Is this an olfactory hallucination?

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Is this an olfactory hallucination?
« on: 18/10/2011 01:30:04 »
george asked the Naked Scientists:
I recently underwent bariatric surgery and I have lost 62kg over the past 5 months.

I unfortunately suffered severe surgical complications and spent a month in ITU. Towards the end of my hospital stay I began to smell a very pungent and unpleasant odour which my family assured me did not exist.

During my ITU admission I experienced visual and auditory hallucinations and I am wondering if this stink I am aware of ( it even wakes me from deep sleep) is a persistant hallutionation or is it as a result of some dietry deficiencies...

Have you an explanation for this?

Kindest Regards

George Cook



What do you think?
« Last Edit: 18/10/2011 01:30:04 by _system »


Offline RD

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Is this an olfactory hallucination?
« Reply #1 on: 18/10/2011 04:27:07 »
One possible explanation ...
If you suffered oxygen deprivation either during surgery or your stay in ITU, (i.e. stopped breathing),
 that could have caused nerve damage which is now causing the olfactory hallucinations.

The nerve damage could be in the PNS (olfactory nerve) or CNS (brain).

[ People who have epilepsy can have olfactory auras: they experience a false smell (which no-one else can detect) just prior to seizure ]

A minor "silent" stroke due to post-operative thrombosis could cause brain damage which could in turn cause the olfactory (and other) hallucinations.

Another possible explanation is "post-bariatric surgery hypoglycemia"...

Mayo Clinic doctors have recognized and reported on a seemingly rare but serious complication following gastric bypass called non-insulinoma pancreatogenous hypoglycemia syndrome (NIPHS) or post-bariatric surgery hypoglycemia. After a person eats, this condition can result in very low blood sugar levels that lead to severe neurologic symptoms, including visual disturbances, confusion and (rarely) seizures.

Could try monitoring your blood glucose level to check it is within normal range.

... is it as a result of some dietry deficiencies

Nerve damage (neuropathy) from vitamin deficiency would not appear suddenly.
« Last Edit: 18/10/2011 05:00:36 by RD »