Everyone has body odor of some sort. Try as you might to get rid of it, between your sweat and oil glands, you likely have a scent, subtle though it may be. Chances are, you don't even regularly notice it, because you're more than used to the way your body smells after being so up close and personal with it day in and day out, but if your body odor changes (or if you forgo a shower one too many times), you might notice it more. There are some things your body is trying to tell you when you have body odor, however, that might be worth paying attention to.
Your body odor, like so many other things about your body, can send you subtle (or sometimes obvious) hints and clues about what might be going on within. In some cases, you might already know that you have a particular condition or are experiencing a particular issue, but didn't know that it could have an effect on the way that you smell (or that it would be so pronounced). But in other cases, knowing what a particular scent might mean can also give you some clarity about what might be going on with you. Your body odor might be more revealing than you thought, you just need to know what sorts of things it might be telling you.
1The Stage Of Your Menstrual Cycle
Interestingly enough, the scent of your body can give you some information about where you are in your menstrual cycle. In an interview with LiveScience, Jan Havlieek, from the department of anthropology at Charles University in Prague and study author, said that researchers found that men rated women's scents most appealing from the beginning of menstruation right on through ovulation. Scents varied at different points in the cycle.
When you're stressed, you might sweat more than you otherwise would. And it might get a little funkier than it normally would as well. In an interview with Allure, Dr. Niket Sonpal, MD, an adjunct assistant professor of clinical medicine at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, said that when you're stressed, the scent that your smellier sweat gives off might stick around longer too.
3You're Dealing With Diabetes
If you notice that your sweat smells a bit sweet, that could potentially be a sign of diabetes, The List noted. Making an appointment with your doctor to make sure that everything is OK or that your diabetes is treated appropriately is a good idea.
4You Ate Something Specific
Sometimes, certain foods can affect the way that you might smell. Health reported that foods like garlic, onions, asparagus, and more can all potentially impact the odor your body gives off. If you notice that you smell a bit differently one day, taking a look at your recent diet might give you a clue as to why.
5You Might Have A Dermatological Condition
Though you might not think that it would have much of an effect on the way that you smell, if you have certain skin conditions, you may notice a change in the way your body smells. In an interview with Well + Good, Chris Callewaert, known on the internet as Dr. Armpit, said that some of these conditions can cause the bacteria on your skin to overgrow, which then can cause the scent to get worse. If you start to smell particularly bad, but can't pinpoint the cause, talking your doctor might not be a terrible idea.
6You've Recently Taken Penicillin
If you've recently needed to take penicillin for an infection of some sort, that too could be the reason that your body odor has changed. In an interview with Reader's Digest, Dr. James Wantuck, MD, said that penicillin might cause worsening body odor. But since you only take penicillin for a finite amount of time, it'll hopefully get better.
7You Might Have Something Off With Your Liver Or Kidneys
If your body odor smells a bit like bleach, that could be reason to make an appointment with your doctor sooner rather than later. The aforementioned article from The List noted that the scent of bleach could indicate a liver or kidney issue, which you'd want to get examined further.
Body odors can mean a whole host of different things, so yours doesn't necessarily mean that there's anything wrong, but if you're embarrassed by particularly bad body odor or have a certain sort of scent, it might be worth making an appointment to get things checked out.