body odor

Flickr/ Aqua Mechanical

Did you know, your body odor says a lot about your health? In light of this, we’ve noted some of the more common smells alongside what they typically mean. After all, knowledge is power, so once you know there’s an issue, you can get yourself to the doctors to nip any problems in the bud.

Foot Odor

Smelly feet are the worst. Period. This is especially true if you’re asked to kick off your shoes before entering someone’s home. It’s surprising there aren’t more people suffering from this affliction when you consider each foot has as many as 250,000 sweat glands! When this neutral sweat combines with bacteria on our feet, a nasty pong can arise!

Bacteria’s more likely to grow when we wear socks and shoes. For this reason, we suggest wearing sandals and flip flops as much as possible. It’s also wise to avoid wearing the same shoes each day and to change into a fresh pair of socks each morning. However, if the smell of your feet is particularly bad, you could have a fungal infection.

Can you relate? If so, head to the doctors to rectify the problem.

Fishy Odor

If you’re consistently smelling of fish, there’s a good chance you have trimethylaminuria. This is an unfortunate genetic condition that causes people to exude an odor similar to gone-off fish. This disease is somewhat rare, and various mental health issues usually accompany it.

This condition makes it hard for the sufferer to break down trimethylamine (TMA), which is found in foods like:

  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Saltwater fish
  • Organ meats

So, when too much of this TMA builds up, you release fishy smells via your sweat, urine, and breath. However, there’s a cure. The smell can be treated with acidic soaps and creams to neutralize the stank. Typically, this affliction presents itself at the point of birth. However, occasionally this condition arises due to a dormant gene activating- this usually happens while taking drugs to cure another ailment.

Stinky Urine

As you probably already know, healthy urine doesn’t have a scent, or if it does, it’s just a slight hint of ammonia. However, if you notice the smell of your wee becomes pungent, there’s a good chance you’re dehydrated. So, drink lots of water, and you should see the stink clear away (relatively quickly).

However, if it smells very strongly of ammonia or sickly sweet,  it could be the result of a UTI. In addition to the change in smell, you’ll probably also feel a slight pain while urinating.

The longer you leave a urine infection, the worst the pain gets, and if left untreated long enough it can become a serious medical issue. So, book an appointment with your doctor straight away. They’ll need you to provide a urine sample; then they’ll prescribe an antibiotic if it shows you need them.

You should also note, if your urine starts smelling a tad fruity, it could be a sign you’ve developed diabetes. As such you need a nurse or doctor to conduct a blood test to get a formal diagnosis.

Unpleasant Smells “Down There”

For women, a small amount of discharge ‘down below’ is fine. However, when it starts smelling bad, you need to get to the doctor. There’s all manner of reasons why this might occur. For example, a yeast infection, an STI, and bacterial issues can all trigger unpleasant smells in this region. And yes, you’ll need to go to the doctors to get appropriate treatment.

If after a doctor’s seen you and there’s nothing ‘medically’ wrong with you, it could be your diet, personal hygiene, hormones, or clothes triggering the smells. Whatever you do, don’t douche because you’ll upset the delicate balance of healthy bacteria which will just make the stink worse! Instead, wear underpants made of 100% cotton and drink plenty of water.