Think That You Have An Unpleasant Scent? Here’s What Your Body Odor Reveals About Your Health

When we speak of body odor (B.O.), what we literally mean is unpleasant smell of our body that lives on the skin when sweat contacts bacteria and breaks down into acids. The sweat is actually odorless, but when it is combined with skin bacteria, it can produce offensive odor.

Body odor exactly connotes a lot about ones’ health. It is evident that your personal hygiene is a bit off and there are measures that are not taken properly when one person reaches puberty. Say, between 14 to 16 years of age in females and 15 to 17 years of age for males. Another case is that one should have ingested something that shouldn’t  and some can even be a marker for certain diseases.

When you experience this, the best thing to do is to be informed, and if you think or know that you body odor that is something uncertain, get yourself to the doctor.

Here are some of the most common types of body odor and what they could mean about your health.

Consistent Bad Breath

Halitosis, a.k.a. chronic bad breath, is a condition in which a person emits an unattractive odor from their mouth. It maybe a warning sign of gum disease which is commonly caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth.

via sacramentodentistry

It’s an awkward thing and people spend lots of time worrying about it. It can be a demoralizing and embarrassing feeling. The everyday morning breath in which most people wake up with is not halitosis – also the five minutes of bad breath you experience after eating spicy food. Real halitosis is the smell that doesn’t go away after brushing, flossing and rinsing.

This case actually is fairly common and quite treatable. They buy gum, mints, breath spray and more to get rid of it. But if you have consistently bad breath, it could be a sign of something more than just a bad breakfast choice.

Possible causes of Halitosis:

  • 80% of which are oral: cavities, gum disease, cracked fillings and less-than-clean dentures are all likely suspects.
  • Dietary factors. High-protein/low-carbohydrate diets, acidic foods, sweets and, of course, a steady fare of onions and garlic will definitely curdle your breath like sour milk. So will excessive coffee and a*****l consumption.
  • Dry mouth provides a perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria reproduction.
  • Long periods of speaking, smoking, drinking a*****l and snoring are a few common underlying causes.
  • Tobacco users run an even higher risk.
  • In rare cases, lung disease, certain cancers and tonsil infections have been known to cause halitosis.
  • Blood disorders and lung and kidney diseases.
  • Common medical cause is likely to be diabetes, because of fluctuating blood-sugar levels, acid reflux and postnasal drip.
  • A common sinus infection can affect your breath with the buildup of mucus.

Offensive breath tells us something is out of balance.  Research says that in 90 percent of cases of people who have consistently bad breath, the cause comes from the oral cavity.  This can be because of bacterial buildup on the tongue that cuts down on the organic things found there that combat foul odor. Other times, actual tooth decay can cause a bad smell, and when people have poor oral hygiene or a propensity for it, they develop gingivitis and periodontitis.

The best way to combat chronic halitosis and to truly identify its source is to visit a dentist for a professional diagnosis; if brushing and flossing regularly wouldn’t help at all. See a dentist twice per year for cleanings and to check the health of your gums. If none of that helps, it is best to see your doctor.

Sweet Breath

Your breath has an interesting ability to provide clues to your health. A  sweet, fruity-smelling breath can be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis; it’s an acute complication of diabetes. It’s a condition that occurs when the body is unable to break down glucose as fuel because of lack of insulin. The body uses fat as fuel instead, which releases ketones into the bloodstream. High levels of ketones are dangerous and life-threatening. Have your doctor check your sugar and insulin levels to make sure you’re not diabetic.

via drgreene

It’s worth noting that another sign of diabetes is sweet-smelling sweat. Some people report a maple syrupy smell because there is actually sugar that builds up on the skin. If your breath is sweet and kind of musty, it’s a bad sign that you could have liver problems. A very foul, fruity odor maybe a sign of anorexia nervosa. Doctors are now using breath analysis to try to detect liver problems.

Periodontal diseases, also called gum diseases, include gingivitis, mild periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Bacteria attack the tissues and bones that support your teeth. Inflammation can affect metabolism and increase your blood sugar, which worsens diabetes.

While diabetes can lead to periodontal diseases, these diseases can also create further problems for people with diabetes. According to reports, an estimated one in three people with diabetes will also experience periodontal diseases. Heart disease and stroke, which can be complications of diabetes, are also linked to periodontal disease.

Sour or Rancid Sweat

Body odor provides a lot of information about what’s going on inside. When your sweat smells sour it means that a fewer glands makes them less prone to body odor. According to Medical News Today, “sweat itself is virtually odorless to humans; it is the rapid multiplication of bacteria in the presence of sweat and what they do that eventually causes the unpleasant smell.

via thompsontee

Various types of bacteria live on the human skin. These bacteria break the sweat down into acid, which contributes to unpleasant body odor, medically known as bromhidrosis.

The most common cause of the vinegary odor is the activity of propionibacteria. These bacteria inhabit the sebaceous gland ducts and they’re found throughout the body. The bacteria are responsible for breaking down sweat into propionic acid. This acid has a vinegary smell. It comes from the acetic acid family and acetic acid is known under the common name vinegar.

Thus, propionibacteria overgrowth or excessive activity is one of the most common causes of a vinegary-smelling urine. A change in the bacterial flora may occur because of a change in diet, or maybe a change in weather that creates more favorable conditions for the growth of bacteria. Another reason may be poor personal hygiene that contributes to bacterial overgrowth.

Eat more fiber since it is a dietary component which aids digestion. Good sources of dietary fiber includes whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes,  fruits and vegetables, like coconut, raspberries, and antichokes.

An acidic body smell that persists no matter what you do, however, could be indicative of a health problem. It’s a good idea to see your doctor and have your hormone levels checked.

Foot Odor

Bromodosis, the medical name of foot odor is very horrible and embarrassing, and is a common foot issue. Many people describe it as a cheesy or vinegary smell that stick to their feet, socks, and shoes. Foot odor is caused by sweat mixed with bacteria from your skin. When you have sweaty feet, the excess foot perspiration soaks the lining of your shoes and socks and creates an environment for bacteria which can grow and cause a bad odor.

via howstuffworks

The function of sweat glands is to keep the skin moist and supple, and to control temperature when the weather is hot or while you are exercising or any movements that produces sweat. Most people have over 250,000 sweat glands in their feet that produce a pint of moisture every day. Others have more than the average number of sweat glands, and sweat excessively. Some people sweat only during the hot months of the year, while others sweat year-round.

Sweat by itself is odorless, but when it comes into contact with bacteria it begins to smell bad. Some bacteria eat away at the top layer of skin, but this is usually only seen in severe cases.

There are more sweat glands in our feet than anywhere else in the body.  Moreover, they secrete all the time, not just in response to heat or exercise. Feet smell when bacteria on the skin break down sweat as it comes from the pores.

The main causes of sweaty and smelly feet are:

  • If you are wearing the same shoes every day, your feet will become smelly.  Furthermore, if sweat soaks into the shoes and you wear them again before they are dry, the same result will happen. Shoes and socks are the perfect environment for sweat and bacteria to mingle, which is why it’s critical to maintain proper hygiene. You may not at first notice the odor, which may only be in your shoes. Eventually, the odor will become hard for you and everyone else to ignore.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • An athlete’s foot can also cause smelly feet.
  • Hormonal changes can cause feet to sweat more, so teenagers andpregnant women are especially prone.
  • Another cause of smelly feet is stress.
  • A condition called hyperhidrosis, which causes you to sweat more than usual.

If you are particularly prone to sweaty feet, there are several things you can do to prevent or minimize it:

  • Wash your feet daily with soap and water
  • Don’t wear the same pair of shoes every day
  • Use a spray deodorant or antiperspirant on your feet. A normal underarm one will work just as well as a specialist foot product.
  • Keep your toenails trimmed
  • Keep your feet dry as much as possible. When you have dried your feet with a towel after a shower or bath, dab between your toes with cotton wool dipped in surgical spirit.
  • Always use a foot-fresh synthetic socks .
  • Sprinkle baking soda in your shoes to k**l bacteria
  • Apply a zinc and castor oil cream daily after washing the feet
  • Odor eaters and powders for your feet
  • Before washing your socks turn them inside out to allow the dead flakes of skin to wash away more easily
  • Put detachable medicated insoles in your shoes. These have deodorizing effects.
  • Use sports socks that have ventilating panels to help keep feet dry. These are impregnated with chemicals to discourage the bacteria that break down the sweat and cause a smell.
  • Wear leather or canvas shoes. In the summer, wear open-toed sandals. Go barefoot at home if you can safely.


Foul Urine Odor

The normal urine usually has no scent, clear, and has straw-yellow color. You may notice that your urine occasionally has a somewhat stronger smell than it normally does. The presence of bacteria in the urine can affect the appearance and smell of the urine.

via cnet

Urine consists mainly of water. If urine becomes highly concentrated, your urine may have strong ammonia odor. Some foods and medications, such as asparagus or certain vitamins, can cause a noticeable urine odor, even in low concentrations.

Having some amount of discharge is normal, but when it’s accompanied by an unacceptable smell, it’s time to go to the doctor.

Here are some causes of foul urine odor which is considered harmless and can be easily fixed:

  • Dehydration

Dehydration is the main culprit of pungent pee.  It takes place when your body loses more fluid than you drink. The most common cause of water loss from the body is excessive sweating. When you’re dehydrated, the urine will have strong odor.  Furthermore, it will also be darker in color. Drink lots of water and it will clear right up.

  • You ate something peculiar

If your pee smells asparagus , according to the British Medical Journal, the likely culprit is asparagus. But the green stalks aren’t the only food that can change the scent of your urine. Certain foods like Brussels sprouts, onions, some spices, garlic, curry, salmon, a*****l, and even coffee can change the smell. A high-salt diet can also give it a stronger scent.

  • You have a Urinary Tract Infection

If your urine smells even more like ammonia than usual, or it smells sort of sickly sweet, you might haveUTI. This will be accompanied by discomfort when you urinate, so proceed to a doctor right away to get an antibiotic. And, just like with your sweat or your breath, if your urine smells fruity, get your blood levels checked for diabetes. This is common to women. The bacteria causing the infection produce the odor, in addition to making your urine appear cloudy or bloody .

  • You might have diabetes

One of the first ways diabetes becomes obvious is in the bathroom, causing you to have to urinate more frequently. Your pee may have a “fruity” smell thanks to the extra sugar excreted by your kidneys. So if you find yourself running to the potty more than usual, you may want to get your blood sugar levels checked.

  • There’s an itchy yeast infection

An itchy yeast infection come with a unique yeasty smell which may be due to an imbalance vaginal bacteria. It’s more common in women, and symptoms can worsen or become more noticeable around puberty; before or during your period, after taking oral contraceptives, or around menopause.

  • You’re pregnant

The hormone changes that make it possible to grow a baby also make you have to go every five minutes and all that pee can come with a new scent. Urine can have a more pungent smell from the hormones produced during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.

  • You may have an STD

If you suspect that you have Chlamydia disease followed by trichomoniasis disease, a sexually-transmitted parasites, you have to get screened immediately.

So in conclusion, sweat does not cause the odor. If you want to get rid of body odor it requires much determination and the best approach is to change your lifestyle. Have proper hygiene and a balanced-diet. There are also alternative medicines like herbal supplements that can treat hormonal imbalance.

There are also other medications and surgical options if it can’t be treated with certain acidic lotions and soaps to try to neutralize the smell. It is widely used and often a fast a powerful relief.

Body odor is very rare, but it causes d********g psychological damage to concerned and affected individuals. But, doctors are committed to helping people with these conditions through counseling and active treatment.

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