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What causes stale cigarette smoke smell in perspiration after an ostomy?

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Posted on Mon, 31 Jul 2017
Question: I have an ostomy (due to rectal cancer surgery 3 hrs ago), No current sign of cancer but for the last month by colon and bowel movements smell strongly of smoke (much like cigarette smoke). I have never smoked and am not exposed to any smokers...I am baffled
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Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant (17 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
As discussed below.

Detailed Answer:
Hi.
Thanks for your query, albeit short and specific.
Noted the history and understood the concerns.
To recapitulate: Female/60 - ostomy due to rectal cancer - no symptoms of cancer - bm smell strongly of cigarette smoke - one month - non-smoker and no smokers around ..
This is very very rare history.
The probable causes can be as follows:
Overgrowth of gas producing bacteria in the intestine that produce gases smelling like a smoke.
If it is you alone that can smell smoke but no one else in family and friends smell such a thing then the another cause can be nasal problem that causes you to feel so. Rare but possibility should be borne in mind.
I would advise you the following:
Get the stool tests doe for a few times.
Ask others nearby whether they too can notice the same smell that you are smelling.
Stop some food articles like onion, garlic, preservatives that can have such altered smell.

I hope this answer helps you, please feel free to ask for further relevant queries if you feel that there is a gap of communication.

Please give feedback.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. T Chandrakant

General Surgeon

Practicing since :1984

Answered : 14831 Questions

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What causes stale cigarette smoke smell in perspiration after an ostomy?

Brief Answer: As discussed below. Detailed Answer: Hi. Thanks for your query, albeit short and specific. Noted the history and understood the concerns. To recapitulate: Female/60 - ostomy due to rectal cancer - no symptoms of cancer - bm smell strongly of cigarette smoke - one month - non-smoker and no smokers around .. This is very very rare history. The probable causes can be as follows: Overgrowth of gas producing bacteria in the intestine that produce gases smelling like a smoke. If it is you alone that can smell smoke but no one else in family and friends smell such a thing then the another cause can be nasal problem that causes you to feel so. Rare but possibility should be borne in mind. I would advise you the following: Get the stool tests doe for a few times. Ask others nearby whether they too can notice the same smell that you are smelling. Stop some food articles like onion, garlic, preservatives that can have such altered smell. I hope this answer helps you, please feel free to ask for further relevant queries if you feel that there is a gap of communication. Please give feedback.