Smelling smoke smell but no ones smoking,also non smoker

Hi l'm Jool's..l've been Smelling cigarette smoke like someone smoking next to me. I ve been pestering my poor 15yr son if he's been..he says mummy you're l going crazy? I've been under enormous amount of stress due to my divorce , my health has been very poorly. I've had a blood test for under active thyroid, came negative. Also l was a weight paranoid kind of person all my life, was size 8/10 even after 2 pregnancies, in 1 year l m now size 16, I'm a vegetarian but this strange weight creept up on me which l can't shift.. yes l've 2 dogs and walk them everyday. I ve told my new doctor; he said, l should exercise more Can't be bothered to see him again.. please some one do looking really going mad?

22 Replies

  • Hi Jools, welcome to the forum.

    Do you have copies of your blood test results? If so, the best thing you can do is post them here, with ranges, and let us have a look. Doctors don't always know what they're looking at.

    If you haven't got them, then best to get them. If you live in the UK, it's your legal right to have a print-out, under the 1998 Data Protection Act. :)

  • Wowww thanks for that..l didn't know be honest my doctor never did show me my blood test results.. he just said that l was lucky that l didn’t have thyroid related problems. I didn't dare to ask was there anything else abnormal. He said himm you were size 8 now 16; right now he said my weight was the average weight in the UK..but perhaps l should excersise abit.. l said l've 2 dogs and 2 boys 25 &11yrs, l m busy enough.. anyway it was a waste of time..l'm most likely to never go n see a doctor again.. they make me feel awful and guilty for being fat suddenly..l don't sit at home and eat cakes all day..

    I hugely appreciate your input. Many thanks..jools

  • You're more than welcome! And I know exactly what you mean about doctors making you feel guilty about being fat! And it's not just about being fat, anything they can think of, actually! I once had a doctor say to me 'well, you have to take some blame for the state you're in!' But she couldn't tell me why, what I'd done wrong - I'd lead a normal life, never drunk to excess, never done drugs, and yet, it had to be my fault! Patient blaming, is the name of the game, to cover up their own ignorance.

    There are doctors who aren't like that, of course, but they're hard to find!

    Your doctor never is going to hand you your results on a plate. They either think you 'wouldn't understand them'! Or, they'd rather you didn't know. You have to ask for them - either the doctor or the receptionist or the practice manager. And, if they refuse, they are breaking the law, and there are steps you can take to get the results out of them! Stand up for yourself, and know that the law is on your side. :)

  • This phenomenon has been reported quite a few times here.

    I found that I was super-sensitive to the smell as I started treatment but usually could trace some reason. When I couldn't, I was never sure if it was a figment of my olfactory imagination or simply not locating the source.

    In time, it happened less and less frequently. Now almost never.

  • Phantomsia e.g. when you smell stuff like burning that isn't there is suppose to mean that you have a nasal infection, dental infection, neurological problem or mental health condition.

    It isn't taken seriously by most doctors and other medical staff e.g. they shove everyone into the mental health category or ignore you as they don't know what to do. If you are lucky you will get referred to ENT but even if they can and do treat you that's no guarantee the smell goes. Part of the problem is there is very little research into smell including smell disorders as it's presumed people can cope without smelling properly or at all.

    Due to noticing the number of people complaining of it who also have issues with hormones/autoimmune diseases and low nutrients, I think it's probably also a sign of this.

    I've had it as well - which is why I looked into it and asked random medical staff what their treatment for it is. Anyway mine stopped when I eventually got everything balanced.

  • I also smell tobacco every now and again - don't know what it's all about but would love to know?

  • Yup smoke and other smells that aren't there, not al the time but can last for days

    You should get copy of your blood tests and put on here... what a doctor days is fine isn't always

  • Thanks again..l also agree with you. He said you're lucky you don't have it..but every body else l know says wowww you're so fat now..l never thought you ever would.. l'm gonna have to change my Dr. Thx for urgent input

  • Hi,

    I dont think you are going mad, but you maybe experiencing some kind of breakdown through stress. I had a breakdown around a year and a half ago and was hospitalised for 3 weeks, the only diagnosis being stress. Most of my life I have had stress through many things though I had never had a breakdown before. The signs were there for months before when I thought I could hear classical music playing when I was driving on long commutes without the radio on - besides where I lived, I could get no signal for classic FM, although it is one of my favourite stations. I then looked up audio hallucinations online and found its quite common, but at the time I dismissed it as being a hallucination. Like you, I could smell things but not cigarrete smoke. I could smell burning when there was none. All my 5 senses were affected, including my taste, and my sense of touch also. All that led to me not eating or drinking anything apart from sips of energy drinks (which I would never normally touch) and I was hearing things and seeing things as well, as the lack of sleep had a massive effect. Even then I thought nothing was wrong and dismissed it as a bit of a phase as I was worried about an exam. My weight dropped and I was severely dehydrated, distresses and confused and didnt know what day it was and was extremely hypervigilant and that all led to me being hospitalised. And, when I was in hospital, I wasnt even aware that I was in a hospital, I though some kind of wierd conspiracy was going on etc ect. The symptoms that I had in the beginning, months before, were very subtle and gradually grew into something massive and I had never been so frightened in my whole life. Somehow, I got to the point where I could leave hospital. But your symptoms sound similar - your sense of smell is affected. Be worth having a chat with your GP about the smell thing.

    Also, I have a relative who experiences visual hallucinations when her TSH level becomes very high. Though, during the time, I had the breakdown, my thyroid bloods got tested whilst I was in hospital and all my readings were normal - they did tell me the readings, however, I couldnt self-medicate as all my medication was administered so the T3 that I was taking from Mexico at 25mcg dropped to 10mcg and I felt dreadful. As soon as I was discharged I upped the T3 back to 25mcg and felt better. Lots of GPs will tell people that their thyroid levels are 'normal' when their bloods are in range but people are individual and the prescribing of medication should be tailored to symptoms and not a TSH blood result.

    Do you know what bloods they tested? If not, you could ask for a printout of your readings and post them. People will then provide you with feedback.

    Hope this helps x

  • Thanks so're right now then come to think of it..everything l eat it feels like lacks of salt.. sleeplessnessis killing me..l drift in an out of sleep,feels like the early days after having my babies..thanks again for your kind input.. jools

  • Hi

    Just before been diagnosed hypo. I would get a strange smell for no reason when I was sat on my own watching T.V. Since diagnoses it has come back when my levels were low so I think it has something to do with the thyroid. As others say get your results and post them here. Doctors often say results are normal as all they look at it is TSH, you need T4 and T3 testing also.

  • I will most definitely be asking my blood tests results. Thank you for your input..jools

  • Wow Jools9, I've been smelling stale cigarette smoke lots over the last month, but not a cigarette in sight! Thought something was up! I do have a few health things going on at the moment so maybe down to that or stress etc.

    Thanks to everyone for sharing the great information.

    Paul Harris. ☺

  • Hi Paul, thx for your reply..literally l ve started smelling cigarette smoke couple of weeks before Xmas whilst I am in bed reading a book it was about 10.30pm. First l thought it might be coming from the neighbours..then I remembered that they were away for funeral..l started blaming my 15 yrs old son..but l could still smell it whilst he was with me..some nights l can till 3/4am in the morning which keeps me awake.. l m going through a very stressful divorce at the moment but I never thought it could play tricks like this in my mind.. l didn't think it would worth going to see a doctor about getting told that l m going mad.. maybe something to do with the hormones.. but l am hoping it go away all by itself . Jools

  • Jools9,

    You haven't had any problems with your sinuses recently, have you? I know somebody who has had problems with nasal polyps for years. Her sense of smell is greatly reduced but sometimes she smells things that are not there... Just a thought... I hope you will get to the bottom of it. Take care

  • Thx one the contrary I am one of those people who can smell everything taste everything in meals too.. it's started couple of weeks before Xmas and it usually comes late in the evening..l've stopped blaming the neighbours and my son too...lately I am going through a rubbish divorce and stress literally put me to bed on boxing day l couldnt get up all my mussels were so tight and aching to its max. Spent the new year in bed; felt like I was paralysed so much pain restricted my ability to move. Anyway feeling upwards and onwards am on my feet for the last couple of days now. I m hoping it will go away all by itself. Jools 9

  • Hi Jools9, sorry to hear about your painful divorce and the physiological, emotional and spiritual consequences you are living through.

    I have been living with acute and chronic stress for a number of years. I know first hand the absolute awful experiences such as as feeling paralysed. My father actually was hospitalized for a week when he was 30 and had become paralysed through a very stressful event. So, the power of reactions to stress in some of us shoukd never be underestimated.

    Shame on medical professionals who do not support us when we are clearly concerned that we just do not feel right. I understand your reluctance to go to GP now.

    I do suffer from changes to my perception of smells. However, I have become severely sensitive to actual smells such as deisel, paint, foods, perfumes and more! I cough, sneeze, get short of breath become agitated. I have had my levothroxine reduced to 75mcg from 25 years being on 125mcg. The reduction has lessened such severe reactions but the smells are still strong. Sometimes, I wonder if it is the piturity gland causing a problem. (I believe the piturity gland can also be a cause of sudden weight increase if there is a problem identified there). My GP refuses to send me to an endocrinologist or ear nose and throat. GP is very good at gate-keeping but I have lost respect for her. I tread on day after day struggling. I hope and pray that one day I will feel better.

    I pray that you soon feel better and that your divorce is the making of you. Dont lose heart. This site is so helpful to all of us and helps us to remember we are never alone in our suffering.

  • I had a chronic nasal infection originally wrongly diagnosed and treated as cold sores so was referred to hosp ENT. I could smell burning and asked my daughter if she could smell it on me, it was really unpleasant, she couldn't. The right treatment cleared it up in no time.

  • Hi Webar; thank you for your kind words..l m hoping and praying only to be healthy for myself and for my kids and all the homeless people all the war kids etc... l pray for my ex to be kind to me and kids too, really sorry that you are suffering; l also wish you a speedy recovery too..

    Stress is these days almost like a lethal virus changing; which doesn't get better with today's medicine.. we need to take better care of ourselves... jools x

  • Hi jools , you are not going mad! I had the same problem a while ago and i went to the gp as it was happening so frequently. She advised me to change the steroid nasal spray i was using and this has actually worked ! I dont know if this one is more effective, I thought it might have been my sinuses that were the problem, but i have not smelt smoke since. I would advise you to check with your gp , good luck xx

  • Thx Weathervane, this weird smell comes and had stopped for a few days; 6am this morn. I can smell it so clearly, that it was like someone was smoking right by my bedside...half an hour later it disappeared...l usually smell it late at night this was first during the day time...

    Did the smell go away after usingthe steroid nasal spray? Thx. Jools9

  • I was very dubious when dr suggested this however it would appeared to have worked! I was smelling smoke usually in the evening as well and it was most days. I have changed from nasonex spray to avamys - i had been using nasonex for a number of years. You should get it checked out as there can be other causes - don't let the doctor fob you off get it investigated xxx

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