Article written

  • on 13.08.2012
  • at 04:21 AM
  • by Guest Author

Is Body Odor Solely A Sign Of Poor Hygiene?


Let’s face it, we’re not giving too much importance to body odor, especially since we feel that we can easily deal with this embarrassing problem by taking a shower or brushing our teeth. In fact, many odors are normal in certain situations: just think of excessive sweating during torrid summer days or when you are working out at the gym.

However, maybe you do not fully understand all of the smells and scents emitted by the body. Some odors, meaning those that are very persistent and that come from certain parts of our body, can indicate the presence of an illness. To put it simply, the body odors that cannot be eliminated regardless of how many times you wash or clean yourself are usually associated with a medical condition.

Most common conditions associated with foul odor

Hormonal imbalances or fluctuations are a most common cause for bad body odor is a. I’m not referring to the hormonal changes associated with severe diseases, but rather at normal fluctuations people experience during puberty, menstruation, menopause or due to moderate levels of stress.

Besides hormonal disorders, foul scents are also linked to various metabolic and digestive conditions. Very frequently, people with ineffective bowel movement will develop a bad odor simply because the toxins accumulated in the body cannot be eliminated normally. In addition to the odor, people with irritable bowel syndrome will also experience bloating and have excessive gas.

Photo credits: Drab Makyo

Lastly, bad odor can mean the presence of an infection in the body. Essentially, any type of infection, irrespective of whether it is internal or external, makes itself known via an acidic, foul scent. More often than not, bad odors coming from the private parts indicate infections of the genitalia, yeast infection or urinary tract infections and hence, it is advisable that you talk to a physician immediately.

Excessive sweating does not justify bad odors

There is a widespread misconception – emphasized by various deodorant manufacturers – that sweating is bad and smells awful. The truth here is that sweat is not only helping your body cool off whenever you are hot, but it is also odorless. What causes the smell specific to sweat is actually a bacteria living on the skin. According to physicians, that bacteria feeds on sweat and is particularly fond of the sweat produced by the fat-rich apocrine sweat glands.

Photo credits: kencf0618

Living in a warm climate has the main disadvantage of causing excessive sweating. However, I would like to point out that healthy people do not actually develop foul body odors, unless they do not shower and/or don’t change their clothes for a couple of days. Persistent excessive sweating accompanied by awful body scents you cannot get rid of usually indicate a high level of toxins due to conditions such as:

  • Pneumonia
  • Dehydration
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Parasites
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer (particularly uterine cancer or leukemia)

When pleasant odors are bad – The unique smell of diabetes

People suffering from diabetes often claim that their urine and breath has a specific fruity scent. The explanation for this odor is a result of the process in which the body starts to break down fat cells in order to absorb the glucose. However, I want to highlight the fact that the scent should get you really worried if it’s accompanied by other diabetes specific symptoms, like constant thirst, frequent urination, regularly developing infections of the urinary tract, numbness of the hands and feet, blurred visions and wounds that don’t seem to heal. In my opinion, you should play it safe and contact your physician right away.

Body odor and your diet

Despite the fact that bacteria are the main responsible for the repulsive body odors, sometimes our favorite foods are to blame for certain scents. The clearest example that comes to mind consists of two of the most common – and delicious – vegetables in our foods: garlic and onions.

Hard as Nails

If you ever cooked a meal with onions or garlic before, then you are probably familiar with the smell that lingers in the air for the next couple of hours. That effect is similar to what happens to our bodies when we eat dishes with lots of garlic and onion. The sulfurous substances contained by the vegetables are absorbed by the body immediately after digestion resulting in both bad breath – which I’m sure you are all familiar with – and foul, acidic smelling sweat.

Hi, I’m Chad and my biggest online passion is to write about health topics. I was motivated to be much more health conscious after my Atlanta chiropractor helped me to rectify my chronic back pain. Keep healthy, folks!

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