What do you suppose death smells like? Odds are, it’s NOT what you’re thinking of right now… at least not when it comes to your own mortality.
It’s not rot or decay. In fact, death kind of smells like… NOTHING.
Let me explain. New research finds that losing your sense of smell could be the earliest warning sign of something going wrong somewhere in your body. And according to scientists, that could send you to an early grave.
But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. Because the results of the new study reveal if you can… well… SMELL it coming, that means you still have time to act and change that fate.
And there’s an easy way to get started with a few things you almost certainly have in your own home right now.
Research reveals fading SMELL is a red flag
The study tested eight distinct “recognize them right away” scents:
- natural gas
How many times have you smelled each of those things in your life? I’d guess hundreds of thousands easily.
But HIDDEN health conditions can cause certain senses to dull, including your sense of smell. And in the new study of seniors, every one-point drop in a test to detect those scents led to an 18 percent jump in the odds of death over the next five years.
If this were just one study, we could dismiss it as interesting or even just plain weird. But it’s not.
Earlier studies have also made the link between losing your sense of smell and serious risks. That includes one last year that found a loss of smell could indicate a 46 percent higher risk of death in the coming decade.
Other research – including a study earlier this year – has found losing your sense of smell can be an early warning sign of dementia, too.
Take the sniff “test” at home
If you’re interested in… or concerned about… the state of your own sense of smell, it’s easy enough to mimic the test at home. It won’t be as accurate as a lab test, of course. But it could serve as an early warning system.
You probably have the ingredients in your home to test out half of those scents or more right now. So, go ahead and give it a shot.
For example, the next time you’re dicing an onion, pay close attention. Sure, your eyes might be watering… but can you SMELL it the way you used to?
You can even try peanut butter, which has been used in other studies on the sense of smell and health risks, or the peppermint and cinnamon used in dementia studies.
If you pick up on all of the scents right away, file this letter under “useful stuff to know for later.” But if you struggle with some, whether they’re faint or don’t smell like anything all, don’t panic. It’s just a risk factor, NOT your destiny.
But do get on the horn to your doc. Ask him if he wants to arrange for some further testing. He can check on your sense of smell overall and test to see if you’ve got anything else going on that needs some attention.
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