First of all, I know exactly how you feel and what's going through your mind. I went through the same hell about a year ago. How did it start? It seems that all the stories are very similar if not identical.
Stress at work, excessive workload, worrying about the money, about the family, about keeping up with the well-off friends that just got a new car and a new 50" flat screen TV.
Second is the junk/processed food issue. When I hit the lowest point, McDonald's was my daily altar. I don't have to tell you what sh****ty food they sell there. Let's not kid ourselves, even the grilled chicken salads are unhealthy there. But the worst: soft served semi-ice-cream. I would have 2-3 a day for months. From the perspective, it was the biggest high fructose, chemical loaded, non-diary, cr***p I've eaten in my life. But there's more.
More junk food I ate, more depressed I got, more beers I had. Suddenly, I started to smell some strange odors during meetings or social events. Didn't pay attention. It got worse and worse. Guess what? Tried to get rid of it with more beer and junk food.
Started to squeeze my butt when talking to people afraid they will smell the rotten smell coming out of me. It was hell. I though it was all in my head but when one person said "hey, can you smell that sewage gas?", I broke down.
Stress was uncontrollable, I started taking days off from work. Went to the doctor. Had colonoscopy, blood work, x-rays - all clear. Doc wanted me to take antidepressants.
Refused. Started looking for help on the internet. Got some charcoal pills, beeno, all kinds of probiotics, enzymes, peppermint pills, you name it. Nothing worked. Don't even bother with those, trust me. Even went to the doctor to check if my rear end was ok. Got acupuncture - no help. There was no answer why I would smell like sewage.
Finally, I turned to an alternative healer who help me with a path to a healing. It took me about 6 months to get rid of this affliction but I've done it without drugs and only with lifestyle changes. Below is my list. Take it as you wish but remember to stick to it with all your will and you will be rewarded not only with a cure but a better life.
1. Cut down your stress. No work on weekends, no staying late at work, don't be an office hero. Nobody gives a fu**k about how much work you can handle. Trust me. If you are not a CEO of a major company, it's not worth it. Love what you do and you won't work a day in your life (borrowed quote).
2. Get enough rest. This is not a gimmick, you need your 7-8 hrs of sleep. Cat naps are great too.
3. Exercise. I take 1hr, daily walks around my area, nothing fancy, just brisk walk with deep breathing. At home, I do some yoga. Found great DVDs at my local library - all free. Start small, it will get better over time.
4. Cut down alcohol intake. Especially beer. If you need a drink, have a shot of straight, chilled vodka. But only 1-2 a week. Beer is the worst, mixed drinks with all that garbage in them - forget it.
5. Simplify your life. Find time for yourself. Family is very important but have an hour a day just for yourself is priceless. It's difficult with kids and spouses but make time, it will help.
6. Quit coffee. Entirely. I loved coffee, I could drink it by the buckets. I quick cold turkey. Moved to water and green and decaf tea. Dyhydration and caffeine is linked to the odor issue. I'm not even gonna talk about soft drinks since ALL of those are total poison-garbage.
7. Quit dairy. I mean ALL dairy: milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs. It's hard but the effects are almost immediate.
8. Give up meat. After a while, I realized that my diet is basically a semi-vegan diet. None of that "don't want to hurt the delicious cow" stuff ideology. Just health reasons. It's almost impossible to quick meat. I know, I went through this. If you can't do it, switch to lean chicken 2-3 a week and maybe a salmon 1 a week. I started to see an improvement after about a month of meatless diet.
9. Eat veggies, greens, reds, yellows, fruits, nuts, lentils, and whatever else you desire from the plant menu. Get a nutra-bullet blender to make shakes. Easy and quick. I load my salads with flax seed from Trader Joe's, flax seed or grape seed oil. Cook on coconut oil and use a lot of apple cider vinegar. Again, local library is full of vegan and vegetarian books.
10. Quick white bread. Yes, one of the biggest culprits, it the white and rest of the sugary semi-substitutes called breads in US. I've switched to Ezekiel breads, about 2 a week.
11. Take some St John's wort to take the edge off. Initially, it will help you cope with the stress levels and the anxiety. After a while, switch to tea.
12. Go out to open air events. It will make you comfortable and easy going knowing that you can even fart in public with no consequences. Take a karate class - everyone stinks there anyway. Concerts, car shows, beaches - all great.
13. Did I mention no junk food? Make your meals at home, you'll cure yourself and save money at the same time. I've banned pizza, hot dogs, ham sandwiches, burgers, fries, chicken fingers, and rest of that food-like impersonators. Want to go out? Try Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese foods. Forget about Chinese - we all know it's loaded with Mono-Sodium-Glutamat (Natrium Glutamat) and very heavy. Choose tofu or tempeh with brown rice instead of white.
14. What book helped the most? Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss by Joel Fuhrman. There are hundreds of books dealing with all kinds of diets. The odor issue is not about loosing weight but about healthy lifestyle. You don't have to follow it to the letter but it will give you a path. Read more about green diets if you can. Educate yourself.
You wonder how I'm doing? Well, after about 2 months, of my change, I felt like a new person. It took another 4 months to finally get rid of all my smells - imaginary and real ones. After 3 weeks my constipation went away, I could go to the bathroom twice a day with no problems. Started to not give a flying fu**k about what other people smell or not. When I have to pass a gas, I know it's from beans and not imaginary. After a while I added a daily meditation session and it helped even further. Lost some weight, have a positive outlook on life. I don't even think about a smell. The lifestyle change was the best thing for my health.
I urge you, my story is not a gimmick, take my advise, use it, you will be fine again. In the modern world, the human rat race and garbage food are the worst ingredients for a health breakdown. You will take care of your body and your immune system - it will reward you ten fold. It's the mind-body connection. I hope you get better. Good luck.