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A complete loss of smell, known as anosmia, can occur after a cold, sinus infection or even a bump to the head.
Anosmia affects the flavour of food. However, it isn't always permanent and may recover naturally or through exercises like 'smell training' to re-stimulate the olfactory system.
Our sense of smell works in wondrous ways since the chemical composition of our surrounding change instantly and constantly. Our noses pick up volatile airborne compounds that interact with our olfactory receptors.
The information that we get from our surroundings pass through our noses and then to the core cortex in the brain. We, humans have about 400 types of olfactory receptors which is used to identify many different types of chemicals that have varying odor quality.
According to a 2004 research, the sense of smell is a complicated process.
Endorphins are hormones and neuro-signalling molecules that function as painkillers. They inhibit the transmission of pain signals in the central nervous system by binding to opioid receptors (the body’s natural morphine).
Endorphins & dopamine are often confused because each one is a chemical that makes you happy in the broad sense of the term. However, they are in some ways related because, when endorphins bind to receptors of the central nervous system, dopamine (the pleasure hormone) is released.