No matter how much you shower, when you’re stuck by yourself in a truck for days or weeks at a time, you become very familiar with your own body odor.
But have you ever noticed that you smell different from time to time? There’s a reason for that!
Changes in body odor can actually give you important information about changes in your health. A sudden shift in the way you smell could even indicate a serious problem like kidney failure — or it could just mean that you’ve chowed down on too much broccoli. Read on to find out what a change in body odor might mean for you.
Crazy Things That Can Mess With Your Body Odor
- Being super stressed makes you stink. The sweat that your body produces when you exercise smells completely different from the sweat that’s created when you’re scared or stressed out. That’s because totally different glands — the apocrine glands — make this sweat. This “stress sweat” is full of chemical compounds that bacteria go crazy for, which creates that not so nice smell.
- One of the earliest signs of diabetes can be fruity smelling breath. While fruity breath might not be the most alarming change in your body odor, it can actually be one of the symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis. If you notice an unexpected fruity change in your breath, especially if it is combined with increased thirst, fatigue, abdominal pain, or confusion, seek medical advice as soon as possible.
- Kidney problems can give your breath and body odor a urine-like scent. When the kidneys are having trouble processing waste, it can cause your body and especially your breath to smell like, well, pee. If you notice this kind of symptom, seek immediate medical help.
- You eat your veggies. Not to discourage you from getting your five servings of vegetables in every day, but if you notice a change in your body odor, that trip to the salad bar might be to blame. Onions and garlic are famous for creating funky body odor, but the sulfur found in other veggies like broccoli and cabbage can also cause an unpleasant shift in body odor. (To combat this without giving up your favorite vegetables, many people swear by a couple of drops of food-grade peppermint oil on the lounge).
- You’re really constipated. So not only can constipation contribute to flatulence, but if you’re really backed up, those toxins from your waste will actually start to seep through your skin, causing a condition known as “fecal body odor.”