Body Odor-An Unpleasant Encounter

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Biology 103
2002 Second Paper
On Serendip

Body Odor-An Unpleasant Encounter

Melissa Brown

"What is that smell?" you ask.
"It is absolutely disgusting," you reply to yourself as you continue walking along. Then you realize that this smell just keeps on following you, from classroom to lunchroom to dorm room, even in the courtyard. Then it hits you that garbage has not been following you everywhere but you are the cause of that disgusting smell; you have body odor. What is this phenomenon of body odor? According to John Riddle, Body odor is the term used for any unpleasant smell associated with the body(1).

Most of us are concerned about how we look especially, how we smell so body odor which can be a potentially fatal blow to a person's social life is not a welcome addition to one's ingredients for success. It is this human fear of being excluded that led to the invention of the term, body odor. In the 1910s and 1920s, advertisers highlighted people's discontent with the things around them and with themselves in order to encourage them to buy their products. A group of advertising men used the term B.O. to mean body odor in a women's deodorant advertisement for their product, Odo-Ro-No. It played upon women's sentiments that beauty was important to achieving their main goal in life: a husband.

Listerine, which today has mundane advertisements with bottles of Listerine and a voice talking about the results of laboratory research that show Listerine's ability to combat gingivitis, cavities and so on, also used this approach. Listerine had an advertisement that showed "pathetic Edna" who was approaching her "tragic" thirtieth birthday and was always "a bridesmaid and never a bride" apparently because she suffered from Halitosis or bad breath (of course it could not have been personality problems that was hindering Edna's romantic progress!). As a result of this ad, Listerine's sales went from $100,000 a year in 1921 to more than $4 million in 1927. Body odor is a major concern for most people and even those who do not suffer from it are concerned about preventing body odor because of its negative social consequences.(2)

People are very sensitive about how they smell. Humans do not appreciate the power of a bad smell as much as skunks appreciate theirs. The striped skunk which is known in the scientific community as Mephitis mephitis accurately shoots a narrow stream of yellow fluid, butyl mercaptan, up to 10 feet at a threat. If the fluid hits the eyes of the threat it may cause temporary blindness. Even if the skunks misses, which is rare, the musk will cause nausea, gagging and general discomfort. (Perhaps next time you are at a party and you receive some unwelcome attention, you should raise those armpits or let out a breath of air to your unsuspecting predator.) Most people however, try to do quite the opposite and purchase expensive perfumes to mask odors and create a sensual smell that will attract the opposite sex. They spend a lot of money buying perfumes like Object of Desire by Bvlgari and they do not realize that the fluid that skunks emit is commercially used as a base for perfumes because of its clinging nature.(3) This makes me wonder whether if it is only by having a bad smell that we can get a good smell.

So what exactly causes us to have that bad smell? Most of the causes are related to lifestyle choices. If you use drugs, toxins or herbs such as alcohol and cigarette smoking, you body will smell. Also if you eat certain foods such as garlic and raw onions you will have an unpleasant breath. You can also develop body odor by simply sweating excessively or practicing poor hygiene. A couple other causes of body odor include: tooth or oral conditions such as periodontal disease and gingivitis. Also, there can be inborn errors of metabolism for example, aminoaciduria. Most of these problems are a result of a decision that the sufferer had made about how he chooses to lead his life. If he chooses to be a chain smoker he will smell like a cigarette. If he chooses not to shower or wash his clothes then he will have a pungent smell. If he chooses not to practice proper dental hygiene then he will have Halitosis. However, if he sweats excessively because he has a fear of social situations then his cause of body odor cannot be as easily rectified. In addition, people who suffer from aminoaciduria also cannot easily change their lifestyle to rectify their body odor because aminoaciduria results from an enzyme deficiency. We should not judge or marginalize people because of their smell because the cause of it may go beyond poor hygiene.(1)

Almost everyone has received a compliment about the perfume that he or she is wearing. This shows that people react to scents and that a pleasant scent encourages a favorable perception of that person. New research has shown that some individuals are highly sensitive to smelling a component of body odor which is called androstenone. Furthermore, if the person can easily smell androstenone then he will decide whether or not he likes the person based on the smell. What is androstenone? It is a human pheromone which is a chemical attractant that is in body secretions like perspiration. Men release large quantities of androstenone while women omit small amounts. So men are more likely to be judged by their smell than women. According to the study, fifty percent of people cannot smell androstenone at all and one half of them can only catch a whiff and enjoy the scent. Those who can smell androstenone, on the other hand, do not like the smell and compare it to urine or perspiration. The study went on to show that there was a correlation between the ability to smell androstenone and the androstenone-smeller's judgment of the person. In other words, if someone can smell androstenone on someone else and finds the smell unpleasant then he will dislike the person.(4)

Clearly, there is a lot at risk if one has body odor since man is a gregarious animal then body odor can make him unable to maintain or even start relationships. We have realized this so there are number of ways to eliminate body odor. One of the most rudimentary ways to get rid of body odor is to wash with both soap and water especially in the groin area and armpits which are more likely to smell. The best soap to use is a deodorant soap which impedes the return of bacteria. Showering, as well as, washing your clothing regularly will help to prevent body odor. In addition, we should wear natural fabrics like cotton which absorb perspiration better than synthetic materials like polyester. Athletic apparel makers like Nike and Adidas are adopting this idea in their clothing design by creating materials that cause the sweat to evaporate faster.

You should also use commercial deodorants which mask underarm odor or use antiperspirants which reduce the amount of perspiration. If these fail then you should turn to France, the land of fine perfumes and "Le Crystal Nature" which is a chunk of mineral salts that helps to keep bacteria under control without irritating the skin. A more serious approach to fighting body odor is Drionic which is an electronic device that plugs up overactive sweat ducts and keeps them plugged for up to six weeks.(5) There are many ways to avoid having body odor. The easiest way to find out what is available to you is to take a stroll in your local Eckerd, CVS or Riteaid.

Body Odor is a major concern for human beings. It is one concern that affects men and women to almost the same extent. We are concerned about our smell because people judge how we take care of ourselves by our smells and use this information to decide whether we are worthy of friendship because of it. We need to pay attention to how we smell not only because of social interactions but because odors from our body may alert us to a medical problem like a urinary tract infection or periodontal disease. It must be noted however that much of the hype about body odor comes from marketing consultants who need to sell their companies' product and play on our insecurity. Try to avoid being caught up in this web of commercialism while at the same time taking good care of your body.

 

References

1) Body Odor. It gives basic information about Body Odor.

2) It provides information on the less renowned tidbits of history.

3) It provides information about the striped skunk.

4) It provides information that otherwise would not get a lot of attention.

5) It provides online information about problems that affect teenagers

 

 

Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, post a comment below)

01/22/2006, from a Reader on the Web

I have been searching for an answer about this one person I work with. He smells intensely of a vinegar like substance, but honestly I would have to say he smells like pickles. half the people I work with say the same thing. It is so intense that I get a headache and a stomache and he is unbearable to be near. I cannot find anything on the internet that would explain this, and I do not have the guts to ask the poor guy, because honestly I cannot even be near him. Any speculation on this matter????? Thank you

 

Additional comments made prior to 2007

Western culture need to avoid of escalation of hatred and wilingness to take advantages over other using somebody's personal issue as their body/breath odor! Where every house or apartment, everyone has access to bath, shower. Where there is no hygiene issues! This attitude can be fueled by nuslim nations. So one should think about this ... Reader on the web, 1 April 2006

 

 

I have the same problem with one of my employees who is from Nepal. I think it could be the spicy food they have, another employee addresses the matter to me since I'm the manager but it is a very delicate matter and I feel sick if I stay 3 foot close to this person. Besides this is a high end retail store and also had customers commenting on the way this person smells. I'm going to have to let her go but wonder if there is anything this person can do to get rid of that horrible odor ... Yolanda, 26 April 2006

 

 

i have just noticed a body odor of vinegar. I saw reference to another person about same problem. This just started in the last few days and I am trying to find a reason. Any suggestions? Supplements? thanks ... Tom, 15 July 2006

 

 

I see alot of people with posted requests for body odor issues. Mr. Chan has won the Geneva award for his invention in the medical category for a product that cures body dor. A press release was issued and maybe some of your readers would benefit from it.

Here it is below:

Dr. Mist winner of several awards including the Geneva Award for itsí invention in the medical category is currently marketed as a deodorant is also used as a multi-function hygiene product. As a deodorant, there is absolutely no staining, no aluminum, alcohol, oils or fragrances and it flushes out toxins. Customers are moving away from sticks and gels which stain their clothes and lasts part of the day. Dr. mist will last for days, even if bathing is not possible (ie: patients in hospitals, campers, etc)

Dr. mist is a new invention based on floatation technology that works like an anti-perspirant, but still allows the pores to breathe. As recently featured on the news, it is also very effective athlete's foot, soothes mosquito and insect bites, accelerates healing in wounds, clears up acne and pimples with visible results in 24 hours and soothes skin irritation ... Claudette, 13 September 2006

 



I had bad breath and body odor since I was born. Spent more than 20 years and thousand of dollars trying to find what was missing in my system until I saw Dr. Brenda Watson describing what happens when there is not enough intestinal flora in the body. What happens? Vitamins along with impurities go straight to the blood causing the odor. So that is what was missing in my system.

I started taking probiotics (the higher the number the best) and multi enzymes and that was the beginning of my cure. Now I added Culturelle Lactobacilus Gg and no more body odor and bad breath.

Please, tell other people so they do not go through what I went through ... Mindy, 31 October 2006

 

 

My daughter is told she smells like pickles......we can't figure out what is causing this.....it's not perfume, soap, shampoo or anything else she's putting on externally.....I read your body odor article and the question posed by one of your readers is the same as mine.....why does my daughter smell like pickles??? What can be done about it?? ... Lupe Rodriguez, 7 December 2006

 

 

Re: an earlier post

Either he's wearing something that smells of what you described or it could be some form of disease ex. cancer. could be other forms but if you are that concerned. Does he have a desk? write an anonymous letter? it could be a medical problem and you do need to get your views across, because it could save his life ... Jennifer, 3 February 2007

 

 

I have recently noticed a slight wiff of vinegar odor from my body. I asked a friend if he noticed it and he said "no". I shower daily and am clean. Any ideas what may cause this? ... Phil, 16 July 2007

 

 

Hello there. I have been experiencing an odor for a while now but I still don't know where it is coming from. It occurs mainly when I am around my friends and it doesn't smell when I'm at home or at my doctor. Other people say that they smell it also. Please advise me what to do if you guys ever came across such an experience before. Thanks in advance ... Saf, 2 October 2007

Comments

BLESSED's picture

THINKING I WAS ALONE TIL I CAME ON HERE I RELATE TO MOST STORIES

IM SO GLAD TO HAVE FOUND THIS SITE TONITE BECAUSE THIS HORRIBLE SITUATION OF BO HAS REALLY BEEN AN EMBARRASMENT THROUGHOUT MOST OF MY CHILDHOOD AND ADULTLIFE AND I JUST FELT SO ALONE TIL 2NITE THIS HAS REALLY PUT ME IN A BETTER PLACE I HAVE BEEN THROUGH SO MUCH THIS HAS BEEN NOTHING BUT A PAIN AND STRUGGLE HAS CAUSED ME TO QUIT JOBS AND SCHOOL BECAUSE OF THE EMBARRASMENT AND JUST ME WANTING TO SHUTOUT EVERYTHING AND MAKES IT EVEN HARDER TO HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE BUT NOW I HAVE GOTTEN A LITTLE BETTER BECAUSE I HAVE 3 KIDS WHICH I LOVE DEARLY AND I HAVE TO MAKE A FUTURE FOR THEM AND I KNOW ANOTHER THING THAT LONG AS BREATH IS IN MY BODY WHETHER IT HAS AN ODOR OR WHATEVER GOD HAS A PURPOSE FOR ME TO CONTINUE LIVING

Serendip Visitor's picture

Thank you so much for that

Thank you so much for that impowerment!!!!!! Your story sound like mine except for me standing and syain Move out My Way CauseIm Not going Nowhere. I know God love me and im Highly favored please email me i just want to talk to a person that know what i went through. Notice went through. I love ur strenght plz contact me

Get Rid Of Body Odor's picture

Getting Rid Of BO

I know how bo is, i used to have it and it's pretty horrible. Once thing that helped me what to eat healthier foods, that alone probably decresed it 30-40%.

mimi moore's picture

hiii=)

i have this problem where i have lots a flatuence and i cant smell it but others can...i isolate myself from friends and being in an relationship because this condition gets to me...i have went to different doctors some say its my diet or because im stressed...iv tried changing my diet nothing has changed..i feel very frustrated with this condition because no one understands what im going through...but it never makes me wanna die...at first i was afraid to go back to skool but im actually starting tomorrow and im excited!!!! im gonna try my best not to let this condition get in the way of enjoying my life anymore

Serendip Visitor's picture

hey you're just like me. I'm

hey you're just like me. I'm a male by the way. I'm starting school soon too. And I hate that I smell. I wish you have a wonderful life. Stay strong.

Serendip Visitor's picture

im giving help

hmm anyone with body odor can put any amount of agua oxenada (the fluid you put to your wounds and it bubbles) to a pail with water and use it for bathing..:))

Shonise's picture

My awful reality

I’m 18, and I’ve had this ‘problem’ since I was 11. It just came out of nowhere – it was sudden, it was strong, it was offensive. I have seen various counsellors since the age of 13 because of it. It is deeply upsetting. I’ve even been contemplating suicide since I was 14 because of it (attempted at 15). From what I’ve heard, the smell varies from flatulence, to faeces, to rotting fish and even strong BO. I have tried absolutely everything I can to mask the smell. I even go through a deodorant in 1-2 weeks just trying to mask the smell emitting under my arm pits. It’s been a traumatising experience. At 15, I developed severe social anxiety, right up to the point where people think I’m a joke now. I even get called retarded from time to time. And I’m at the point where I actually believe it. And what makes it worse, is that my family absolutely refuse to believe it’s ‘real’ – they insist that there is no smell, and that it is all in my ‘head’. Despite this, however, I’ve heard snippets of them breaking this belief. This one time, when I was in the car (around 12 or so), my dad sniffed heavily and directly said to me: ‘Phoar, you smell like a fish market!’. It’s so ironic that only a few months later, he denies the entire thing as ever occurring. Sometimes, I really hate my family for being such cowards. I feel so worthless. Last night, I went clubbing for the first time with my friends – we got to the club, and these two men I walked passed sniggered and one yelled sarcastically: ‘Something smells nice – is that you?’ whilst the other one went: ‘Oi – go home and brush ya teeth’. Me, being use to this kind of treatment, sort of just ignored them, right up to the point where they walked past me and went: ‘You need to see a doctor man, there’s something WRONG with you – something really wrong with you’. I’m never going nightclubbing again – I’ve never wanted to kill myself so badly.

Elma Sirkesi's picture

Who wants it?

Actualy you said "I’ve never wanted to kill myself so badly." And this is realy awful reality. Have you ever thinking about to see a psychatr?

LOOKING FOR ANSWERS's picture

Shonise that guy was a jerk.

Shonise that guy was a jerk. As someone said, get tested for TMAU at the doctor. I feel awful for you. I've lived with anxiety and B.O for a while now so I complete understand. Stay strong and best wishes. You have a great future ahead of you so just hang in there even when its tough.

LOOKING FOR ANSWERS

LOOKING FOR ANSWERS's picture

Bad B.O.

Keep your head up. I know it is hard, as I am going through something similar. I even left college and went to school online. I wish I could give you an answer to why we are having this problem. As a matter of fact, I went to Family Dollar today and this lady behind me just kept rubbing her nose and then she started sniffing her shower gel because I smeeled so awful. It's an awful reality when close family and friends don't believe you. I've been suffering with this since I was about 13 and now I'm 22, so I understand what you are going through. Just be strong and if I find something that works, I'll post it for you and everyone to see.

Serendip Visitor's picture

i feel you ppl

i am expieriencing the same problem. i dnt even know if i can trust again. through this continuing curse on my life, i have learned alot about people. self-centered and insecure are those who persecute us. it has also resulted in me becoming a cold person. the rejection i was paid for something beyond my control got me rich in focus. i promise today that i will utilise this life to the full and not give a damn about what another nose says about me. be strong

Serendip Visitor 2010's picture

Suffering too

Wow, I can't believe other people are suffering like this, a situation a couple years ago triggered the sense that I might smell. My family and friends, even friends of friends say I don't smell but I always sense something unpleasant. Like you guys, when I'm on my own outside I seem to notice someone being uncomfortable or hearing someone say something about my smell. I try to tell myself it's my paranoia that's causing me to "see" and "hear" these reactions and ignore anything to the contrary, but its happened so many times I don't know how to deal. My stress level is constantly high and all I want to do is get away. Unlike others who feel guilty for making others uncomfortable, I find myself hating others for being so cruel. I was watching a Trimethylaminuria documentary on Youtube and the fact that this little boy's Tmau will only get worse absolutely broke my heart. I wish there was something that could really stop this whether it's real or in my head, though I'd rather that I'm going crazy.

Connected's picture

Suffering too

It does get worse with age. Last week I thought I was going to die and might as well if I can't support myself and my son any longer. That's when I started reading on this sight and I saw that some people were having some success with activated charcoal tablets. I bought some a few days ago and I feel better on day two of trying these. I had four or five yesterday and have only had to use two today so far. Trying to just use them as needed as I take other medicines that I am concerned it will remove...the last thing I need is to be suffering like this and my anti-depressant stops working. So far this year I have lost 40 lbs. trying to get my body healthy so that I do not suffer from this; only for the odor to get stronger and stronger. At least I am 40 lbs. lighter and still smelly. I was cutting sugars, eating lots of vegetables and fruits and leafy greens. Now I realize that many of the things I was eating contained significant amounts of choline. I have tried everything and some days I just don't know what to eat anymore. Looks like I will be losing some more weight. I will continue to drink lemon juice through a straw and take the charcoal and see how it goes. I have never experienced anything quite like the smell I was emitting last week. I have got to get well enough to get back out there and work or I'm not sure what I will do. So tired of this isolation and all of the sickness that comes with this disease or whatever it is.

LOOKING FOR ANSWERS's picture

Just try to stay strong.

Just try to stay strong. Everyone on here understands what you are going through. Finding this forum has given me a small sense of hope to know that I am not alone. I intend to get over my problem by hell or highwater. I am going for a physical and I'm bringing all of these posts on here with me so if my doctor tells me any BS, I'm dipping in my bag for the hard evidence (mountains of printed information). Best wishes for you and your son.

Remember to stay strong and I will keep...

LOOKING FOR ANSWERS

lonely one's picture

please help, BO

Its comforting knowing that im not alone. I have had this problem since 12 years old. Started with puberty. As you all know it has been a living hell. Its no wonder why they call us paraniod or crazy. I am 38 yrs old. I dont know how I survived so long with this humility. I recently started a job where I sit in a room with 30 people. Its been 3weeks and the coments have been so unbearable now I want to walk out and kill myself but I have 3 kids to support. Im sure they will find a reason to let me go. How can I go home and tell my family I got fired because I smell. All I think about is suicide but that is not the answer. I dont understand why there is no medical research to solve this problem. WHY WHY WHY!!! Theres got to be a solution. PLEASE WILL SOMEBODY FIND A CURE.

Connected's picture

please help, BO

I quit my job last July for the same reason. My boss said I smelled like poop and he was making gestures to other managers (like holding his nose when he was standing behind me) and things like that. The economy had just started crashing and I had already taken a job for half the pay of what I am used to. I just couldn't keep going in there every day. I have seen gynecologists, gastrointestinal and all kinds of doctors and tests but still no relief or cure. I changed my diet and lost 40 lbs but nothing made any difference in the smell. I take a multitude of vitamins and probiotics, many mentioned on this site but still struggle terribly every day. I have taken 2 good paying jobs since and lasted a week at one and then only 3 days at the next. The smell was so overpowering that one girl asked to be moved to another area. I have a five year old and because I quit those 2 jobs I lost my unemployment. I don't know how to support myself like this when I used to make good money and now cannot work in the office. I admire you for hanging in there. I just don't seem to be able to go to work like that every single day without relief. It is so painful. I feel isolated and depressed and I am not sure what the future holds for me and my son. We're going to be living in a cardboard box soon. How do people go on like this every day?

LOOKING FOR ANSWERS's picture

Hnag in there and if push

Hnag in there and if push comes to shove, see if you can find a job online doing telecommunications or something. We know it can be hard, but just do the best you can. Don't let them overpower because you have no control over it. When you walk by them just look straight in the direction that you are going and keep your head held as high as you can. You want to provide a home for your son and be the best mom that you can, which I'm sure that you are. Your strength lies in him and in the rest of us that understand and sympathizes heavily with you.

Best wishes and I'll keep....

LOOKING FOR ANSWERS

Serendip Visitor's picture

I suffer 2 from b.o

i'm a 42 yr old women now that has suffered with this since i was 20 frs old i don't know what happened to me having the choice to have my children, or what but it is so isolating and unfair to us but what i found that works is take a shower with oil of olay body wash purple@white bottle and mix a little of comet powder as a cleaser and lightly scrub your body to remove dirt @ TOXINS OFF OUR SKIN IT SEEMS TO HELP I ALSO TAKE ZINC VITIAMS DAILY MAKE SURE U EAT WITH IT,AND CULTURELLE @ MAKE SURE TO SWITCH YOUR DEODERANT TO SECRET SOLID UNSENTED AND LOTION WITH A LIGHT PURFUME LOTION AND YOU SHOULD NOTICE A DIFFERANCE.PLEASE EMAIL ME BACK @ TELL ME IF YOU NOTICE A CHANGE.DON'T EAT FOODS THAT SMELL BECAUSE IT WILL BE LIKE YOU ARE WERING THE FOOD.@ LIMIT THE MEAT YOU EAT TO 2DAYS A WEEK. AND YOU SHOULD BEGAN TO FEEL MORE COMFIDEIT. DOCTORS ARE CLUELESS TO WHAT TO DO @ DON'T CARE THAT YOU SMELL.PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH OTHERS ON HERE

Serendip Visitor's picture

BO Comment-

I totally hear you. I have the same problem and people make fun of me at work, if they see me coming, they go down another hall, they will actually see me coming and turn around and go the other way. People are very cruel, somedays, I don't even want to go to work, because I know what waits for me. I come to work and I try to stay in my cubicle for most of the day. If I need to go to the bathroom or run an errand, I try to make sure noone else is in the hallway and if they are, I try to wait until they past, because this situation is so embarrasing, it hurts my feelings and it makes me want to go into a corner and die. People just don't understand how hurtful their actions and can be and sometimes I don't think they care. Thanks for sharing.

Serendip Visitor's picture

i'm in the exact same situation

i'm in the exact same situation but i'm not gonna feel bad or guilty anymore about something that isnt my fault , fuck everybody else , i dont give a shit what they think or say

tomorrow i'm gonna get tested for TMAU (god i hope i have that ) , and people you dont have to smell like fish to have TMAU/TMAU2 (fecal smell is the most common)

GET TESTED PEOPLE !!! IT COULD BE YOUR ANSWER !!!

LOOKING FOR ANSWERS's picture

Did you get tested for TMAU

Did you get tested for TMAU and if you did, what were your results?

Serendip Visitor's picture

I just watched an episode of

I just watched an episode of Mystery Diagnosis on The Learning Channel and I am not sure if you have the same exact disease, but if so, this smell can be very dependent on your diet. I would reccomend watching this show.

Hope this helps. It's unfortunate that adults can act so much like immature children.

Hope this helps!

Crystal Wade's picture

ODOR

flax seed oil is good to ingest for depression but of course we still have to deal with the real issue which is the odor; Im 25 have had sweat spells come from nowhere and bad breath since puberty; visited many doctors (family practice,ENT,Dentist,psychologist,etc); only one I havent tried is an endocrinologist; changed my diet which helped a little and people have suggested to me to get screened for vitamin deficiencies; you wouldnt believe how much stress can deplete your body's supply; Ive heard MAGNESIUM and ZINC deficiencies are two common ones that can cause a nasty B.O. I would imagine people should be screened prior to self diagnosis, but to be honest,I've never met a doctor that could tell me what was wrong,and only one in my lifetime confessed that he absolutely did not know; Had one tell me in a nutshell that I was crazy because he couldnt smell me;I had a lot more respect for an "im sorry I dont know" as opposed to others that didnt want to admit they had no idea; eat healthy take care of your body which im sure you do; rule out the obvious and venture to the extreme; dont let one doctor give you a ruling on your life without a second opinion; Im still looking for that one magical fix...and dont let people shame you so much to the point you want to die; Ive been there but I had to realize that it's a medical condition; Yet we all want to be accepted, I understand that too; but if you know and love who you are, it is truely more important than you smell; Arent you glad our place in heaven is not determined by the way we smell?do realize that alot of times those people truly dont like themselves and theyre a%&$holes for judging you; some people just arent tactful or sensitive to the possibilities of why you have an odor; I have actually cursed people out in public due to comments; but some people will leave you alone if you pull them to the side or snap in public; for me, its an eye for an eye-Embarrass me, I'll embarrass you; my attitude is everybody has problems and no one's any better than the next; And if i have to go to the extreme because someone is trying their best to humiliate me due to their ignorrance then shame on them and Im ready! :-) You take care of yourself, pray, and keep your head up! You and everyone!

CRYSTAL WADE's picture

HOPEFULLY THE ANSWER

LOOKING FOR ANSWERS and anyone else: try drinking alkaline water...You can purchase tablets or water at any health food store..I've been taking it for week, and people that have complained aloud of my odor have whispered that I smelled a lot better lately...I bought something called CONCENTRACE, which are alkaline drops.FYI, alkaline water will help various odors, as it rid me of musty armpits and lessened my overall offensive BO...Please let me knw if it helps you...S W E E T L A D Y 2 2 2 2 A T H O T M A I L D O T C O M

Smelly feet problem's picture

Feet smell of ammonia

It's a really embarrassing problem that's hugely difficult to get rid of. Sometimes, at the end of a day, my shoes are like a paddling pool and the odour is repellant, including a smell of ammonia.

Mike Roberts's picture

You should try to scrape your

You should try to scrape your feet with the Ped Egg and use a fungal scrub for your feet. Also do a yeast and fungal cleanse.

anonymous's picture

I'm going insane..

Hi,

I have the same problem for about 5 years now, i went from doctor to psychiatry (because the doctor thought it could only be unreal and therefore a mental problem) to dermatologist who tested me for TMAU, tested negative, but found something in my urine wich was tested but not resolved, lost about three jobs due to not coming in because i coudn't take the humiliation, friends (real good friends) an family saying ther's nothing wrong, but sometimes i just see the reactions, an d at work it's far worse because of stress and what it additionally does to your body.

I even mentioned candida to the doctor and dermatologist, they simply won't take that serious, because mostly hiv patients and people who are under a lot of medication could get that, not a person like me, so hey said.

because the doctor said it was mental i went by it and tried to accept it, but after a month or 6, i got a new job, and the symptoms worsened and came back again, although i personally think it never really was away.

i read a note from the doctor once diagnosing me with ocd, because the BO was getting me obsessive, totally false diagnose and everytime i go to a hospital or something the same OCD siagnose is put on the letter that the doctor gives to you for your hospital visit (don't know the exact name, i'm not english)

Now i am officially sick (depressed, totally burned out) and on welfare, no GF, 33 years old, ups and downs, mostly downs though.

Tried suplements, chlorella, magnesium, lots of water etc. for months, at first i thought it helped, but now i just eat and drink what i want because ij ust can't seem to get a straight answer on my problem, it isn't taken seriously or the doctors simply don't know, like i guess most of you heared before.

Never really was a religious person, although through al the sadness i believe in pure Evil by now, still not sure of a God, because he seems to be absent most of my and my familys life.

i'm going for the zinc now, because i haven't tried that before, but i guess it won't help like all other so caled reliefs.

I would want to say to keep your heads up, but have difficulty doing it myself, i just hope someone finds a cure for this.

BLESSED's picture

Iknow how that can be cuz I

Iknow how that can be cuz I can remember when I was younger trying to address the issue and my family made it like it was in my head but as time go by you keep getting the whispers and funny stares and 1year for christmas imagine in front of the class getting some bubble bath and bathbeads as a joke as if you dont bathe HUMILIATED!!!!!!!!!!!!! After that I really couldnt even stand going to school and dropped out soon after but fotunately I recently went back to get my GED and attempted college but dropped out and started online but that didnt work for me and I really want to start back but dont want to go through the embarrasment so
anyone dealing with this and needs to talk feel free because we need each other support because until now I hadnt even face the issue or express what Im going through with anyone since dat time before and noone in family even says anything but my mom died but I believe she knew it was still a struggle for me but just never mentioned it again email me

Serendip Visitor's picture

I feel the same way i deal

I feel the same way i deal with bad body odors that make me exclude myself from people i feel that i cant go to school or be around people because of my promblem i need an answer and a doctor now because this cant stop me not at all.

Uni's picture

Body Odor

Bentonite & Psyllium, salt water enema, yogurt enema, vitamin C enema, apple cedar enema, they all did no good.

I suspected Crohn's, candida, ulcerative colitis, toxin overload, etc.

My regimen - Drinking turmeric with milk or water for antioxidants, hydrogen peroxide enema for bowel cleanse, and tons of oral probiotic capsules for flora balance.
Avoid alcohol, sugar, and keep low on carb.
And yeah, drinking coconut oil (edible) helps removing many bad stuffs.. Fast and drink coconut oil and see results immediately.

I was the stinky guy, garbage guy, fish guy, metallic odor guy, etc.. Sugar and carbohydrates were my enemy..

After a week of my regimen, I am missing the odor. No odor even if I dont bath for 2 days :).

So it's turmeric, H2O2 enema (food grade dilated to 0.5% at least), and lots of probiotics capsules..

It was never in my head.. It really was in my gut.. Ruined my career.. But am ready to rock again!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Happy for you :)

Hi Uni. I'm really happy for you. I'm gonna try this out and see if I get any results. I just smell musty....no fish, fecal, or metallic odor. I bathe every single day, at least twice, and I've just started taking probiotics recently. I hope everything is still going great for you :) I'll tell you if I have any results. Btw, can you recommend how the enema thing goes....do I need like an enema bag or something. I want to try this.....but I'm kind of scared. Some advice would be appreciated.

Message me at a i l e e n 8 @ l i v e. c o m

Best wishes,
Looking for Answers

Serendip Visitor's picture

Does it still work?

Is this still working for you? How long did it take and how many enemas did you do per week? I need some serious help and you seem to have sorted out this issues. Please help me.

Teen

Serendip Visitor's picture

hello

have you ever tried crystal deodorant stone? it costs about $6-7 on the amazon.com
I have the same problem too. I am going to try this crystal deodorant now. It kills odor causing bacteria and eliminate body odor.
best wishes

Serendip Visitor's picture

i would recommend that

i would recommend that EVERYONE that has body odor problems non related to hygiene get tested for TMAU ( trimethylaminuria )

this test could have the answers to your problems

Serendip Visitor's picture

TMAU

Ive been to many doctors with no solution because they didnt smell and or didnt take me seriously; Before I gained a little insight that my odor stemmed from my diet, I constantly smelled like feces, brocoli,collards,rotten eggs and occasionally fish...This odor was all over and also on my breath! I wanted to die because people were so mean~ So about 3 years ago I went on my on health venture and tried a GLUTEN FREE DIET; It improved my odor somewhat, but at times I STILL SMELLED ABSOUTELY HORRIBLE; And then I realized that a lot of the GLUTEN FREE foods I personally was eating still contained soy lecithin and/or choline; One of my favorites, ENSURE drinks, and so I would reek...also the odor was worse when I ate seafood; During the process I lost 30 pounds but the BO and bad breath remained...So anyway, I went back to my regular diet gained back 20 lbs but still determined to find a doc who listens to me and takes me seriously...everyone here, I agree with the earlier statement of a visitor: EVERYONE that has body odor problems non related to hygiene get tested for TMAU ( trimethylaminuria ) check out this website: http://meboresearch.com/trimethylaminuria.html From my reading, I understand there's no cure but there is relief in control. The site has a list of facilities that will test you upon request of your doctor... and here's another for the TMAU diet that I found helpful...http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/Choline/Choline.html EMAIL ME GOD BLESS

Serendip Visitor's picture

ur email didnt show up. email

ur email didnt show up. email me at SHENELLPILL AT YAHOO DOT COM.anyone is more thn welcome to join we can even form a supportive group :) im now trying 400mg magnesium 4xs daily 30mg zinc 4xs daily and kombucha tea 2xs daily. im giving it a 3 days test. i hope it works. i willpost the result.

Serendip Visitor's picture

WOW! I just read a biology

WOW! I just read a biology book and found out the cause of body odor is choline. To much causes toxicity and will cause you to have body odor. I am in the process of eliminating choline from my diet and I will see how it goes. Wish me luck. Also I have tried DEVROM which will control odor from incontinence but what are the side effects? I stop taking it because I did not want to get any other conditions.

Smelly feet's picture

Foot odour smells of ammonia

I have a real problem as my foot odour smells strongly of wee! Yuk, help!

Serendip Visitor's picture

That is killing me!!!

I don't
really know what i have and it's hard to diagnosis yourself.
More I read more I think that I have IBS..my smell is more like gas, but
sometimes I just can't sense that..but when I leave my room for about
10minutes..and when I come back..there is always a smell.

I'm student and during the week I live in student
home. I don't have any problems with grades or anything. I am also a
good computer programmer with kind a good salary for a student. But I
just dont feel good you know..
I have roomate..I asked him for about 100 times, but he always deny that
he could smell anything! But I just know that is true..

It started about half an year ago (as I'm aware, maybe before).. before
that I was very sociable with a lot of friends. Well, I have friends now
too, but I just don't feel confortable when I'm with them...so they
slowly but reliable stop calling me for coffe, beer... You know what I
mean. I just think that they always smelling me..but they all deny that
(those are friends?).

I can tell you my story.. I like electronic music just as my friends
do..so we we're going to parties almost every weeked (they still
do)..and you know what comes with parties..drugs of course. That is not
something that I'm proud about, but that's just the way it is. Ok, I was
abusing exctasy and speed regulary at the weekends (and sometimes
cocaine, lets say once a month).
When I first time noticed that smell I just think drugs are the cause of
that farting all the time. It's more than 2 months that I didn't take
anything..and I still farting just every day, all day long.. well not
just farting, I feel strange things in my guts (so I believe its IBS?)..
but when I read symptoms.. I don't have diarrhea or constipation
predominant.. But all the other symptoms are the same.. So I'm really
confused now.
I need to go that away..sometimes I just want to fell asleep and never
wake up again.. sometimes I'm so depressed that I have very strange
thougths..but I just can't do it because of my mom..I love her too much,
that would killed her.

BUT I JUST WANT TO BE NORMAL AGAIN!

Pls look at this!!'s picture

Pls look at this !!

Hi, my former username is Godbless, you'll find it in this page, however the reason why I'm using a different account is because I've realized a different reason for the "odour". You see,in my previous acct, I've said that the cause of the odour is because of leaky gut or bad bacteria, same as many of the users here, however I've came to realise that actually the most likely cause of the "odour" is a mental illness, called SCHIZOPHRENIA, or SCHIZOPHRENIA like syptoms, I've came to realize the graveness of this illness, because this illness causes one self to misthink that they have an odour emitting from them, which is not true, its a mental illness whereby patients perceive and hear other people commenting about their odour, its really a serious HALLUCINATION, I because I have this illness and I'm now undergoeing treatment, with a very good medication, risperdal. Let me first tell you my story, it first started when I was 16 yrs old. On Nov, my sister commented that I have odour emitting from my hair, after which they say that my hand stinks when I go to church. On christmas eve, I attend the mass and most of the ppl looked at me and cover their nose and one even kicked me, things got for the worse when my family say that I stink like shampoo even though I bathe twice a day!! I didn't dare go back to school, I bought three deodarants and I sprayed it hard whenever I went out, my sis say that my mouth stinks and I should spray deodarant in my mouth. When I'm in the bus, most of the ppl cover their nose and comment all kinds of nasty stuff such as sick, disgusting, horrible stuff, stinks like shit,and my classmates would cover their nose and avoid me cos of my "odour". SCHIZOPHRENIA could be an on and off illness, and one fine day when I told my parents abt my odour and I should see a doctor,(that's when i decided to stop school) they looked at me as if I've gone nuts and after my persistence in asking them to bring me to a doctor, they say that I'm in great need of a phsychiatrist, pls if your parents did asked you to see a physchiatrist, and your not sure, pls consider for it. At first, when the physchiatrist told me I have no smell, I don't believe him, of course eventually I did after much persuasion and forced medication. Now, I'm well and back to school and there's no more ppl saying that I have an odour, and just a note, this illness have REALLY REALLY SERIOUS HALLUCINATIONS AND DELUSIONS!! !! PLS IF YOUR PARENTS ASKED YOU TO SEE A PHYSCHIATRIST PLS CONSIDER FOR IT COS THEY WON'T GIVE YOU MEDICATIONS IF YOU ARE FINE!! ! ! BY THE WAY, THIS ILLNESS MAY CAUSE YOU TO SMELL CERTAIN NASTY STUFF--OFLACTORY WHEREBY THE BRAIN IS UNDERGOING CERTAIN CHANGES AND TO MAKE UP FOR THE CHANGES THE BRAIN PERCEIVES CERTAIN SMELL--THIS SMELLS LIKE DEAD FISH, .. PLS CONSULT A PHYSCHIATRIST IF YOUR NOT SURE OF WHAT TO DO!! HOPE YOU WILL BE FINE!! GODBLESS, WITH GOD THERE'S NOTHING TO BE AFRAID PS GOD IS REAL AND ALWAYS WITH US!! YOU'LL SEE GOD IN HEAVEN!!

Anonymous's picture

SCHIZOPHRENIA

I've considered that this could be a psychological problem early on,a insane man doesn't question his sanity, he questions others. I know this problem runs in my family. My grandmother,father and brother all had the same problem and have had comments by others about it. Every time I meet or talk to a stranger or co-worker they often cough or chain smoke when they are around me, my doctor even told me he could smell it, but after many test concluded that it was probably my diet.

charlie's picture

I totally agree, I think

I totally agree, I think there's more of a visceral, psychological basis behind ppl's fear of unpleasant body odors. A friend of mine had a mild case of gingivitis, and despite her being very attractive, guys would run away from her like she was a leper. After she had the inflammation taken care of and teeth whitening done, she found a b/f almost a month after. I think there's something hard wired in our DNA that hits the alarm button when we smell something unpleasant to us.

john9's picture

wow , just wow , you my

wow , just wow , you my friend need some medication for shear stupidity , so all of us suffer from schizophrenia ? yes , let's all take antipsychotic medication , it's not like the severe anxiety side effects will make things even worse ,not to mention how much the long term side effects of such medication will fuck up your brain

i for one found many comments on this forum very helpfull , i self diagnosed myself with secondary TMAU and i'll continue researching

john9's picture

let's compare notes

i read a lot of posts here that have many things in common with my story , this is my post: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1752#comment-119103

and also a lot of people say they posted their email but at every user it says (not verified)

this is my email :

if your story has something in common with mine please contact me , i would like to talk to as many people as possible , together we can find a solution

Anonymous's picture

I can be myself..can you? get

I can be myself..can you? get a life..;)

DONEGAL RAT``'s picture

tell me do you smell????

tell me do you smell????

Larry Dean's picture

Cigarette Body Smell - Really Bad but now Cured!

I worked in a recording studio where the desk receptionist was a heavy smoker. She was in her mid-twenties and really was an attractive girl except for this terrible tobacco odor that was like a fence around her.

Someone must have had the courage to have a serious but understanding talk with her about it. She found a solution in going to a doctor who gave her a shot that caused nausea if she as much as did one drag on a cigarette. The bonus to this (she later said) was that it killed her urge to drink since the smoking and drinking went together for her.
The improvement in her health is amazing. Her skin doesn't look pasty and her teeth seem whiter now too. All over she says she is so happy that someone asked her if she knew the odor that she gave off in the office. She didn't have a clue of the tobacco stench she was broadcasting.
This is really one story that had a sensational ending. She's even turned into a runner! There is always hope and help so don't ever give up trying.

vuksy's picture

i really dont know what to do

i really dont know what to do anymore , if someone could help me it would mean everything to me

i started to have a bad body odor when i was 13 , until then i had no problems at all , now i'm 22 and this condition made my life a living hell ,i really dont know what future i can have like this, i have no friends , had to drop out of med school cause people cant bear to stay near me

i'm a very clean person , i shower at least once a day , my clothes are always clean , my house couldn't be cleaner , the problem is that i cant really feel the bad smell that bothers everyone

it started in the 7th grade when my bench mate moved away from me , and then all the other classmates that were around me moved away ,people couldn't stay near me and were covering their noses when they walked past me, then i started to shower every day , use the best soaps , it didnt seem to help , i figured it was a temporary thing , cause i just entered puberty , then 8th grade was even harder , people started calling me names.
Then came high school , nothing changed , new classmates but they were all looking at me like i had no personal hygiene , when in fact i was probably cleaner the all of them

I told my mother i was feeling sick so she took me to the doctor but all the blood work came back ok .
Then i told my mother about the smell , i was all crying about it and she thought i had a nervous breakdown , she said that she doesnt smell anything so she took me to a psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist laughed at me and gave me antidepressants (paxil)(i'm from Romania so you can imagine what great doctors we have here), after this i really didnt want to talk to anybody about my problem, i started to skip school , almost didnt finish high-school cause of all my absences , even though i had very good grades.

I stoped going out and being around other people , for 2 year i didn't leave the house.That's when i started to try to eat healthier (stoped eating pork,beef and junk foods)I always had a good health , was never overweight so that wasnt a problem.

Since i cant feel this smell i was hopeing my problem would be over with puberty so when i was 19 i went to med school with high hopes , i soon realized nothing changed , the problems came when i had to go to lab classes and people couldnt stay near me . I was determined to do something about this so i went to the best dermatologist in the country , this was very hard for me to talk about ,but non the less i got the courage to try to explain my situation, he laughed at me like it was a joke, then he looked at me like i was crazy , i told him that maybe i had a problem with my bowls and maybe he could recommend me another doctor , he said no and gave me a disinfectant solution to wash with.

I didnt see a way i could go back to classes like this so i dropped out and moved back home, now i'm 22 and i'm studying biology extramural , so i only go to the exams and study at home

I adopted a vegan diet 2 years ago but it still doesnt seem to help.I dont go out around people so i dont really know for sure whether i smell worse if i eat some foods or not , i have no one close that could tell me this

I try not to think about it (i'm not obsesed about it) but it's always a problem when i have to go to exams or in other situations when i have to be around people

I tried to find a solution on the net but i cant seem to find one .
A few years ago i emailed a few doctors i found on the web but no one replied

Anonymous's picture

Hi there... I can tell you

Hi there... I can tell you what I know and what I've experienced. You are not alone. I know my problem involves the production and overgrowth of yeast in my G.I. due to a malfunction of my amino acids. Want to compare notes? Write me and we can go from there.

john9's picture

i would really like to

i would really like to compare notes , my email is

maybe together we can find a solution

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