June 5, 2024 at 9:37 am

If Your Sneeze Smells, Here’s What It Could Say About Your Health

by Trisha Leigh

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Most of the time when we sneeze, we’re too caught up in the violent achoo to really notice much else.

We wipe our noses and move on!

If you notice a smell that accompanies your sneeze, though, your body could be trying to tell you something about your health.

Health experts say there are 4 categories of smells that can come with a sneeze, and each could mean something different.

First, sweet-smelling sneezes.

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These could be the result of chemicals produced by bacteria in your sinuses, or maybe elevated ketones or diabetic ketoacidosis.

Your liver produces ketones when your body is lacking insulin. They can be a side effect of a keto diet, or a symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis.

The latter is a dangerous complication for a person with diabetes.

Next up, foul-smelling sneezes.

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This is likely an indication of a sinus infection, so you might want to visit a doctor for some antibiotics.

Sinus infections occur when there is a build-up of fluid in the sinuses, allowing viruses and bacteria to grow.

The mucous can drip down your throat and cause bad breath, which can also contribute to a stinky sneeze.

Then there are sour-smelling sneezes.

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This means your saliva – and your breath – stink, too. Sorry.

If you have brushed and flossed, it’s probably time to talk to your dentist about gum disease.

Lastly, there are sneezes that smell like ammonia.

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This could indicate a serious kidney or liver issue, so if you smell this and it persists, a checkup is definitely in order.

There you have it!

Hopefully your sneezes don’t smell at all.

That’s the ideal scenario.

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