Torofy Blog

Depression and Heart Disease

How Different Diseases Make You Smell

[MUSIC PLAYING] Getting sick
stinks– literally. What I mean is that
different diseases give off different odors, and sometimes
doctors can diagnose you based on how you smell. I’m Anna Rothschild, and
this is “Gross Science.” So it turns out
that doctors have known since the
time of Hippocrates that different diseases
smell different ways. For example,
typhoid– which causes fever, abdominal pain,
delirium, and can kill you– smells like freshly
baked brown bread. Other infections smell
totally differently. The skin of people with
the virus yellow fever is said to smell
like a butcher shop. And if you have a burn wound
infected with the bacteria Pseudomonas, it might
smell like grape juice. But infections from
bacteria and viruses aren’t the only
diseases that can make you emit a certain aroma. Genetic conditions–
ones you’re born with– can do the same thing. For example, maple
syrup urine disease, which can be fatal
if untreated, makes you smell like maple syrup. And then there’s a condition
called Trimethylaminuria, which has absolutely no
symptoms, except that it makes you smell like rotten fish. And those are just diseases
that humans can smell. Dogs can actually sniff out
certain types of cancer, and scientists have now
created electronic noses. These are smelling
machines that can detect very faint
traces of compounds that the human nose would
never be able to pick up. Beep boop beep. In fact, researchers are looking
into using dogs or e-noses to detect diseases before
they become dangerous. So while sniffing out
the source of an illness has never really
gone away, there’s a whole new frontier of
stench science out there. Just take a whiff. Ew. What’s the grossest thing
you’ve ever smelled? Let me know in the comments. And for more “Gross Science”
and weird facts, hit Subscribe.

100 thoughts on “How Different Diseases Make You Smell

  1. The worst things I have ever smelled are a toss-up between patients with bleeding in their gastrointestinal tracts (GI bleed) when I worked at a hospital and a puppy who died of parvo. Both are smells I can't really fully describe in their awfulness, but I will never forget them. 🙁

  2. I often smell like cup ramen. I don't think I eat so much to smell like that, but I still do. It's just weird.

  3. my mother has terminal cancer and has sores and they smell terrible I can't describe the smell but terrible of course I see her daily but it is bad

  4. Worst smell? Um, the smell of formulin while performing a second-look autopsy on a guy who had been embalmed. It burns your nasal passages, throat and lungs. Not a pleasant feeling.

  5. Hmm, I gave some real thought to the worst smell I've ever come across…. it's actually a hard question. There are different ways in which smells can be bad. But I think the worst smell ever in my life thus far is probably the scent emitted by stinkbugs (I think they're a "shield" bug… a Chinese invasive species here in WV that has been proliferating like MAD). One substantial whiff of a stinkbug gives me an instant blinding headache. And thus far I have not been able to find anything which can reliably destroy whatever the substance they emit when threatened/dead rapidly. I've tried different kinds of soap, hydrogen peroxide, undiluted bleach, rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and no matter what I scrub with my hands will still smell like it afterward. I need to get some turpentine and acetone and try those as well. SOMETHING has to break the stuff down. They're just some potent sulfur compounds (of course) as far as I know. But their scent beats out dead and rotting animals, rotted food, poorly maintained latrines, or anything else I have come across. It's just so penetrating.

  6. This reminds me of the second grade when I thought I could find the owner of a lost jacket in my class through the scent! Like a dog lol 😂 Kids are funny. I am really enjoying your channel! I feel like we're on the same level. You should just be a professor. I would listen to you

  7. latex costume glue is probably the worst thing I have ever smelled… Or when people with stretched ears take out their jewelery

  8. Difficult to say, but when I was a kid we once ran over a dead skunk in our van and popped its scent gland… in the middle of the summer. That was nasty.

  9. The grossest thing I ever smelt was when I worked for the Morgue in Florida picking up Decomp bodies …Human death has a sweet yucky smell .once you smell it you never forget it

  10. I wonder how people would react if we placed some of these @eNoses" in public areas to sniff people as they walk by. I can already imagine the awkwardness of that situation. Lol

  11. 1:30 A friend of mine went to the doctor and they brought in a Labrador to sniff him. Turned out the lab indicated on cancer, but they wanted to make sure so they brought in a cat and the cat also indicated cancer.
    The doctor then handed him a $800 bill for the lab work and cat scan.

  12. What about when your breath smells like pineapple hard candy? I remember that happening to me when I was in high school. It'll just come and go and just lasted for a few days.

  13. After hard workouts I have an ammonia like smell in my nose, but personally don't smell like ammonia. What's that about?

  14. thanks for the awesome content … i feel medical science needs to do more researches on the smell and diseases … till now there arent any significant data on it …

  15. The two worst things I have ever smelled in my life are: 1) skunk hit by a truck on the side of a road next to my house. Im used to the smell of skunk spray but not when it's mixed in with rotting flesh. 2) When I moved into a basement apartment 3 years ago and the day I moved in, the toilet belches forth the most hellish smelling raw sewage ever. It was so overpowering my eyes, nose, throat and lungs burned. I immediately went outside to lose my lunch in the alley. This all happened because the tenant before me got angry at the landlord so she flushed powdered cement down the toilet(she was angry she got kicked for not paying rent). It only became apparent when he came over to test the washing machine(located literally behind the toilet on the other side of the wall). I am usually not a hateful person but she would deserve to be the mop that cleaned up the mess.

  16. I always smell differently when im sick i always thought it was just due to d medicine because i always smell like a hospital when am

  17. I love this channel so much! It's very interesting and informative! I go crazy for
    These types of videos! Keep up the fantastic work!

  18. Working as a microbiologist means working with smelly things all the time… But, outside from work, the worst thing I smelled: Campylobacter jejuni infection. Smells like you pooped out a cadaver.

  19. the grossest smell i've smelled? well there was a smelly smell, that one smelly smell that smelled… smelly..

  20. Lets play a game! We have four patients each with a unique illness. Your goal is to determine which one has the illness written on this flash card I draw randomly. You can only sniff the person to figure it out. No asking questions or looking at their records.

    First to guess it correct wins! Lol

  21. I want you guys to try this: Get a trash bag and fill it with shrimps, crabs, tuna and parmesan cheese. Close the bag tightly with a string and leave it out in the sun for about 10 days in mid summer. It should be swollen into a balloon at this point. If you poke a hole in it and whiff away, you'll experience a dimension of olfactory delights you never knew existed. It might even have a sedative effect =P

  22. The worst thing I ever smelled was uncooked canned red beets. The smell was relatable to sewage, absolutely horrible. And no, it wasn't rotten.

    This was during a smell test in a biology class in my early highschool years where you had to smell and guess things served to you. And I was extremely surprised how bad red beets could smell.

  23. When I was a little girl I smelled a scratch and sniff book of Shrek n it had a scratch n sniff for shrek.

    I almost threw tf up n I have a strong stomach

  24. It is true my sister died because of heart attack she had high blood pressure i could smell some sort of sourly smell she had it for few years before she died

  25. I used to work in a hospital and i smell people like those in the cancer ward. I am sure these people have cancer but i haven't said anything I wonder if it is a special type of cancer I can smell.

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