Causes of Becoming Sensitive to Smells? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-28-2009, 02:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I hope I am posting in the appropriate place...I was wondering if anyone out there has had severe sensitivities to smells. I have always been more sensitive to smells than most, but just recently it has gotten severe. I tried to use a new deodorant and nearly vomited from nausea because it was so overpowering. The same thing happens when I am in a crowded room like church and I smell perfume or cologne. I even got nauseated by DH when he came out of the shower because the smell of his soap and shampoo were too much. (I finally found Kiss My Face soap -- the kind that is only olive oil -- and have been ok since after making him use it).

Anyway, does anyone know what triggers this? DS is 14 months. Could it be birth? Could it be more food sensitivities that I don't know about yet? I have always been very sensitive to light and get visual auras/disturbances before migraines although I've been getting the visual auras unaccompanied by migraines recently. Don't know if they're related or what.

What can allay this sensitivity besides avoiding fragrances? Sometimes it's unavoidable (like on a's happened once where a woman who, ironically, disturbed by my breastfed baby's diaper change, sprayed Bath and Body Works infront of her (into our seats) and I nearly lost it -- food and temper).

Thanks so much for any suggestions. Maybe there is something I'm not thinking of that can trigger this. And FWIW, I don't think I'm pregnant...and it's too soon to test with one of those otc tests anyway...
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#2 of 5 Old 06-28-2009, 10:32 AM
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I get wicked headaches from some scents (I avoid the mall perfume areas like the plague). But I've been like that for as long as I can remember. All my stuff is unscented. Even bug sprays give me a headache.

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#3 of 5 Old 06-28-2009, 10:52 AM
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I'd love to know too. My sensitivities get worse over time, not better. I have to switch treadmills at the gym because of deodorant, change seats at the theater from perfume (will give me a migraine) and have to be on high alert whenever I am in a crowd of people.
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#4 of 5 Old 06-28-2009, 01:07 PM
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I think it's related (at least for some) to a mismatch in phase 1 and phase 2 liver detox.
Phase 1 preps/activates things to get cleared out in phase 2. If your phase 1 is really slow, then you'll have a lot of trouble clearing anything out. If your phase 1 is really fast and phase 2 can't keep up, then you'll have a bunch of active toxins floating around. The linked article has some suggestions for things that speed up or slow down phase 1, and talks about caffeine tolerance as an indicator of the speed of your phase 1 (caffeine affects you a ton=slow phase 1, caffeine does nothing=fast phase 1).

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#5 of 5 Old 06-28-2009, 02:05 PM
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I've heard of similar smell sensitivity as part of something like multiple chemical sensitivity, also sometimes called environmental illness and the thing I've read about is similar to whoMe's description, it's a complex detoxification issue.

The only person I've ever known IRL with this had it triggered by the mercury in her amalgam fillings, her body became toxic quicker and more intensely than mine, since I seem to just have slow phase 1 and phase 2 both. Not everyone with amalgams (or other routes of exposure to mercury or other heavy metals) has these types of issues, my husband for example doesn't, a lot of different factors can play in, but this is something that would get worse over time as the body gets more and more worn down, trying to compensate for the stresses. Pregnancy and nursing are so nutritionally draining that they can often exacerbate things like this, they certainly did for me.

Grapefruit juice is supposed to dramatically slow phase 1 detoxification, so in an unavoidable situation, seems like something to consider (I'd assume beforehand). But I've never talked with anyone who actually tried it, to see how well it works.
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