Mum only eats cheese sandwiches and cereal after Covid leaves her feeling sick

A mum who suffered Covid-19 was left living on bread as she felt like vomiting every time she smelt food.

Clare Freer lived on cheese sandwiches as she was left "wanting to vomit" even when smelling tap water.

The 47-year-old contracted coronavirus in March last year and had lost her sense of smell and taste.

Despite recovering, Clare was left with a condition called parosmia, reports Birmingham Live..

Those suffering from the condition can sense strong smells – for Clare, "everything" reeked of wet dogs and stale perfume.

She has had to give up all her favourite food and drink, buy unscented toiletries, and is living on a diet of bread, cheese and cereal.

At first, Clare completely lost her sense of smell and taste with Covid (anosmia), but when they returned last May she was left with parosmia.

Particularly bad are onions, coffee, meat, fruit, alcohol, toothpaste, cleaning products and perfume – and even tap water has the same effect.

Since the summer Clare, who lives with her partner Andy, a telecommunications engineer, one of her two daughters and her stepson, has been existing on a diet of cheese sandwiches and cereal.

"As a family we have not sat round the table for months because I cannot bear to be in the same room as them when they're eating food," she said.

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"Tea times are the worst. I get distressed and cry because I don't know what to cook for them.

"At first I cooked normal meals for them – wearing a clip on my nose – but eventually I had to stop even that as it was making me ill.

"Then I gave them microwave meals and I'd go and and sit in my bedroom while they ate them."

The condition has also affected Clare's mental health, leaving her reluctant to leave the house in case she smells something while outside.

Clare's GP referred her for tests – including MRI scans on her brain and sinuses and a camera up her nose – which all came back negative, confirming Clare's suspicions that Covid was the cause.

But help came when she turned to the internet for answers and found a Facebook group with 6,000 members set up by the smell loss charity, AbScent.

Nearly all had started with anosmia arising from Covid-19, and ended up with parosmia, using phrases like "rancid wet dog" or "hot soggy garbage" to described every day smells.

Statistics have shown that around 65 per cent of people with coronavirus lose their sense of smell and taste, with about 10 per cent of those going to develop parosmia.

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