Whether you’ve just completed a workout or ate garlic shrimp pasta, chances are, at one time or another, you’ve been the stinky person in the room. In most cases, a simple shower, swipe of deodorant, or some toothpaste could fix the stink. But in other cases, it may not be so simple.
That’s because your body odor can be a health status indicator. In fact, some diseases can actually produce a unique, distinguished odor, according to a recent Swedish study.
So which funky fumes should you take note of? Here are some common body odors that might signal a more serious problem that only a doctor can help you fix.
Can’t seem to fight funky feet? A fungal infection may be to blame. If you notice dry, scaly skin around your toes, redness, and blisters, you may have athlete’s foot, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
A complication of diabetes is Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), which occurs when your body runs low on insulin with high on blood sugar levels. Our body can’t create the energy it needs to function properly, so it begins to break down fatty acids for fuel. This creates a buildup of acidic chemicals called ketones in your blood. One of the main acids—acetone can leave a fruity smell on your breath. You might not notice it until someone else mentions it, but doctors can smell it on you as soon as you walk into a room.
When your small intestine doesn’t produce enough of an enzyme called lactase, it can’t digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can produce pungent, almost chemical-smelling urine. This happens after bacteria, most commonly E. coli, enters your urinary tract and urethra. Then, it multiplies in your bladder, causing an infection.
If your morning breath is consistently ripe—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.
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