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Body Odor Change: How & Why Does Body Odor Change

February 07, 2020 4 min read

body odor change

It is natural for us to emit body odors. We are human after all. We bathe, apply deodorant and even dab on aftershave to keep unpleasant odors at bay. However, a sudden change in body odor may be alarming, especially if it doesn’t go away or can’t be masked by our usual arsenal of products.

There are many reasons for body odor change. It can be something simple like one too many drinks or an adverse reaction to a supplement. Or it could signify an underlying problem. To help you identify the possible cause, we list the symptoms that usually accompany a change in body odor and examine six common reasons for it.

Symptoms of Body Odor Change

The symptoms of body odor change are pretty easy to detect. A change in body odor usually occurs in specific body areas, such as armpits, belly button, feet, genitals, and mouth. These odors can vary, ranging from sickly sweet to fishy, pungent, and even rancid.

Other symptoms may arise along with the change in smell depending on the cause. For example, an infection may cause itching, oozing or redness.

Why Does Body Odor Change?

There are numerous reasons your aroma can change. Below we address some common reasons for body odor changes:

Diet

We are what we eat and sometimes a change in our diet can trigger a change in our body odor. Examples of the changes caused by certain foods include:

  • Foods containing sulfur can affect body odor. Sulfurous foods include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic and onion. (This may be reduced by cooking them in water with salt.)
  • Red meat may have an adverse effect on body odor.
  • When alcohol is consumed in excess, its smell literally seeps out of your pores through your sweat.
  • Asparagus is known to temporarily change the smell of your urine.

In addition, men who have a healthier diet and each fruits and vegetables may smell better, according to a recent study. In contrast, men with higher carb intake had less pleasant body odor.

Sometimes a change in our diet can trigger a change in our body odor.

Stress

Sweating is a normal body function. When you are healthy and need to cool down, your body automatically produces sweat from your eccrine glands. However, when you experience extreme stress or anxiety, your body responds by producing sweat from the apocrine glands. This “stress sweat” contains proteins and lipids causing bacterial growth, and consequently, body odor.

Illness or Medical Condition

Sometimes what causes body odor to change may be the result of an underlying illness or medical condition.

Medical conditions like diabetes, kidney failure or liver failure, are known for changing the way a person smells. Diabetes changes the way a person’s body produces insulin and/or processes glucose. Conversely, kidney failure or liver failure changes a body’s normal functions. Because of these changes, your body produces unfamiliar substances that are released into your sweat. Additionally, a medical condition like this can also change the smell of a person’s breath.

Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, may also have an effect on body odor. When sweat mixes with the bacteria on your skin and/or doesn’t have a chance to dry, it can increase body odor.

Infections

A body odor change can also be caused by an infection. Skin infections can take root in the hair follicles of your underarm, as rashes in skin folds, or as superficial bacterial infections. All of which can result in a foul smell.

Athlete’s foot, a common fungal infection, can cause feet to develop a sour smell and uncontrollable itch.

Vitamins, Supplements or Medications

A deficiency in necessary nutrients – or an inability to absorb them – can lead to a change in body odor, urine, or stool. Additionally, a side effect of certain supplements and medications may change the composition of body odor.

Sometimes what causes body odor to change may be the result of an underlying illness or medical condition.

Age

Most of us know that body odor changes with age. During our pubescent years, it changed so much our dirty socks stunk up the entire bedroom and Mom insisted we wear deodorant every single day.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. As we age, certain chemicals break down in the body and create a byproduct called 2-nonenal. This compound interacts with bacteria on the skin to create a musty smell. It is believed that 2-nonenal levels begin to increase after age 40.

A change in body odor may be easily remedied by a change in diet or lifestyle. However, it may also require a visit to your doctor if it is persistent and/or accompanied by other symptoms.

To help with fluctuations in your body odor caused by hyperhidrosis or stress sweat, wear Ejis sweat proof, odor-fighting basics – from your shoulders to your toes. The silver embedded in every fiber fights odor causing bacteria keeping you fresh all day.

 

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