Thyroid UK
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Smell sensitivity and what to do about it?

I was trying to find something more about strong reactions to smells among various posts but with limited success.

A month ago following a cleaners' visit I had a very strong reaction to the smell of detergents they were using and ever since have been oversensitive to any chemical smells.

Anything containing Perfum (fragrance) had to go from the house and we are now using bicarbonate of soda and soda crystals for cleaning. However my husband was still using a 'normal' washing powder to

which I had a strong reaction yesterday so from today it is soap flakes for all the washing.

The problem is that I am now reacting to smells on people as well and the whole thing seems to be escalating. I went to a GP today who tested my air blowing capacity (under the normal range) and gave me antihistamine tablets to try for a month. Does anybody have experience with similar problems and treating it with antihistamines or anything else?

From reading I know that hashis sometimes develop such reaction and it might have most to do with adrenals or liver detoxification problems. I am also probably still undermedicated as I could only start to stabilise my levothyroxine a few weeks ago when all supplementation/diet started to kick in. I am currently on 12/25 mg of levo with the view it will probably go up and probably still low on other vitals like vit d3 and ferritine.

Any ideas what might help in the meantime?

8 Replies

I had this when very hypo in the early days following TT (long story of very poor treatment) plus what seemed like a general sensory overload. It has improved hugely on more appropriate treatment. I can't really suggest anything to help I am afraid but hope that as your levels improve this resolves. It seems there are many bizarre symptoms to being hypo and I have experienced most of them I think! I hope somebody more knowledgeable may have some suggestions for you.


Changes in sense of smell are quite frequently reported. But very difficult to measure so very often ignored - it is different if you can, for example, be prescribed glasses for vision issues because vision is measurable and there are things to be done.

What to do about it? I really don't know.

Here are a couple of links which might help you with searching on the web or within HU:

12/25 micrograms of levothyroxine might be so low that your own thyroid has reduced its output by more than you are taking. Always difficult to get this starting point right.



That's really interesting. I've always had a keen sense of smell but these days it's super-human! I never realised it was connected to being Hypo though. Fortunately mine doesn't cause any problems (except when picking up doggie poo!)


I always had a strong reaction to smells especially bleach, detergents. Any perfumes made my eyes water and I started to sneeze, so I just don,t wear them anymore. Any detergent ie washing up liquid brings me out in itchy blisters even a tiny splash, although I do wear gloves for most chores. Also suffered from rhinitis, and seasonal hay fever but i am not half as bad now on correct dose of Levo. So it should improve.


There is a strong link with the adrenals malfunctioning, this is mentioned in Adrenal Fatigue by James Wilson. I also suffer badly especially from perfumes, this is causing me to be socially isolated, am hoping my adrenals will improve with appropriate treatment thus reducing this distressing allergy.


I suffer horribly from certain fragrances. I am a teacher, and teachers burn Sensky pots, wear strong perfume, and THEN there are the kid spraying in the hallways. I am hypo, and am looking for any literature linking the facial swelling and hives reaction to hypo. I have to keep antihistamines at school, and I can't go visit two of my kids over this issue. I have not been able to find any credible documentation to share with my kids or my school district. Anything credible would be appreciated!


Hello Savide, I am sorry to hear you are suffering so much. I came across a book recently regarding fragrance allergies but for the life of me I cannot remember the exact title or author, perhaps if you looked on Amazon for such a title you might find it, sorry I am not more helpful in this regard but there are obviously people out there writing about these type of allergies. It could be adrenal related as mentioned but we are bombarded in this day and age with products saturated in chemicals etc., much more so than there used to be, hence perhaps the increase in sufferers. I have not found the answers except to minimise my use indoors of chemicals as you are already doing; run like mad through departments stores where candles, pou pourri etc. are sold, hold my nose on the bus or hope and pray I do not get to sit next to somebody with perfume on, ask friends not to wear any, although this has caused upset with some people. It certainly affects one's social life. I feel for you and hope you find better answers than I have. Coincidentally did you know there are organic holidays advertised with susceptible people in mind, we are not alone that is for sure. I read once that certain Companies in the USA have banned the use of perfumes by employees as they recognise the problem, wish there was more awareness her in the UK. Kind regards. Joyia


Thank you very much for all replies. I had a delay in reading all responses following a couple of busier days.

However, I have started researching the topic further myself as well and although I do believe that both my low levo dosage (hopefully to be increased as we go along) and adrenal fatigue are contributing to the problem I am now starting to think that the common cause/root of these bizarre smell symptoms and a host of others involved in both hypothyroidism and adrenal function maybe my poor methylation.

That would at least partly explain why my B12 was relatively high even without supplementation/diet and why my current B6 vitamin tested kinesiologically as not really good for me (has to be P-5-P not other forms) the same for selenium. I will test this theory at least kinesiologically next week but it seems my body is craving methyl it needs.

I looked at dr Alyssa's text in the latest magazine and on the internet and things are making at least some sense.

Anybody else with experience of improving methylation out there?

Thank you all again

Samaja x


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