There’s a high chance that you’ve been the one with the stench in the room, either because you just completed a gruelling exercise or you ate suya and raw onions.
Most of the time, all you need to do is to shower, put some deodorant on and line of minty-fresh toothpaste could remedy the situation. It is however not that simple in some cases.
Your body odour can actually give an indication of what is happening with your health. As a matter of fact, some diseases actually produce unique and distinguished odours.
Here are 5 common body odours that may be an indication of a serious health problem and what you should do if you have them.
Bad Breath : Sleep apnea
If your morning breath is almost always smelling foul even if you brush your teeth regularly, you could be dealing with undiagnosed sleep apnea – a disorder that causes your breathing to sporadically stop and start while you sleep.
Sleep apnea can cause excessive snoring, causing you to breathe through your mouth throughout the night. This can make your mouth very dry, which is a common cause of bad breath. This makes it easy for bacteria to breed more readily and when certain kinds multiply, they produce sulphur gas that can give your breath a rotten egg smell.
It is important your sleep apnea gets diagnosed quickly, as it has been linked with diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The sooner it gets treated the more it can spare you off its long-term health effects.
Once you’re diagnosed, your sleep doctor can recommend a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP), a mask that rests over your nose and mouth which helps keep your airways open while you sleep.
Fruity Breath : Diabetes
A complication of diabetes known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can cause fruity breath and this occurs when your body runs low on insulin and your blood sugar spikes. It is more common in people with type 1 diabetes than those with type 2 diabetes.
It occurs when the body is unable to create the energy it needs to function properly and then breaks down fatty acids for fuel. This creates a build up of acidic chemicals called ketones in your blood. Acetone is one of such acids and it can leave a fruity smell on your breath.
The effects of DKA can be serious and it can make you vomit and urinate frequently, causing your body to lose fluids at a dangerous rate. It is accompanied with other symptoms of diabetes, such as fatigue, blurred vision, and unexplained weight loss.
A doctor will test your blood for ketones, work on replacing lost fluids and getting your sugar levels back to normal with insulin treatment.
Stinky Feet: Athlete’s Foot
If you continually have a funky smell coming from your sneakers, a fungal infection may be responsible. If you notice dry, scaly skin around your toes, redness, and blisters, then you may have athlete’s foot.
A combination of bacteria and fungus may also cause your feet to emit a foul odour which may become complicated and result in cellulitis (a bacterial infection of your skin’s soft tissue), if left untreated.
An antifungal spray should do the magic but if the problem persists, get your doctor to get a closer look and prescribe a more targeted treatment. Also protect yourself from picking it up again by wearing shoes as fungi tend to thrive in moist environments. Use talcum powder to keep your feet dry if they tend to get sweaty.
Smelly Poop : Lactose Intolerance
If your small intestine fails to produce enough of an enzyme called lactase, it can’t digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products. This will make your small intestine direct lactose to your colon—instead of your bloodstream—where your gut bacteria ferment it. This can cause loose, foul-smelling stool, bloating, and smelly gas.
As much as 65 percent of people have trouble digesting dairy and show symptoms such as painful stomach cramping, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, as well as smelly farts and poop (which can vary from person to person).
If your gas or poop smells pungent, especially after you consume some milk, have a doctor check you out. They could recommend a Lactaid pill, which contains the lactase enzyme and allows you to digest dairy within 45 minutes.
Strong smelling Urine: Urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can produce pungent urine. This usually happens after bacteria, most commonly E. coli, enters your urinary tract and urethra and then proceeds to multiply in your bladder, causing an infection.
UTIs are more frequent in women than men because their urethra is shorter which is why men often ignore their smelly pee, since they think they’re not at risk of one.
Men get infections if something is not allowing their bladder to drain and UTI could be signaling a bigger problem, such as kidney stones, diabetes, or an enlarged prostate gland, that may require surgery to treat. If you notice your pee smells funky, check in with your doctor, who will test your urine to see what’s wrong.