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body odor from alcoholism
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body odor from alcoholism

My husband is an alcoholic and has a very strong unpleasant body odor that consumes the room and his clothing.  Is the cause of this odor from the alcohol and a symptom of something going wrong in his body?  He refuses to admit he is an alcoholic and refuses to get a complete physical
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999891_tn?1407279676
Most alcoholics dont practice good personal hygiene,
I dont know if this oder is due to that or if he has some other health problems that are causing it. He will need to see a Doctor to get the answer to that question.
You need to get some support for yourself. I would suggest you go to an Al anon support group.    
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1475202_tn?1388955435
Hi Ginny,
Welcome to Medhelp. I dont think the smell would indicate that something is wrong other than he is drinking way to much. I am concerned for his heath. How long has he been an alcoholic and how old is he? Also how much does he consume on a daily basis? When was the last time he had a physical and were his bilirubin, ast/alt all in normal range on the blood lab sheet?

Randy
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Avatar_n_tn
He is 70, and when I think back, he has probably been an alcoholic for most of our marriage - 44 years.  He goes out at night without me so I do not know how much he drinks, but the times I am with him, I don't keep track, but he gets pretty drunk.  A physical?  He refuses to have one, so I do not know any blood labs.  I have been told by a doctor that the alcohol is metabolizing into something that smells like formaldahyde. He bathes every day.
I appreciates everyone's input
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1475202_tn?1388955435
Ginny here is what I found on the subject. I dont know what this might mean to your husband but I say it is imperative that he gets into a doctor. I dont know what formaldahyde smells like or if this is even what you are smelling. Sorry I couldn't be more help, here is the acrticle I found:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aspartameNM/message/1138
Alcohol Hangover (formaldehyde from methanol impurity), Robert M Swift, Dena
Davidson 1998: Murray 2004.11.17

"One specific congener implicated in hangover effects is methanol, which
is an alcohol compound found in alcoholic beverages along with ethanol.
The two compounds differ slightly in chemical structure in that methanol
contains one less carbon atom and two fewer hydrogen atoms than ethanol.
The same enzymes that metabolize ethanol, alcohol dehydrogenase, and
aldehyde dehydrogenase also metabolize methanol; however, the products
of methanol metabolism (i.e., formaldehyde and formic acid) are extremely
toxic and in high concentrations may cause blindness and death.

Support for methanol's contribution to hangovers comes from several sources.
For example, distilled spirits that are more frequently associated with the
development of a hangover, such as brandies and whiskeys, contain the
highest concentrations of methanol. Moreover, in an experimental study
with four subjects who consumed red wine containing 100 milligrams per
liter (mg/L) of methanol, Jones (1987) found that elevated blood levels of
methanol persisted for several hours after ethanol was metabolized, which
corresponded to the time course of hangover symptoms. Methanol lingers
after ethanol levels drop, because ethanol competitively inhibits methanol
metabolism.

The fact that ethanol readministration fends off hangover effects may be
further evidence of methanol's contribution to the hangover condition, given
ethanol's ability to block methanol metabolism and thereby slow the
production of formaldehyde and formic acid.

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Avatar_m_tn
I've never heard of such.  But I am no medical expert. I know that if someone has persistent bad breath that it can be indicative of liver disease, and as you know can be a result from alcohol abuse.  But I've never known anyone that had persistent body odor from alcohol use.  That is to say as long as they kept up with their daily hygiene. Most definitely they will have an alcohol odor which can permeate through the skin pores but not what you are describing...and I've known a lot of alcoholics.
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1475202_tn?1388955435
There may be other health concerns involved being that he is 70. Yet another reason to get to a doctor ASAP.
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Avatar_m_tn
My alcolholic sister recently died from a stroke.  Over the past 2 years she had put on a lot of weight and would constantly smell like recent and heavily used nail polish remover despite wearing perfume.

I was told by the funeral director that her liver looked like end stage cirrhosis and that he didn't know how she was functioning like that.  I think this smell was related to the liver being unable to process the alcohol.  Is this what you are smelling?
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Avatar_m_tn
the strong order is coming through his pores.  He is 33 years old and tells me he has been drinking many years.  This is my grandson.  I don't have to hear him come in the house, because I smell him when he enters.  Is there a dedorant that can help somewhat?  He lives with me so I know he baths everyday.
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1554665_tn?1294358552
My step father used to have the same thing growing up.

He drank cheap whisky all day long, even while at work, and even more after work, and he constantly stank.  Even when he would take showers, he would still stink.

He eventually sobered up after his 4th DWI accident, when they took his drivers license for 2 years and made him attend court ordered AA or face 6 months jail time - I think he was around 44 or so at the time.

Amazingly, shortly after he stopped drinking, his terrible body odor went away.

Sadly, he died from lung cancer not long afterwards, just before he turned 45.

But yeah, drinking alcohol all the time can definitely give some people nasty BO.
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Avatar_f_tn
The acetone like sour smell that alcoholics often have comes from the liver being overwhelmed from the amount of alcohol consumed. in an effort to rid the body of the alcohol, it gets pushed out of the pores. its not the same smell as body odor and regular hygiene doesnt get rid of it because the body will continue pushing it out. the only way to get rid of it is to stop consuming alcohol. as far as I know, its not indicative of any help problems
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Avatar_f_tn
A good friend of mine is an alcoholic and for the past year she's had a very different odor. We get into arguments every time I tell her but I am worried that this is a sign that her liver and kidneys aren't working properly. The smell resembles a stale kitchen cabinet or herbal medicine (if that makes sense). Has anyone ever heard or experienced something like this?
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes marta,the liver and kidney functioning are VER much affected by alcoholism.Your friend doesn't want to hear what you are telling her!And it appears that the more you try to talk to her,the more she will block you out!Very familiar defense mechanism with active alcoholics!
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Avatar_n_tn
My boyfriend of 10 years drinks almost every night. He is a very clean person and showers before bed every night. After he has been asleep for an hour or two he starts to give off an odor that I can only describe as similar to overwhelming garlic breath. It seems to be coming from his pores and smells the same regardless of what he has eaten or what he has been drinking. It is overpowering and wakes me from a sound sleep, the entire room smells. I have tried discussing it with him and asked him to talk to the doctor about it. He refuses to admit that the alcohol is an issue...not surprising. On the few nights he does not drink, there is no smell so I know it's the alcohol. Any ideas? I've heard a lot about chemical smells but can't find anything like this...
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the same problem with my husband. I am trying to figure out what it is. I drives me INSANE as I have a very very sensitive nose. I have to sleep on the couch when he's been drinking heavily and at times I can't even be in the same apartment. The smell sometimes smells like salomi and sometimes like spicy baby powder...I know, that's odd, but it triggers my gag reflex and it's all I can do to contain it. I confronted him but he cannot smell it. And I know he has a good sense of smell. He, too, will not admit he drinks too much, but it is quite obvious he does. The only thing I can recommend is spraying everything down with air freshener, opening al the doors and window and blasting air! Once I do this, it helps. But the scent travels with him and I can smell it approx. 40 feet away. It is very upsetting. :(
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