I need help. For about the past 5 years, I have had a body odor problem. It isn't a fishy or a sweaty smell. In fact, when I went to my doctor and asked what it smelled like, she couldn't give me a description, but said there was an odor. My clothes are washed the night before I wear them, and I shower daily and bathe nightly. I use the clinical strength deoderants and freshen up using wipes and reapplying deoderant daily. I sometimes even change my clothes in the middle of the day. I often switch deoderant because I have heard that someone can become "immune" to them.
It isn't a constant odor, and it can vary in strength from not being there at all to being overwhelming. There are times that I can go months without anyone saying anything and then suddenly I'm being called into a supervisor's office at work for an embarrassing discussion.
I do have Hyperparathyroidism and wondered if this could be a cause.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
Body odor is seen in poor hygiene (ruled out in your case) or medical conditions like thyroid disorder, carcinoid syndrome and taking drugs like antidepressant. Increased sweating due to any cause can also cause unpleasant body odour because microorganism in your body can break sweat into aromatic fatty acids which smell bad. All causes of hyperhydrosis like hyperthyroidism, diabetes, carcinoid syndromes infections etc should be eliminated.
Vinegar like smell in sweat is due to an acid called propionic acid. Since this acid is chemically similar to acetic acid in vinegar, the sweat smells of vinegar. This happens due to excess amino acids in sweat (which are breakdown products of protein), seen common with a high protein diet. Also if the diet is rich in cheese, then a bacteria of staphylococcus type acts on the sweat and causes this smell of vinegar. Hence to avoid this smell you would need to carefully look at your diet and lower the protein and cheese content in it.
Please consult your PCP for primary
I've now been told that it is a "sour" smell. It isn't present when I first come in to work, but rather builds throughout the day to where it's "overwhelming." I've been told it could be my cats - I have 3, "marking" things in my house. I'm also in the process of making an appointment with an endocrinologist to see about the elevated PTH and Calcium levels.
The embarrassing thing about this is that people tend to think that it's due to uncleanliness or poor hygiene. It's NOT. My main thought now is diet: an overeating of processed, fried, high fat foods. I do not drink alcohol often or in excess, but I do consume a lot of "fast" or "processed" foods. Perhaps changing to a diet higher in fruits and vegetables and cutting back on the red meat will help.
My next step is to begin using the gym showers at my job on my lunch break, which will mean not eating lunch because I only get a 30 minute break. And reapplying deodorant and changing clothes to see if that helps. I cannot afford to lose my job, not in these times.
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