This is a good, 'emperor-has-no-clothes' kind of observation that merits discussion. It's important to remember that PATM is currently just a term of convenience - it's much easier to write "I get PATM reactions whenever I go out in public" than to constantly write "I reliably make people cough, sneeze, exhale loudly (as if to get something out of their lungs), rub their noses, act as if they're dizzy, etc., and they sometimes do this even across long distances (50+ feet) and across non-airtight barriers such doors, open windows, etc." The term PATM is just shorthand within our community, and I think when a "PATMer" talks about "PATM" to a fellow "PATMer", a lot of shared, unspoken thoughts and experiences are evoked by the simple term "PATM", and that's why we use it.
But we still don't know if PATM is merely a common symptom associated with a variety of different diseases/conditions (e.g., candida, leaky gut, TMAU, etc.), or whether it's a disease in-and-of-itself.
My personal opinion (and I emphasize that it's an opinion - I have no scientific studies to back it up), is that PATM is a common symptom that can occur with different conditions. I think the body's chemistry can be upset in such a way that certain chemical byproducts are no longer being "neutralized" by the usual detoxification pathways, and these byproducts are being released on our breath, in our sweat, etc. Most notably, these chemical byproducts are so offensive and irritating that even minute, trace amounts of them in the air around us are enough to cause severe reactions in sensitive people. These chemical byproducts could possibly develop/accumulate in our bodies because of leaky gut, liver dysfunction, TMAU (which itself is a dysfunction of metabolic processes associated with the FMO3 gene), candida, etc, so I would never discount people who argue that PATM is caused by candida, leaky gut, liver dysfunction et al. because it seems reasonable that it could be. I do sometimes wish, however, that people on this forum made their assertions in a more qualified, speculative way rather than with the confidence of a salesman selling us the next great health supplement, but I think their information is valuable nonetheless. I don't think we know what PATM is for sure, and even after 2 years of dealing with it, I still haven't discovered a way of reliably controlling it. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep (which is easier said than done), and avoiding scented soaps, shampoos, detergents, and deodorants are the best ways of minimizing PATM reactions until we figure out more.
Everything you have just stated rings true with where I stand. I did a little sort of experimenting with myself and as soon as I started to feel on edge, unbalanced in some mentally way, throw in lot of rapid random racing thoughts and negative feelings (this is some sort of a frantic feeling where you can feel the mind running around, or almost rushing around). This rushing around feeling is like your whole mind and existence being felt like a violent buoency of something in water. I would observe exactly where my thoughts were being projected and to whom (if anyone) as I sit at home. The buoyancy feeling comes in along with the bad thoughts. As this happens a family member is recording a video of their surrounding. I immediately feel my thoughts shifting and projecting in the direction of my sister. To no surprise she coughs. Sometimes it is a surprise particularly when you become so enrailed in it you lose focus. When that part of the film plays she coughs. Rewinding and playing several back she coughs everytime.