Where there's Smoke (Smells) there is fire...Is MTHFR your prob?
The phantom smells are a canary in a coal mine. That's all well and good if you know what it means when that canary buys the farm.
You might want to get tested for the MTHFR (methylene tetra-hydrofolate reductase) gene mutation. If you have one or more copies, it is easily correctable with the active form of folic acid called methyl-folate and the active form of cobalamin called methyl-cobalamin. Be sure to AVOID the inactive forms called simply folic acid and cobalamin or you will make your condition worse...even if it's just in processed foods. They can cause serious problems and even behavioral problems like irritability/anxiety, etc, and serious digestive issues when you eat too much of them and you have these mutations.
There is a whole list of associated conditions including stroke/heart attacks/Deep Vein Thrombosis, IBS, Crohn's & other digestive disorders, hormone dysregulation/miscarriages, MS, cancer, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar, CFS, FM, etc. These conditions are completely avoidable with a simple methylated B vitamin and a change in diet (avoid supplemented folic acid in food like the plague).
You can read about the mutation in a really well written blog post by googling "Holy MTHFR". The blog is not all about MTHFR mutations but the blogger takes a complicated condition and puts it into simple terms. Then you can read more convoluted, technical stuff online (mthfr dot net and dramyyasko dot com and heartfixer dot com). There is also an mthfr support account on Facebook too, where doctors familiar with it will answer your questions. I see a doctor in Texas City, Texas, an MD who happens to be schooled in nutrition related disease. (most doctors are not, sadly. Dr. Ben Lynch has a Find a Doctor feature on his website though, if your doctor is not educated on this mutation and how to treat it: mthfr dot net)
I've used Cerefolin NAC for a year now (methyl-folate, methyl-cobalamin and NAC combo) and the smoke smell only comes back if I stop using it for more than a couple of weeks. I am homozygous so it's a critical thing for me to take it life long. [I learned recently that the preservatives
/additives in this form are a trial for my body so I am moving to Dr. Lynch's additive free methyl Bs.)
Oh and the migraines have stopped since I started taking 500 mg of magnesium citrate (has to be citrate or a chelated form of Mag) combined with 500 mg calcium citrate and a combo of vitamin D3/K2 5000 IUs/1100 mcgs before bed. Be sure to use the citrate form since the oxide form is not nearly as bioavailable...i.e. a waste of money. (**NOTE: This combo is important NOT only because they have to have each other to work properly but because taking calcium without mag and vit K can contribute to plaque development in your arteries. So if you lower the amt of Mag because your bowels loosen too much in this combo, be SURE to lower Calc to the same level to avoid plaque buildup. This is hyper-critical since those with these mutations already are MUCH more susceptible to heart attacks/strokes/DVT whether you are currently showing signs or not.)
In addition to the night Mag combo, I added 500 mg mag citrate alone to my morning routine which also seems to be helping reduce the number of migraines/headaches too. In any event, there seems to be some kind of connection with an increased demand for Mag for those of us with this mutation. [A couple of times I have used about 8 oz
of pomegranate juice too, a vasodilator, when the magnesium combo just wasn’t enough and had headaches ease off altogether.]
**You can buy these active B vitamins without a prescription at Vitamin Shoppe for about the same as what you spend for a 3 month mail order supply through an online pharmacy like Brand Direct for one of the 'medical foods' that combine them into one pill, but you need a prescription for them. (i.e. Deplin, Metanx, Cerefolin NAC---each of these varies in type and amt of active B vitamins and are listed here in increasing amts of methyl-folate/methyl-cobalamin formulations) You may have to try one and move to another if it isn't enough to address your condition. Just google the contents of each to see the amount of each methylated vitamin in them if you are going to try to match them at Vitamin Shoppe separately. (again, if you are homozygous, consider using forms that have NO additives
like Dr. Lynch's or Yasko's)
Heterzygous---or a person with 1 gene mutation copy--- needs less methylated B vitamins usually than those who are homozygous---or have 2 gene mutation copies. You don't have to be tested to try them but doing so will make it much easier to treat and to know exactly how much you need so you don't waste money.
1 mutation means you are about 70% efficient at activating your Bs while 2 mutations means your about 10% or less efficient. That is a serious difference and means you are MUCH more susceptible at an earlier age to the disease states associated with this mutation if you are homozygous. However, they are beginning to understand that heterozygous has its own signficant challenges so don’t discount your need for methylated Bs if heterozygous.
Just a thought...the longer you wait, the more likely you are to develop the related and completely avoidable diseases with simple active (methylated) vitamins. Be proactive...don't wait until you come down with one of these serious diseases because treating it at that point is much harder.