What are common causes of a change in body odor?
A change in body odor isn't always as serious as you might think. It can be the result of something as simple as an improper bath or the body's reaction to emotional or hormonal changes. A person's diet can affect the way they smell. Disturbed body odor can also be caused by a medical condition or the medications used to treat it.
Anyone who notices a change in body odor can first consider some of the possibilities that are easier to correct. This includes changes in habits, such as cleaning a person's clothes or personal hygiene. A change in detergent or deodorant may not work well and may lead a person to believe that body odor is what has changed. It is also possible that a person is simply not bathing properly. These problems can often be resolved simply by changing the products a person uses or their personal care techniques.
Many people are unaware that a person's emotional or psychological state can cause a change in body odor. Sweating is a normal human activity, and body odor is usually caused when bacteria break down that sweat. There is research to suggest that when people are overly emotional, under pressure or stressed, they may sweat more and the resulting odor may become stronger than it would be under normal conditions. Hormonal changes are another potential cause of a change in a person's smell. A woman might notice this during menopause, when her estrogen levels drop, or a man might smell different during puberty, when his testosterone levels rise.
It is believed that a person's diet has the ability to change personal odor for better or worse. One type of food in particular that has negative effects on body odor is red meat. Processed foods that are high in sugars, oils and preservatives are also suspected to be the culprits. On the other hand, it is believed that increasing consumption of vegetables and herbs can help to positively alter a person's natural aroma.
There is also the possibility that a change in body odor is an indication of a medical condition. It can be a minor problem, such as a buildup of toxins, that a person can resolve by starting a detox program. Examples of other conditions that can affect an individual's personal odor and that may require medical attention are vaginal infections, gastrointestinal disorders, and diabetes.
When the odor change is caused by a medical condition, it usually goes away when the problem is diagnosed and the person starts treatment. It is important to note that treating a condition can be the cause of an odor problem. Some medications have been found to change body odor. For example, there is evidence to suggest that cholesterol medications can have this effect.