a small amount raw vegetables added to smoothies daily, making my own raw muesli, cutting out food with added preservatives, drinking distilled water, regular sweating/detoxing (sauna, exercise, teas, etc.) Although I am not there yet, many health problems have started to disappear, including migraines and a sensitivity to smells, etc. God's raw food are really so delicious & so great not having to worry about migraines!
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
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