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6 body odors that indicate illness



  • 6 body odors that can indicate illness:
  • 10 tricks to combat body odor
  • Why does body odor change?
  • What causes body odor anyway?

Yes, we could also list a whole list of (very good) reasons why you can smell unpleasantly. For example, if you’ve had a sweaty workout for 3 hours or eaten garlic and onion stir-fry for lunch. In such cases, a big sip of mouthwash (gargle, don’t drink), a good deodorant or a shower is often enough to get rid of the smell.

Unfortunately, in other cases it is not so easy. Because there are diseases that produce a very specific smell in the body, claims a Swedish study with the almost poetic name “The Scent of Disease”. You should pay particular attention to some of the scents that our bodies give off. They are an early warning system and show you how your health is doing.

6 body odors that can indicate illness:

1. Sweet bad breath can indicate diabetes

If your breath smells like overripe fruit and you haven’t drunk fermented fruit schnapps before, you could have type 1 diabetes. Doctors attribute this smell to acetone. This is a metabolic product that occurs, for example, when there is a lack of insulin.

To meet daily energy needs, the body needs glucose. Insulin helps the body burn. If the body does not have enough insulin due to a disorder, the cells break down fat instead. The resulting acetone can make the blood acidic. Doctors then speak of ketoacidosis. The urine also smells sweet. Other signs include increased urge to urinate and feelings of dizziness.

What you should do: Go to a doctor immediately. If left untreated, ketoacidosis is life-threatening.

2. Cheese feet are a symptom of athlete’s foot

Sweaty feet are an unpleasant problem in themselves – wherever you go, it smells. But now it gets even worse: Anyone who has cheese feet is also prone to athlete’s foot. Because the skin fungus particularly likes warm and moist places to multiply. Men are particularly often affected because they have more sweat glands on their feet than women.

The first signs are softened skin and itching. Together with bacteria, the fungi eat away at the layers of skin, releasing the typically unpleasant smell. So if your sneakers stink beyond belief, don’t just change your shoes: take a look between the toes and the soles of your feet – after all, according to estimates, one in three people is affected by athlete’s foot.

What you should do: Athlete’s foot does not go away on its own. But fortunately there are plenty of over-the-counter remedies for athlete’s foot that help. You should definitely not ignore the signs. Untreated athlete’s foot can lead to wound infections or spread to the nails. And nail fungus is pretty unpleasant!

3. Foul smelling stools due to lactose intolerance

Whose chair smells like flowers? But if yours makes the apartment smell so bad that you feel sick, you could be lactose intolerant. If the body doesn’t make enough of the enzyme lactase, it can’t digest lactose – a sugar found in dairy products. Instead of releasing lactose into the blood, the small intestine then sends the lactose directly into the large intestine. There it is fermented with strong gas formation and leads, among other things, to foul-smelling flatulence, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and nausea – and even depression.

What you should do: Don’t lose your nerve. Around 65 to 90 percent of the world’s population cannot digest lactose. Experts say that it is often enough to eat a low-lactose diet without causing major problems. Ask a medical professional how much is still tolerable for you personally. Otherwise: look through the ingredient lists of foods or pay attention to the alternatives that are now available with the label “lactose-free”. [Link auf https://www.menshealth.de/food/rezepte/ernaehrungsformen/laktosefrei]

4. Fishy smell of sweat due to metabolic disease

Sweat consists of 99 percent water and is therefore actually odorless. But if you suddenly start smelling fish during a hard workout, you could be suffering from TMAU syndrome. The metabolic disease trimethylaminuria is also called fishy smell syndrome. It occurs when the body produces too little of the enzyme flavin. Flavin is responsible for breaking down the gas trimethylamine odorlessly in the liver. The reason for the disorder can be a genetic defect or kidney and liver disease. The disease occurs more often in women – so take a close look at your loved one.

What you should do: There is currently no cure. The unpleasant odor that those affected also excrete through their breath and urine can be reduced by changing their diet. To do this, you should avoid foods containing the nutrient choline, advises the British health website NHS Choices. No-gos: eggs, legumes, meat and fish as well as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. Special antibiotic therapy can also help.

5. Bad breath is a symptom of sleep apnea syndrome

There are many causes of bad breath: sinus, throat or tonsillitis, problems with the stomach lining, and of course bad gums and tooth decay. In the case of sleep apnea syndrome, bad breath is indirectly caused by pauses in breathing during nighttime sleep. Those affected snore particularly loudly and irregularly, which leads to increased mouth breathing. This causes the mucous membranes to dry out. The bacteria that can then colonize are the reason for bad breath.

Another sign that you have sleep apnea syndrome is severe daytime sleepiness. Because stopping your breath causes you to wake up briefly to breathe, without you noticing it. The body cannot rest sufficiently at night, so you feel irritable and tired during the day, which can lead to microsleep.

What you should do: Be sure to seek medical attention. Undiagnosed sleep apnea syndrome can lead to high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

6. Strong smelling urine due to urinary tract infections

Similar to sweat, urine also consists almost entirely of water (95%) and usually does not have a strong smell (except asparagus season). If urine stinks, the reason is often an infection with E. coli bacteria. They settle in the urinary tract and multiply rapidly in the bladder. Because women are more often affected by bladder infections, men tend to ignore their own signs. According to the motto: What comes by itself, also comes by itself. But experts advise not to take this lightly. If men’s urine stinks, something is often blocking the urinary tract – E. coli bacteria are the smaller problem in this case. Kidney stones or an enlarged prostate could be the reason.

10 tricks to combat body odor

Who doesn’t know that moment when you notice that you smell and know that others are doing the same? So, what to do about body odor?

We can’t make you sterile either, but with these 10 tricks against body odor you’re well placed to keep the penetrating armpit sweat and all other odors at bay.

    1. have a shower Helps, of course, against body odor. Once a day, stand briefly in the wet room. Sweat is virtually odorless, but when it comes into contact with the bacteria that live on our bodies, the little beasts multiply rapidly. And then it starts to stink.
    2. Finish the shower with cold water. This not only gets your circulation going, which is good for your immune system. The cold water also causes the pores of the sweat glands to contract. This is how you find the right shower temperature.
    3. No time to shower? Worried about the water bill? Skin too dry? No problem, take a wet one Washcloth and clean the areas where you sweat particularly quickly, such as under the armpits or on the feet.
    4. Go there regularly Sauna: The change in temperature also trains the pores of the sweat glands.
    5. Dry yourself thoroughly. Especially where you sweat a lot. Without moisture, bacteria have a harder time multiplying and filling up everything.
    6. Shoot breathable shoes and clothing made of cotton. This means that the moisture is transported away to the outside. The sweat dries before the bacteria can break it down.
    7. Trim or shave yours Armpit hair. This reduces the total area where bacteria can spread.
    8. Pay attention to yours Weight: If you carry too many kilos, you sweat more quickly
    9. Pay attention to yours Nutrition: Coffee, alcohol and nicotine stimulate sweat production through their stimulating effects.

Why does body odor change?

There can be different reasons:

  1. Diet changes change body odor: We exhale what we eat. Today you go to a delicious Indian restaurant, tomorrow you (and others) can still smell the variety of spices from yesterday. This also applies if we start a special diet: If you suddenly switch from high carb to low carb, your body odor will probably change too. By the way: Our individual nutrition plans will help you make a healthy, long-term change in diet and achieve your nutritional goals.
  2. Diseases affect body odor: Metabolic diseases or other illnesses can affect body odor.
  3. Hormonal changes have an impact on our exhalations: This change particularly affects young people during puberty (including women during menopause). Because then a certain type of sweat glands changes in the body: the so-called apocrine sweat glands. They are responsible for our sexual ‘original scent’. They decide whether a partner finds us attractive, i.e. can “smell us good,” or not.

What causes body odor anyway?

Due to our natural body functions in combination with inadequate hygiene:

  • Sweat is the main source of body odor: But it is immensely important because it is how we regulate our body temperature and remove toxins.
  • Bacteria and sweat are not a good combination: Although it is 99 percent water and 0.5 percent salt, it is the remaining 0.5 percent in sweat that makes life difficult. These contain urea, amino acids, lactic acid, protein, fat and sugar, which in turn are broken down by the millions of bacteria on our skin, which is the cause of body odor. The better the conditions (moisture) for the bacteria to multiply, the more smell.
  • Personal hygiene is the basis against body odor: If you only shower every few weeks, you shouldn’t be surprised if body odor becomes overwhelming.

Body odor can be avoided. If not, it is due to poor hygiene or an illness. In this respect, the following applies: Stay alert to your body odors!


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