9 Weird Body Odors That Might Indicate You’re Sick

By The Captain February 26, 2020


Body odor is the perceived, off-putting smell caused by the bacteria in our bodies that break down sweats into acids. Body odor is a fact of life but in some cases, it can be a sign of a more serious condition than bad hygiene.

Read on to find out what your body odor, from head to toe, might tell you about your health!


Gross body odor

If you’re doing everything right in terms of personal hygiene but still can’t get rid of the smell produced by your armpits, you could be suffering from magnesium deficiency. This mineral facilitates the “cleaning” of our internal organs and odor control.

This type of odor is especially emitted when we consume too much caffeine, sugar and processed foods and our bodies are depleted of magnesium. If foul body odor is accompanied by symptoms such as muscle cramping, tingling or numbness, you can verify your magnesium levels through a simple blood test.

More than that, if you want to find out what are the right foods to eat in order to avoid magnesium deficiency, check out this useful post!


More body odors

If you suffer from disorders of the digestive tract, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, your body might be lacking zinc. This mineral is necessary for many of the chemical reactions which are going on inside our bodies, such as the elimination of waste and toxins.

A digestive disorder prevents your body from absorbing the right amount of zinc and maintaining a steady and fresh state. In other words, too little zinc and you’re gonna stink. If you want to test the zinc levels in your body, a blood or urine sample should do it. In the meantime, discuss with your doctor about methods to manage the bad odor.


Rotten-egg breath

If your friends are constantly offering you gum or mint products, it might be a sign your breath is “not-so-fresh”. More than that, if you floss and brush your teeth by the book but still can’t get away from the wicked smell, a bacterial infection might be the underlying cause of your bad breath troubles.

One of the most common causes of the bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori that enter your body and live in your digestive tract. For some luckier individuals, the bacterium doesn’t generate any clear symptoms while to others, it can cause GERD, celiac disease, stomach ulcers, and even gastric cancer.

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Acetone breath

Rotten-apple breath is generally associated with unbalanced insulin-dependent diabetes. When the insulin levels in your body is low, your liver tries to compensate by creating chemical ketones.

If you suffer from diabetes and your breath smells of very fruity or strongly of acetone, this might be an indicator that there are high levels of ketones in your blood. As the ketones build up, they increase the acidity of the blood, which can be toxic.

Discuss with your doctors about efficient ways to keep your blood sugar levels under control.


A smelly nose

There are all sorts of horrible smells all around us, but did you know some of them could come from inside your very own nose? One of the reasons your nose might be smelly is because of the proximity and interconnection of our oral cavity to the sinuses and throat.

Nasal odors could indicate a wide range of health conditions such as postnasal drip, tonsil stones, tooth infections, sinus infections or nasal polyps.


Pungent ears

Did you know that ear wax can also become foul? It might sound gross but it’s part of our bodies and it should be tended accordingly. Therefore, if you have really off-putting and foul-spelling odor coming out of your ears, you’re probably suffering from some sort of infection that’s causing the strong smell.

Other reasons for your pungent ears could be ingrown hairs or a sebaceous cyst; the infection causes pus or fluid to build up and when that bursts, it releases a terrible smell. If you notice any signs of ear infections and bad smells, call your doctor for a medical visit and treatment.


Reeking feet

Sometimes it’s the shoes, other times, your feet are the only culprit for the constant foul odor. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, if your feet and excessively sweating and consequently smelling, regardless if it’s summer or winter, you could be facing a rare condition called hyperhidrosis.

Some people experience such intense sweating episodes that their feet are sliding inside their shoes. If your feet are constantly sweating and reeking and you feel soggy and sloppy all the time, you should seriously consider finding a podiatrist to help you get rid of these symptoms.


Bad morning breath

If your oral hygiene is on point and you never forget to brush and floss but still wake up with sewer breath, you could have undiagnosed sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder that is quite common in the United States.

Another symptom of sleep apnea is sleeping with your mouth open due to nasal congestion. This leads to your mouth getting very dry and emitting a bad breath. Therefore, if you snore like a chainsaw and your mouth smells like a sewer in the morning, talk to your medical care provider about doing a sleep study.

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The smell of rotting fish

Trimethylaminuria is just another fancy word for “fish odor syndrome.” This rare genetic condition occurs when an enzyme in the body, namely the FMO3, no longer breaks down trimethylamine, a chemical found in foods such as milk, eggs, beans, and organ meats.

This chemical compound is characterized by a sharp, sulfurous smell, similar to that of rotting fish or eggs. Unfortunately, it cannot be treated by antibiotics or nor does it have any other medical cure, but it can be minimized by avoiding foods that contain trimethylamine.

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Wellness Captain