I just read your post on this site a little while ago and it spurred me to start a gluten free diet as well since I had a similar time of it in high school. The embarrassment and humiliation is familiar.
I would like to say thank you for sharing because it has made a difference in one life – mine.
I am working full time in a very professional office and it was very hard to understand why this unusual thing was happening to me and has been since ages on an off. About two months ago I thought I need to sort this out, having been to doctors all along who offered no help. I even went to an acupuncturist for about ten sessions. As the scent (putting it lightly) was always of a food item gone wrong, such as a bitter, burnt coffee or anultrastrong strong peanut scent I thought perhaps my issue had to do with food. I stopped eating gluten after reading your post and within the first few days I could notice an improvement. I have always been able to notice it so could tell when it was worse or better than other times. looking back I was eating lots of Turkish bread, croissants and biscuits every single day without realizing that those were the main culprits to my misery. I was clever enough to have started a food diary and maintained it for many months so looking back was easy to do.
Nowadays I am eating gluten free bread and biscuits. Aside from that I am eating lots of fruits and veggies. I am more comfortable being around people, can attend meetings at work without feeling anxiety about them three days in advance and can go to the shops without feeling disgusted. Strangely the scents were not coming directly from my skin, I was exhaling them out from my body through my nose. The gluten was in my system and my body was releasing it the quickest way it could. Let me tell you, some days it was extremely strong.
At the moment, I am actively looking at ingredient labels and avoiding things that contain gluten. When I do happen to have some of this ‘hidden’ gluten such as in sauces and mayo, I can start to detect the same scents as before but at a tiny fraction of their previous intensity. I plan on reducing this as much as possible. Being gluten free has also allowed me to shed a few extra kilos, I was always considered skinny but now I feel better in my clothes. There is also less belly bloating. I can live with being gluten free. I do miss the pastries and cakes though but I know that they don’t mix with my body.
I just wanted to say that I appreciate you having taken the time to write as it inspired me to consider change. I totally relate to your story. It would be lovely to keep in touch.