View Full Version : Smelling things that aren't there

04-27-2004, 04:59 AM
This is really embarrassing but here it goes....

Over the past couple of months I'm constantly getting a urine smell....all the time. I can smell it as I'm typing!

I thought it might be medical or inadequate hygiene or something but I'm getting it even after showering. I'm changing underclothes several times a day and washing but its not making any difference.

So, I'm pretty sure at this stage that its all in my head... I don't know why though. I've never experienced anything like this before and I'm not sure what its from.

I'm seeing my T later today and I'll talk to her about it.
In the meantime, I'd really like it if someone could shed some light on it for me.

Thanx from one very embarrassed :fishy

04-27-2004, 06:32 AM
Is there any psychological reason you can think of as to why your mind would imagine the smell of urine as opposed to anything else? Past shame etc

The only other thing I can think of is possibly a minor infection like baterial vaginosis (which isn't sexually transmitted, just haywire bacteria). Although that has more of a fishy/yeasty smell. Might be worth visiting your doc at some point for a swab and some antibiotics

Have you noticed any changes in your body generally, any discomfort, soreness? How are you looking after yourself and how well are you eating right now?

04-27-2004, 07:02 AM
:hugon Meow :hugoff

I wanted to let you know that (if it isn't physical - which it very well might be) you aren't alone in smelling odd things. For me it's rubbing alcohol and over-the-counter pain-killers - I have figured out all the reasons behind it (it wasn't very difficult for me to figure out why I smelled them) and now they come almost as a warning for me. If I'm smelling these things it means that I need to bring my focus on the things around me because I'm getting to a dangerous place.

So, if - and that's a big if - it IS phsycological rather than physical - maybe you should try to find out the reason behind your particular "smell" and what it might represent.

I hope it helps to know that you aren't alone - and if it is physical then you just learned more about me than you needed to know :muhaha

Take care,

04-27-2004, 09:21 AM
Arc Is there any psychological reason you can think of as to why your mind would imagine the smell of urine as opposed to anything else? Past shame..

Nope, nothing that comes immediately to mind on that front.

The only other thing I can think of is possibly a minor infection like baterial vaginosis

No its not coming from there I can smell it off my skin, arms, legs etc.
I really think its more psychological, thats why I'm going to speak to my T about it first. If she can't suggest a reason, a trip to the dr. will be on the cards. Although she won't be getting a swab off me!
Eating is generally ok too
Thanx :hugonArc:hugoff

Kdestiny For me it's rubbing alcohol and over-the-counter pain-killers - I have figured out all the reasons behind it (it wasn't very difficult for me to figure out why I smelled them) and now they come almost as a warning for me. If I'm smelling these things it means that I need to bring my focus on the things around me because I'm getting to a dangerous place

Can you tell me more about your experiences with it? If not, its ok, I fully understand:gimmehug
I really know nothing about this type of thing.

you should try to find out the reason behind your particular "smell" and what it might represent.

Why would anyone chose to smell urine though? It doesn't make sense:confused

Well, I'm off to a t session in a few minutes. Hopefully she can shed some light on this rather embarrassing subject :shy

Thanx :hugon:fishy:hugoff

04-27-2004, 10:42 AM
:hugon meow :hugoff I have heard of "smellucinations", but generally there's something physical. Not to freak you out or diagnose, but kidney issues can lead to what you're experiencing. Please touch base with your t, but go get a check up from your reg doc and, if you can obgyn.

04-27-2004, 11:18 AM
:hugon Meow :hugoff

I have no problem discussing my "smell issue" with you although I think I'll wait until you touch base again with us and find out what your T thinks. I'd hate to give you the wrong advice or ideas even, especially if there could be a serious physical problem.

Email me anytime!!


04-27-2004, 11:26 AM
are you taking any new medications??

when i started taking some new medications, my urine smelled extremely strong. it was like that for a copule of months, and then it went away. i'm not sure if this is the same as what you are experiencing though, but i thought i'd ask.


04-27-2004, 03:12 PM
Maybe your just really paranoid that you smell!!!
I know that i'm always afraid that others will think that i smell even when i know i smell fine-
Maybe its someone next to you!!!! lol- you ever get it around the same person apart from yourself???

I'm not sure what it could be, have you had a cold recently??? i know when i do sometimes my sense of smell gets fecked up- possibly thats it???

Sory i wasnt of any help
take care

04-27-2004, 04:46 PM
Vety quick reply before bed :sleepy

I saw my T this afternoon and spoke to her about it..

She said it could very well be psychological but she wants me to see my GP first to rule out anything medical before we start dealing with it.
GP appointment made for Thursday.

No new meds, not been sick recently, its definately me- I'm around lots of different ppl throughout the day and spend plenty of time alone.

It could be kidney related? :scared
That had crossed my mind but I can't see any reason for it- eating generally ok.

Let you know how it goes with the dr.
I'm kind of hoping it is medical- the thought that I'm imagining smelling urine is a little unsettling.


04-28-2004, 07:10 AM
Just wanted to say best of :clover really hun! Let us know if you get to the bottom of it.

It wouldn't be a new washing powder or something would it? Cause I remember my mum buying a new one once that smelled like pee :ummm Or insence sticks? My brother's recently been making the whole upstairs smell like stale piss with his patchuli joss sticks! He didn't even realise they smelled bad!
Or possibly your body adjusting to the summer?

Whatever it is, good luck! :clover

04-29-2004, 02:18 PM
Tiny update on how it went today......

I had bloods taken, get the results tomorrow.

Whats more scary, the thought that it could all be in my head, or that other people can smell it too and they're just too polite to say it.....:whateva

Let you know the results :gimmehug

04-29-2004, 02:24 PM
:hugon meow :hugoff

Okay, breathe hun - firstly, I'm pretty sure that when you went to the dr's with the problem they would have told you if you actually smelled of urine so I don't think you need to be too concerned on that account.

Now, with that out of the way - let's think about this logically - no matter what the results, at least you'll know what you're dealing with. If it IS physical - then you'll find the path you need to take to correct the issue, and if it's "in your head" then there's a reason and this will give you the chance to help find out what's really going on! (I know - I do smell things that aren't there.)

You'll be just fine. . . :gimmehug


04-30-2004, 09:41 AM
Hehehe :muhaha I'm just so blunt enough that your probably wish I was there right now. I WOULD tell you one way or another. Don't you have anyone like that in your life? Frankly I couldn't avoid it. My daughter would tell me :winky

I'm so glad that you are getting medically cleared and that this post didn't get closed.

If you want to look up information about psychological possibilities, try "olfactory hallucinations."

Some things to think about:

a) if it is physical or psychological, then the "smell" will follow you wherever you go (this is not meant to be insulting, rather I've had this experience and thought I was losing my mind)

b) I'm glad you're having labs and being medically cleared--I would truly want this exhausted and all environmental cues before looking at the psychological, BUT

c) I'm glad that you are open with us and your team and to the possibility that you may be experiencing olfactory hallucinations. As someone else suggested, there would be a reason behind them. Why a "urine" smell? Maybe it isn't urine, per se. There are similar scents that you may relate to urine. It's not truly a matter of "choosing." I don't think anyone here is suggesting you chose to want to smell a urine scent. It's more that if it is an olfactory hallucination your mind may be using it as a cue/warning/fill in the blank and it is trying to tell you something.

Please let us know how it turns out.

04-30-2004, 12:36 PM
Dr. has been ringing the lab but no reply, have to wait for result til tuesday.
She did suggest what it could be but needs labs to be sure.

Trust me- its very definately a urine smell!!:zing

When I spoke to my T about it, she asked alot of questions about 'it following me', and other characteristics of it.

I'm kind of hanging here in limbo waiting for it to be medically or psychologically established..
Its all a waiting game now I guess......

Let you know when I know:gimmehug

05-01-2004, 12:24 PM
i'm not sure if this applies, but i sometimes feel like i smell like vomit. i guess it's the bulimia in me, being afraid i smell like vomit and everyone will smell it and know i purged. i do not think i actually smell like vomit. i think it's just a fear that people will smell it on me and will think i'm gross.
so maybe it is psychological, that you fear you will not be accepted?

05-01-2004, 03:09 PM
I once had a bad urine smell thing for a few months, I finally went to doc, he did wee sample test:ugh, dipstick thing, and blood test, they showed nothing, did it again a few weeks later, nothing.

Then I worried I had a bladder weakness, doc said it would go away, it has gone now, yes:happy, but the smell thing was very in my mind for me, not others could smell it, or they never said, I dunno.:ugh

I smell petrol if I have a memory of a time I don't want to remember, I was involved in a serious car accident and petrol was leaking, then I blacked out, was horrible, but all were safe in the end thankfully though :happy

It could be real, or in mind, but the most common thing with memorys for me, and I am sure others, is smells, it triggers memorys, or memorys trigger smells, vice versa type thing.

Look after yourself chick. :gimmehug

05-02-2004, 10:00 PM
I am curious as to how things are going, meow?? you are not alone. it didn't last long for me, maybe a few weeks but i was always thinking i peed my pants!! now and again i smell vomit but i am not a bulimic.

on a different note if i am craving a beer i can smell it. although sometimes i smell it before i even knew i wanted one! i get teased a lot b/c of the things i say i smell and apparently others can't. i have also been compared to a dog's nose cuz i can smell so many things. in fact, it sometimes gives me a headache and i wish i couldn't smell at all!

the nose is a very strange thing indeed. hmm.. you don't have pets, do you??

05-03-2004, 06:34 PM
Oh Meow,
I'm soooo bothered by how my reply may have come off, and you were MOST gracious.

I have the absolute dryest, out there sense of humor and so does my little girl. And, she's a little girl

who happens to have an a crazzzzzzy sense of humor since cradle days. That combined with a penchant for bold-faced honesty that seems to fade with the innocence of childhood, she is a trip.

Problem is you didn't know any of that. You don't know me. You don't know my daughter. You didn't know the shenanigans in our household the previous ******** hours, and my reply could have sounded absolutely beyond insensitive. I hope you know I meant it as anything but. I truly meant that I wish you had someone in your life as special as my daughter or my friends Mary or Ginger or others who would give it to you straight . . . to the point that you would trust them implicitly. You would know that the thing they cared about most is supporting you and that wouldn't come about by lying if you were per chance malodorous.

Also, I didn't mean to question what you smell. I believe you. Rather, I just have some possibilities that came to mind, and I shouldn't even have alluded to them. What you smell is what you smell. Truly.

Hun, this is likely a completely different situation than what you are facing, but I'm just trying to let you know that I empathize to some level . . . I think I have an overly sensitive nose, so to speak. I can detect and be bothered by many odors that others don't give a second thought to. Those that are related to the human body are quite difficult due to "issues." Some I have managed to turn around. As a nurse I was gifted in picking up infection, particularly as it invaded a wound. I could smell it. I could smell blood and vomit. I'm very sensitive to menstrual blood

and, yes, urine.

But this did not start "suddenly" for me.

I've been thinking about you

and trying to dislodge my foot from my mouth.

So, have you found out anything hun?


05-04-2004, 04:50 AM

I'm soooo bothered by how my reply may have come off

OMG!!! I didn't think twice about it- it didn't come off as anything but supportive to me. Honestly!! Don't worry about it hun :gimmehug

I truly meant that I wish you had someone in your life as special as my daughter

I have a six yr old neice you tells it exactly like it is- she doesn't have the tact yet to do otherwise :muhaha

Honestly, don't think anymore of it- I have a very black sense of humour anyway, I can see the funny side in all this.

On the 'smell' subject, I rang my GP this morning and am waiting for her to get back to me with results.

Thanx all :fishy I'm really quite surprised at how much support and response my 'smell' problem has gotten. I'm truely thankful:love

05-06-2004, 01:06 PM
Blood results came through and everything is fine.

Been told 'to wait and see' if I can still smell it in a few months before any more tests are done.

Back to square one.

Thanx for the support.
case closed

05-06-2004, 02:40 PM
:hugon meow :hugoff

Hun, maybe I'm misinterpreting, or (it certainly happens a lot) completely wrong but I'm not hearing "case closed" even though you said it.

Sounds to me like - the case is exactly where it was before and you're probably feeling just as frustrated as you were before. You aren't alone! Please try to remember that. . . if you don't want to talk about it anymore I understand, or if you're sick of the whole thing - I get that too, but please try to remember that you're cared about.


05-08-2004, 05:12 AM

I'm sorry I gave the wrong impression, I don't mean I don't want to talk about it anymore. I honestly can't believe I've gotten so much support on this subject- I truely am thankful.

I meant that now the results are through and they're normal, there is probably nothing more going to be done about it. My GP won't do any more labs and my T won't work on it until I'm medically cleared. It kind of leaves me in limbo.

I know the case isn't closed, its just that I'm so fed up of living with pain and conditions and no one can seem to find anything wrong with me.

But thank you for your kind words- it means alot:gimmehug

05-10-2004, 11:07 AM
:hugon meow :hugoff

I haven't been around too much but I came and saw the title to this post and I knew that I had to read it. First off I'm glad you posted even if it was embarrasing and I know it has been a long time, but I hope that eventually it will get figured out. I don't think I can really help because I don't know much about what the psych said, but anyway I met with this new psych and you know they always go through the same standard questions, but then when he was asking me if I saw or heard anything that wasn't there he asked me if I smelled anything that wasn't there. I was like that's a new one, no one has ever asked me that before. So it's not all in your head. This is the part that I wish I could remember more clearly for you, but he told me I think that it had something to do with your brain and seizures. I could be wrong about what exactly it has to do with, but I just wanted to let you know. I'm not sure if the actual type of smell has any kind of meaning. I wish you well, and I'm sorry for your pain. Take care.

05-30-2004, 09:25 PM
Have to give my two cents: Are you taking a lot of vitamins? Whether you are or aren't, are you drinking enough water? Also, I had a friend with epilepsy, and before she would have a seizure, she started to smell certain things before she went completely out. So, maybe it could be neurological. Just a guess to help you solve yet another of life's pecularities.

05-30-2004, 11:22 PM

God, it must be horrible.

Do you take anything for the pain on a regular basis? I know that if I take sleeping pills over the course of even two to three days, food will start to taste bad. Also, my brother used to take Ibuproferen so much that he tasted metal in his mouth.

09-17-2004, 03:13 PM

09-18-2004, 06:47 AM

maybe you have an infection in your nose or something????

have you got your actual nose checked out???

i know sometimes if you have a high sugar level sometimes your body can give off an odour something like you are describing....

i dunno......

09-20-2004, 07:34 AM
:stars Meow :stars

Thanks so much for bumping this up!!

I have talked to my psych about this, she ordered two cat scans to no avail. She concluded that it was a sympton of the bipolar. She mentioned the same thing that TRex said - it was related to seizures.

One of the things I was asked a couple of times was if the odor came with nausea. I haven't had full-blown nausea with it, but I do notice that if I am eating, I suddenly lose interest in the meal.

One pattern I have noticed is that when I get around my oldest sister I smell fish oil. Go figure. But for the most part, there is no recurring odor, it varies all the time. When it is happening, that is. I'm wondering if it has anything to do with changing seasons. It started in the spring of this year. The summer was uneventful but now that autumn is coming, it's happening again. I'd say it occurs about one - three times per week on average.

My experience is a little bit different from yours though. When I start "nosing" about to discover the source, it disappears. As soon as I stop, it comes back. Weird, huh? It reinforces the idea that it's "all in my head", so that's a blessing of sorts.

One thing I've learned about olfactory hallucinations is that it's usually unpleasant smells. God forbid we smell something pleasant, right!! LOL.

I'm so glad you responded. I had never heard of anything like this before but I was certain it has something to do with my illness.

My doctor concluded that we can't really do anything about it anyway because I'm already on an anti-seizure medication.

Thanks again Meow! I'm so glad I'm not the only one!!

:love Laney