Ammonia Smell in Nose


Sensing strange odor in the nose can be very strange and frustrating. This can happen in a lot of different situations. One of them, ammonia smell in nose can be serious or not so much, depending on the cause. It can be something not to worry about, like excessive workout and burning fat that can cause this kind of smell in the nose, but can also mean kidney and liver disease. That’s way it is important to find the origin of this cause and perhaps visit a

Ammonia Smell During Exercise

Many of people have sensed ammonia smell during exercise that can be like a strange odor during sweat evaporation. Ammonia is NH3 chemical structure made out of Nitrogen and three Hydrogen atoms. The main cause of this acidic odor is Nitrogen. It can be found also in some cleaning products, cat urine, and sometimes in human sweat. When you exercise, metabolism starts to speed up and producerunning-573762_1280 heat which in result, you start to sweat to cool down the body.  When metabolism starts breaking down amino acids, nitrogen from ammonia is realized and being sent to kidneys for exportation by urea. When there is too much nitrogen, it starts going into the sweat. This is related mostly to anaerobic workout and dehydration. Since using amino acids in intensive workout, because there is no more glycogen in the liver and it is faster for the glucose supply for the brain, it realises ammonia causing the high concentration in the blood. Water is the key for elimination of the ammonia through the kidneys. Another way is to eat complex carbohydrates before work out, it will stack your body with carbs that are the first source of energy and reduce amino acids from the proteins to decompile. Eat whole-grain bread, legumes and some cereals for glucose peak in exercise.

Bacteria And Bad Hygiene

Ammonia smell in the nose can be also caused by bacteria on the skin. Sweat when exposed to bacteria can create acidic odor on the skin. Apocrine glands for sweat can be stacked with bacteria causing this kind of consequence. The way of stopping this is to keep you hygiene on high level with showers and baths, wearing cotton clothes that allows skin to breathe and evaporate, and changing clothes regularly.


Phantom smell or phantosmia is the condition of smell hallucination in which we smell some odor that is not present. It can be found in both nostrils and it can be present all the time, or suddenly occur and disappear. If it happens often, you should see a doctor and discover the reason for this. Usually, patients with phantosmia are not treated with therapy, but if it is exesive, it can be treated with some medications.

There is some home treatment that you can try yourself:

  • Using Neti pot for rinsing out nostrils with saline water. It can rinse out your nose and prevent in nerve stimulation, but it is short term and should be repeated frequently.
  • Using sprays and drops, like anesthetics to numb the nerves to stop from feeling this abnormal smell, and also using nasal decongestion sprays that constrict the vessels in the nose causing relief.
  • Some patients are prescribed with antidepressant meds, sedatives which can sometimes help.


Parosmia is a condition where you can’t smell natural odors so there is disorder in the sense of smell. Instead of smelling lemon, for example, we can smell something else, like smoke or something like garbage, vomit, feces. Person reports smelling something else, which is usually unpleasant smell. This can be caused by olfactory damage tissue, trauma, surgery or inhalation of some toxic fume or certain drugs. Sometimes it has origin in psychiatry. Another cause of olfactory disorder can happen in epilepsy.

Treatment: it is not yet defined. There are some procedures which can help using levo-dopamine but it is not clinically proved. There is another invasive procedure for the ones who struggle with severe condition which is olfactory dissection which renders the patient anosmic. The best candidate for this kind of operation are the ones that have parosmia only in one nostril.


Sinusitis is the inflammation allergy-18656_1920of the sinus tissue which becomes swollen and inflamed. The sinuses are empty spaces above the nose which are filled with air, but it can be inflamed with bacteria, fungi, viruses and be filled with fluid that causes congestion. There is acute, sub acute and chronic sinusitis. Acute one last about 2 weeks, sub acute from 4 to 8 weeks, and chronic anything above that. It is usually caused by respiratory inflammation and cold. The symptoms are blocked nose, yellow-ish or green fluid from your nose, reduced sense of smell, high temperature, sinus headache, the pain around sinuses, neck, cheeks, forehead and eyes.

Therapy: You can use some drugs to relieve yourself from symptoms like paracetamol or ibuprofen. Using nasal decongestion sprays that shouldn’t be used more than a week because if it used longer than that it can further increase congestion. Cleaning your nose with saline nose, and finally using antibiotics or corticosteroids. If everything doesn’t help, then you may be referred to an ENT specialist for surgery to help you with your condition.

Liver Diseasedigestion-303364_1280

Liver is located below right rib cage and it has a role of producing proteins, enzymes and detoxication of the organism. The ammonia released from the amino acids during protein digestion goes into the liver for creating product that can go into the kidneys and be exported through urea. If the function of the liver is compromised, the ammonia will rise in the blood causing smell in the nose and other symptoms. Other symptoms that can happen with liver disease are: itchiness, dark urine, pale feces, vomiting, swollen legs and ankles, bruises on the skin that occur unexpected, jaundice etc. If you spot any of this symptoms, you should go see a doctor.

Kidney Diseases

We have a pair of kidneys which are situated in the line of 11-12. thoracic and 1-2. lumbar vertebra, depending which one, since the right one is a little lower than the left one. The kidneys eliminate the metabolism waste and other products, leaving the salt and water and keeping the constant level of necessary ingredients with a special regulation processes. Kidney disease can cause accumulation of toxins, products of metabolism which can effect the function of the organs resulting in nausea, vomiting, edema, insomnia, shortage of breath, ammonia smell. If all happens, refer to a doctor for help, since this is a serious condition.



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