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#1
Old 11-14-2012, 06:06 PM
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Are my sinuses fooling me into smelling poop?

I've been searching for the source of this smell for a while. I finally got very paranoid that the smell is somehow emanating from me, because there is no evidence of said poop anywhere, and it seems to go with me whither I goeth. But my friends assure me, I think honestly, that I don't smell like poop. And examining and sniffing my clothes, my skin, my shoes, every reachable part of my body--no poop smell. Yet I still smell it!!!
So what the hell? I have a slight sinus/nasal inflammation, and what feels like the very earliest stages of bronchitis--tight cough high in my chest, dry but irritated sinuses. Could that be it? It's kind of worrisome.
#2
Old 11-14-2012, 07:56 PM
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How old are you? Whats your health history? Could be some drainage from your infection or a freakin tumor. Get it checked out, but don't lose any sleep as it could just be nothing and go away.
#3
Old 11-14-2012, 08:06 PM
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I'm 47. Not much health history except that I have reflux in one kidney and have had some problems and frequent infections over the years. No history, as far back as my family tree goes, of cancer on either side, which of course doesn't rule out a tumor.
I don't smoke, am slightly overweight, have a typical crappy American diet. I know I have impacted wisdom teeth, but they are not currently painful or inflamed as they sometimes are.
I'm thinking it may be the infection--I notice that when I cough, I get a sort of wave of stink that I notice. Driving me crazy!
#4
Old 11-14-2012, 08:11 PM
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If you are interested in reading more about your "Phantom Smells" and other similar disorders check out this article:
http://bodyodd.nbcnews.com/_news/200...f-trouble?lite

So to clarify, you can smell other smells without a problem, but the poop is subtle and constant throughout the day? Food tastes normal?

Quote from the article:
"AIDS can initially present with smell loss," he says. "Or it could be anything from vitamin deficiency to Alzheimer's to hypothyroidism to head trauma to stroke to diabetes to medication to leprosy."

One quick way to test whether your sense of smell is diminished is to dish up a bowl of ice cream.

"Take some vanilla ice cream and some chocolate ice cream and see if you can taste the difference," says Hirsch, who says ninety percent of taste is smell. "If you can't smell, they both taste the same."

Last edited by fshdude1; 11-14-2012 at 08:14 PM.
#5
Old 11-14-2012, 08:12 PM
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I should say as far back as I know my family history, lest someone ask me about my great-greats.
#6
Old 11-14-2012, 08:15 PM
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Yeah, I can smell other odors fine, but the poop smell is sort of....like if you stepped in something on your way to work, and periodically caught yourself wondering where the smell is coming from...like that. Food tastes normal.
There for a couple of days, the smell was more like blood. At that point (and still occasionally) I have a bloody taste in my mouth too.
Ugh. This is kind of gross. Sorry.
#7
Old 11-14-2012, 08:22 PM
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I would probably start the anti-biotics and after a week or so see if there is any change which could rule out the infection issue. Mouth-wash a few times a day, check your blood sugar levels to see if they are normal. See if you can get somebody to smell your breath, this will show if you are imagining it or not.
#8
Old 11-14-2012, 08:23 PM
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Cavity/ gum trouble?
#9
Old 11-14-2012, 08:27 PM
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There's the wisdom tooth issue--impacted, definitely troublesome but I can tell when it's inflamed and it doesn't seem to be at the moment. I brush my teeth and use mouthwash frequently, even at work. Tomorrow I will buttonhole my work buddy and make her sniff me again, and maybe the nurse could check my blood sugar.
#10
Old 11-14-2012, 08:35 PM
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Not just sniff you, sniff your breath/mouth, and try not to tell her/him what to smell for. I know its weird. I don't know if it costs money where you are to see the doctor, but I would recommend it. Good luck! I will check back tomorrow see how it goes
#11
Old 11-14-2012, 08:57 PM
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Yeah, probably coming down with somethin'. I get a particular foul odor thing which precedes (and accompanies) a very specific and particular shade of green/yellow snot. Happens about once a year. It's rather unpleasant.

If you have insurance, I'd see a doc for a culture. I have no idea if it's bacteria or viral (I don't have insurance, so I've never seen a doctor for it.) but if it's bacterial, you may want some antibiotics, especially given your kidney and infections history.
#12
Old 11-14-2012, 09:02 PM
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It may be a gum infection or something to do with oral hygiene. A lot of time, this causes one's breath to have that smell.

Last edited by the apples fell; 11-14-2012 at 09:02 PM.
#13
Old 11-14-2012, 09:07 PM
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I've noticed a not-pleasant scent when coughing with bronchitis. One of my cats has chronic sinus infections and when his breathing is smelly is when I know to start him on antibiotics.
#14
Old 11-14-2012, 09:11 PM
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Could be tonsil stones. They are little blobs of...gunk...that can accumulate in the crevices of your tonsils.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonsil_stones

(That article has some semi-gross pictures, just to warn you.)
#15
Old 11-14-2012, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bouv View Post
Could be tonsil stones. They are little blobs of...gunk...that can accumulate in the crevices of your tonsils.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonsil_stones

(That article has some semi-gross pictures, just to warn you.)
Exactly what I was going to suggest. Get a flashlight and look.
#16
Old 11-14-2012, 09:54 PM
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An upper respiratory nasal infection can present some unpleasant smells, but they are typically not "poo like" just kind of funky. However, a nasal infection would usually be fairly obvious with congestion and snot.

A tonsil stone smell would be closer to poo than anything else.

Last edited by astro; 11-14-2012 at 09:54 PM.
#17
Old 11-14-2012, 10:11 PM
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This is a longshot, but could it be an olfactory hallucination?

My sister visited some friends who hadn't emptied their cat-box in too damn long. She kept on smelling cat poop for DAYS. For my part, I once had to do a nasty bit of household plumbing, which involved direct personal contact with poop, and I, too, smelled a phantom smell of it for days. A strong odor can get into your mind that way.
#18
Old 11-15-2012, 07:05 AM
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I have a friend who has tonsil stones and if anyone will shoot me straight about such things, it would be her. I did consider that but if I've ever had one, I sure didn't know it--although I don't know how you can tell, actually. I'll ask her to check it out for me.
Meanwhile, I'll hit up my sniffing friend today. It's actually gotten better since yesterday, so I'm leaning toward infection or phantom smell.
No insurance, unfortunately, but if necessary I can go to the walk-in clinic. I'd just like to have something more symptomatic than "I smell poop." I also do have that experience of smelling something for days afterwards, as if the smell lodges in my nose or something. I'll see how things go today.
Thanks for the interesting advice and ideas.
#19
Old 11-15-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bouv View Post
Could be tonsil stones. They are little blobs of...gunk...that can accumulate in the crevices of your tonsils.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonsil_stones

(That article has some semi-gross pictures, just to warn you.)
Yes, though the smell of those - while definitely unpleasant - has never reminded me of poop *or* blood.

Consider adding a saltwater gargle and/or try a neti pot or saline nasal spray for a few days and see if it makes any kind of difference.

Have you changed soap or shampoo lately? or laundry detergent? Maybe something is cross-reacting? I can't find a cite right now but I once read that some shampoos have an ingredient that reacts with some soaps, releasing an ammonia-y smell reminiscent of urine. While that's not your particular issue, that's why I suggested checking that out.

Any dietary changes lately?
#20
Old 11-15-2012, 10:41 AM
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I had something like this (although the smell I smelt was cheesy-unwashed-people) - went on forever. Doctor suggested I had a mild case of rhinitis and prescribed a steroid spray - problem went away almost immediately (in fact, probably too quickly to be attributable to the steroids - it might just have been the sprayed moisture).
#21
Old 11-15-2012, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
I had something like this (although the smell I smelt was cheesy-unwashed-people) - went on forever. Doctor suggested I had a mild case of rhinitis and prescribed a steroid spray - problem went away almost immediately (in fact, probably too quickly to be attributable to the steroids - it might just have been the sprayed moisture).
How quickly is "too quickly"? Steroids can kick in pretty rapidly.
#22
Old 11-15-2012, 05:45 PM
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Another IMHO TMI topic without a proper joke. Let me fix that.

Olde simple lady visits her doctor:

"Hey Doc, I really have problem with those phantom farts."

"Phantom farts?"

"Yes, I fart, I know I fart, but I can't hear or smell my farts. Let me demonstrate ... "

"Yes, yes, ok, ok, here is your prescription, just go, visit me again in a week for control."

in a week time ...

"Doc, you work miracles, I can hear my farts now ... But still I can't smell them ... "

" Ok, so ear drops worked? Cool. Now we can do something on your rhinitis ..."
#23
Old 11-15-2012, 06:01 PM
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I asked a similiar question years ago. Get a sinus infection ruled out by your doctor, then worry about something else.

In my case, it was it was more just like really bad breath. Get thee to a doctor, just to make sure. Hope you feel better soon!
#24
Old 02-15-2015, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papergirl View Post
I have a friend who has tonsil stones and if anyone will shoot me straight about such things, it would be her. I did consider that but if I've ever had one, I sure didn't know it--although I don't know how you can tell, actually. I'll ask her to check it out for me.
Meanwhile, I'll hit up my sniffing friend today. It's actually gotten better since yesterday, so I'm leaning toward infection or phantom smell.
No insurance, unfortunately, but if necessary I can go to the walk-in clinic. I'd just like to have something more symptomatic than "I smell poop." I also do have that experience of smelling something for days afterwards, as if the smell lodges in my nose or something. I'll see how things go today.
Thanks for the interesting advice and ideas.
Did you ever get a diagnosis for this condition? I'm experiencing the same thing, smelling feces and there's no feces to be found, and would like to go to the doctor with a more clinical term that feces smell-itis - LOL
#25
Old 02-15-2015, 01:52 PM
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Did you ever get a diagnosis for this condition? I'm experiencing the same thing, smelling feces and there's no feces to be found, and would like to go to the doctor with a more clinical term that feces smell-itis - LOL
#26
Old 02-15-2015, 01:57 PM
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I don't think it's weird to go to the doctor with that as a symptom. Doc can use your current medical history as a starting point, and start with most likely and least invasive, and work from there.

For a while, I would have olfactory hallucinations during the migraine prodrome. It was bizarre -- I smelled fresh-cut grass while on the 14th floor of an office building. In February.

As others have said, rhinitis or sinusitis can cause scent perception problems. So can infections in the nose/throat/lungs. Even dry nasal/sinus area from the heat being on!
#27
Old 10-11-2015, 01:38 PM
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This happens to me!!

At night and in the morning it is often subtle smells of cat poop. After I get up it typically goes away. I can smell and taste fine. I am the only one who smells it.

I am going with the dry sinus and olfactory hallucination theories mentioned above. If I learn otherwise I will update.

Not sure if this could be related. 10 years ago I once swallows a pill that got stuck in my throat. Even after it had long gone away I could still "feel" it in my throat for 2 whole months. Apparently there are people who suffer from this their entire lives. I suspect I am the type of person who is susceptible to their bodies tricking them with phantom symptoms.
#28
Old 10-12-2015, 06:23 AM
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I have the same experience - a subtle smell of feces whose origin cannot be pinpointed. Thankfully, much less frequently nowadays than before.

I am inclined to think this is some kind of an olfactory hallucination, caused by some kind of abnormal neural firing. I would often get this odor within a half-hour of sitting down for meditation, so its maybe related to brain-wave change, like the hypnagogic auditory hallucinations at the transition from wakeful to sleep state.

It's probably harmless if you are *only* experiencing this hallucination occasionally. My only crib is why feces, and not roses?
#29
Old 10-12-2015, 02:03 PM
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I've had this happen several times, only it was like a dank, musty smell, as if the apartment hadn't been aired out in a very long time. Where I lived before, this kind of made sense. It was an 60-year-old building with very old carpet and slight humidity issues in the winter.

Now I live in a much, much newer building and this has happened a couple of times. It's the same "smell" but it doesn't last long enough to justify making a special trip to the doctor. I'll try to remember mentioning it the next time I have a physical.
#30
Old 10-13-2015, 09:17 PM
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I have the same issue...traced it to a very small blackhead in my nostril...not visible unless I'm looking for it. Once I express the blackhead, it smells funky and then the odor is gone. Pretty gross, yes, but it was the cause. It needs re squeezing every 3-6 months or so
#31
Old 01-08-2016, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadair919 View Post
At night and in the morning it is often subtle smells of cat poop. After I get up it typically goes away. I can smell and taste fine. I am the only one who smells it.

I am going with the dry sinus and olfactory hallucination theories mentioned above. If I learn otherwise I will update.

Not sure if this could be related. 10 years ago I once swallows a pill that got stuck in my throat. Even after it had long gone away I could still "feel" it in my throat for 2 whole months. Apparently there are people who suffer from this their entire lives. I suspect I am the type of person who is susceptible to their bodies tricking them with phantom symptoms.
I have the same problem! Thought for sure the cat had pooped in the bedroom. Then I noticed the smell following me, and no one else could smell it. I was beginning to think I smelled like cat poop, but apparently I just think I am smelling it...
#32
Old 01-08-2016, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaldDudePeekskill View Post
I have the same issue...traced it to a very small blackhead in my nostril...not visible unless I'm looking for it. Once I express the blackhead, it smells funky and then the odor is gone. Pretty gross, yes, but it was the cause. It needs re squeezing every 3-6 months or so
How did you track such a thing down? Inside your nasal passage?
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