Avatar universal

Aniexty and body odor

With my aniexty I get severe body odor.  I can live with the aniexty and panic, but for 9 years I also suffer with body odor which seem to come with the aniexty.  It is totally ruining my life.  I don't sweat with the disorder but the stronger the aniexty the stronger the odor.  Does anyone else suffer from this.
53 Responses
193245 tn?1189989722
That's one I've never heard of.  Have other people mentioned it, or do you just notice it yourself?  Anxiety sufferers are way too in tune with their bodies, so unless others have said so that's a possibility, I guess.

Assuming you bathe daily and stuff, I don't know what to tell you except you should see some sort of doctor about it.  I don't know what kind.  A dermatologist?

Not sure.  Good luck, though.
Avatar universal
I really can't smell myself I only know I smell from all the comments people make loudly enough so I can hear.  I've been to many drs. who claim they don't smell any thing.  I am a member  of a body odor support group any many of them say the also suffer from aniexty,  because of the body odor.  So  I can't remember which came first the odor or the aniexty.  Ps I sometime take two bathes aday.
Avatar universal
I just had to post...I thought I was the only one with that problem.  It went on for me for about 6 months...I was freaking out.  But I started carrying deodorant with me wherever I went, and every time I got the feeling that I was about to start smellling, I would just run and put some more on.  Eventually it went away.  It still comes and goes sometimes, but that problem is totally mind over matter.  Bizarre!  Trust me...it works.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
Thanks 4 the replys, I know what you mean thinking ur the only one.
I figured it had to be something with the mind but I can't seem to stop it know matter what I do.
Avatar universal
I have a problem with a fecal odor even after bathing this smell is still present mostly in the rectal area. it all started a few yrs back but before I had no prevoius problems. My mom said that it is all in my head and I am sure believes it to be anxiety although I have heard people make comments indirectly about this and I know I am not imagining these comments, I bathe regularly and do not have poor hygiene this is ruining my life so I sympathize with you tremendously. I have read on this site having this problem unfortuantely the drs answers seem to all say the same stupid thing. so just no you are not alone. and good luck to you I pray you find a solution
Avatar universal
Around 7 years ago, I noticed occasional fecal smell from my body and especially from rectum. Later I started having more flatulence along with intermittent constipation. I always felt my stomach was bloated.  Many a days I used to foul smell mixed with the odor of the food I had the previous night. Over the next few months and years it grew up to be more often almost every day and this severely impacted my social and work life.  I avoided people and situations.   Even when I couldn’t feel the smell, people around used to rub their nose or sneeze.  I experience several embarrassing moments and comments from people.  My social anxiety grew even more because of this.  I was very conscious about myself all the time.  The anxiety in fact increased my flatulence and only worsened my situation and feeling. My social life and work life was disturbed extremely from this. I lost being competing in my career. Later I started getting SEVERE growling from my stomach which was embarrassing at work place.  Few years ago a doctor diagnosed as IBS and put me on a prescription medicine and suggested GasX and Metamucil .  That never worked. Last year another Gastroenterologist did some blood work and said all the flatulence and the smell was from Bacteria overgrowth and put me on Xifaxan 200 mg once a day for 2 weeks ($100 for 2 weeks without insurance coverage).  It worked in the sense it stopped the smell and the flatulence to almost 90% but I always had a bloated stomach.  The doc then suggested taking the medicine 2 weeks every 3 months. Whenever I stopped the medicine, all the symptoms would re-occur.  

After being pushed to the extreme, I was determined to find a solution to my problems.  From observing my own food and lifestyle, and my web research, I began to believe many of the symptoms were related to digestion and stool problems.  As part of working on a solution for my problems, I started taking Papaya every night after dinner and before going to bed.  It greatly helped with my stools and the smell.  But people around me were still reacting strongly by rubbing around their nose and sneezing.  It also increased frequency of my stools in the morning. Finding, cutting the papaya and the cost were the downsides of this process and couldn’t stay committed with it. Encouraged with the improvement from the Papaya diet, my belief that everything I was experiencing was related to diet, digestion, stools and lifestyle got stronger.  So I decided to go on a diet that would help me with proper digestion and stools.  Here is what I have been following for the past few weeks and have had extremely great success.  I feel like I am my life back again.  

1. Used to take a lot of alcohol.  Completely stopped the alcohol
2. Used to take a lot of non-vegetarian.  Reduced to a day or two per week.
3. Used to take a plenty of chips and other snacks.  Reduced drastically.
4. Used to eat almost out everyday from fast foods.  Reduced drastically.
5. Used to sleep less.  Increased my sleep time.
6. Used to eat filling my stomach excessively.  I reduced to half or ¾ of my stomach and fill the rest with water.
7. Used to drink a glass of black coffee sometimes with cream that increased the stomach growling. I completely stopped taking black coffee.
8. Used to have pizza frequently and in big quantities.  The next day I would feel like a nuclear reaction was happening inside of my stomach.  Would generate lot of gas and growling.  So reduced pizza and cheese to a great extent.
9. After waking up and the next thing after I brush my teeth I drink 1 liter of water.
10. Later drink a glass of milk and may be a banana
11. After that for the drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water throughout the day.
12. Used to go to bed shortly after having dinner.  Now I am giving a gap of at-least 3 hours before going to bed
13. Most importantly I drink a glass of Prune juice before going to bed every day. This was to replace the Papaya effect and the usage issues with the papaya.  Drinking the prune juice in the morning only increased my stomach growling and frequent loose stools.

These changes in my food and life style have eliminated all the symptoms I have been experiencing almost 100%. I don’t sense the smell and have been observing that people are not rubbing their nose or sneezing anymore. I do get the symptoms back when I violate my own code like eating more or something like that.
Its been a month and a half since started this and I am now getting back on my social and work life gradually. I can understand the feeling of other who experience similar problems and situations as mine.  I hope this will help at-least a few.
Avatar universal
My sister found this forum for me, becuase I have a son who has this  problem.  He smells of fectual matter when he's in an environment he's not used to.  He's 10 and this has been going on since he was 5.  He's getting to an age that kids are being pretty cruel.  I thought about putting him on anti anxeity matter, to see if that helps.  I like the comment about changing the diet from I wantmyownlife.  It that truly helped than I'm willing to try it.  It's a sweet kid, I just hate that he'll be remembered as the stinky kid in school.  Does anyone else have any suggestions for my son???
Avatar universal
I've done considerable lay research on this topic, so here's what I can offer.

First, you may have inherited naturally overactive apocrine sweat glands in your underarms. Apocrine secretions are odorless, but when naturally-present microbes feed off these secretions, they release a malodorous metabolic byproduct. What compounds the problem is your anxiety, which creates a feedback loop resulting in increased perspiration, higher localized skin temperature, greater smell, and on and on. The end result is the perfect storm for odor, as microbes love warm, humid areas, and you have conditioned yourself to be hypersensitive to peoples' negative evaluations.

First, consider getting a prescription antiperspirant. These are about 4 to 5 times stronger than the off-the-shelf type.

Second, start doing guided imagery/meditation/yoga *twice* daily, which will slowly retrain your sympathetic nervous system not to overreact to stressors. Doing this twice daily (20 minutes each) is important.

Third, you need in-vivo exposure therapy--basically, a therapist or friend who can help you face stressful environments without you freaking out. You have to work your way up a pyramid of fear-inducing settings, from minor to major. For a good read, check out Jerilyn Ross' book, "Triumph Over Fear."

Fourth, it's a good idea to avoid spicy, pungent foods, to exercise frequently, and to practice good hygiene.

My best guess as to why people sneeze and such around you, is that when you're highly anxious, your increased respiration essentially aerosolizes and intensifies the scents in your antiperspirant (even if "unscented"), thus basically surrounding you with an invisible cloud of allergens. The technical people at the Monell Center in Philadelphia about 10 years ago released a study indicating that we all have an invisible cloud, if you will, surrounding us, composed of microscopic skin particles, dust, fragrances, etc. Yours probably is stronger, and people react with the symptoms you describe. A respected, U of Penn. dermatologist told me about 10 years ago that some people's body chemistry sometimes reacts with antiperspirants such that it creates a very dilute hydrochloric acid--itself an allergic.

A last observation: When you mention your symptoms, people will read their own symptoms into it. You did not mention fecal odors. Other posters did. I have no information on the latter. But the key to your issue is to learn how to relax your hypervigilant mind and hyperaroused body, and perhaps find a cognitive-behavioral therapist who can work on your social discomfort.

213375 tn?1202403800
I too get the underarm odor with panic attacks.  I brought this up to my doctor, and he assured me that I am only smelling the adrenaline.  It's like when you work out and get your adrenaline pumping and sweat flowing you'll experience underarm odor, but when you sweat on hot days, with low activity, you barely have an odor.  It made so much sense to me, and I stopped worrying about it.  Hope this helps!

366811 tn?1217422672
As you can see, you are not alone. This falls into the category of "you'll have that," but the advice from Want to Regain seems good to me. Perhaps more than any other area of anxiety, the fragrance factor is one which is often solved with home and folk remedies. My favorite is parsley. Believe it or not, parsley is a key ingredient of some breath fresheners, so munch a bunch and see (or smell) what it does for you.

By the way, why not JOIN this group (instructions follow) and continue to report to us what you discover. Bad enough that we should have panic -worse that we should clear the room when we walk in. I think your experience will be very valuable to others.

Here's how to join: just click the Join Link -enter some profile information about yourself -even a picture if you care to- and anything you think would help us get to know you faster and better, and you can change this material whenever you like. You will also be accessible to receive private messages when other members click the name you've given yourself -sort of a "push to talk" feature. After you've done that, spend some time just using various features of the forum. For example, to see all the posts or responses that someone has made, just click their handle, go to their profile, click Posts, and read to your heart's content. You may also enter search terms -including member names- in the search box at the upper right of your screen and the system will retrun everything matching the term(s) you entered. This INCLUDES a drug database that will give you both user posts about drugs as well as the medical information about the drug. A great way to get quick answers about therapeutic effect, side effects, interactions, etc.

One of the profile categories is your mood, which you may change anytime you like.

Along the right side of your screen is a section of Recent Activity, which not only alerts you to new posts, but new ANYTHING, including journal entries and mood. This is a way to telegraph the community at large without actually creating a separate post. Thus, if you see a friend's mood has changed while you are working on a response or post, it can alert you to send them a private message to learn more or simply let them know you're thinking of them. Likewise, if you are going to be "out," you could enter something like "off line for the night" as your mood, and people would know you're away from the forum for awhile.

"My Medhelp" is where you'll find all the features you can deploy: messaging, lists of friends, photos, etc.

If you do this kind of exploring and experimenting right away, you'll be up-to-speed quickly. If you see the message you are reading now as part of a direct response I (or anyone) has made to one of your posts, it was probably copied and pasted from this journal. I hate form letters and auto-responses as much as anyone -but I also hate forgetting to tell people what they need to know, so this is my safety-net. Consider it as part of your "Welcome" kit. So -please join and try things out.

You might also want to read my entries for the "Right Click Trick" and "When in Haste, Use Copy 'n Paste" for some other convenient time-savers.

We're glad you are here!
Avatar universal
Anxiety totally ruined my life! When i hit my puberty, i could smell this offensive odor coming from my armpit... i tried many kinds of deodorants to cover it. Since i was constantly worried about whether other people could smell me and what would they think of me, i developed moderate anxiety disorder. However, all the family physicians and dermotologists that i went to told me that i don't have b.o. problem that they can't sense anything from me... which is driving me nuts! Though none of my friends have said anything to me, i could tell that ppl around me are suffering from my b.o. (they sniff and rub their noses and look disgusted). i dont know why the doctors can't detect anything... maybe they simply don't care cuz it's obviously not a life-threatening illness and doesn't deserve to be treated seriously?
After second year of unversity, the offensive odour from my armpit disappeared; however, the anxiety disorder persisted... i get nervous very easily and when i'm nervous my body produces some sort of fecal smell from my upper chest and back, this has never happened before... i have no idea what the cause is for that and how to cure it.
so b.o. caused anxiety, and after b.o. was gone, anxiety causes b.o. seems like i'm going to live with these two problems for the rest of my life... how depressing...
Avatar universal
this really works-Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant (it's sold in drugstores) there are other brands available, but I haven't tried them.
339111 tn?1246466741
Im not pinpointing anyone with this but, If you dont take a shower twice a day that could explain why you'd smell like *** also. And i mean that in a serious way. I'v known guys that thought it was normal to shower once a week. Not cool if your expecting to smell clean.  
Avatar universal
I have been struggling with this isssue of bodor odor since the beggining of middle school . I too have been teased , "like the lady said about her 10 year old son , kids can be cruel. "I remeber recieving indirect comments on things like : its musty , someone needs to bath, it stinks . I have had teacher's and students approach me about it . I reply with more anxiety than I did when i had the odor from their responses . I would tell them I have tried every kind of deodarant , and I bath more than most people . Yet when i get approached most people are quick to say that it is a matter of not bathing . This angers and hurts me deeply. I am now in college at Cal State Dominguez Hills. College should be an exciting time , meeting new people , new challeging subjects , me growing as a person. Yet I feel trapped by my bo issue . Because of this I never stand or sit close to people -even close friends for fear of having this problem . I recently particpated in a group discussion in Philosophy class . When it came for my part of the discussion even though i memorized and practiced the material , and knew it pretty well, I stumbled on most of the words,I sweated profusly , i think I emmited my bo from my anxiety . So I ran to the bathroom and freshened up becuase I thought I was having this problem after the presentation . Today even though class is over I can't help thinking about what happened . I talked to my mom about my concern , and she doesn't know what to say , she is so upset, she sees that it is over taking my life . For two reasons . Socially I do not be more open becuase of my fear of offending people with my bo, and secondly i bath myself raw . I constanly take three or more showers a day and in between i wash up with baby wipes . It is honestly taking over my immediate life-emotionally, and socially. I sometimes say if i had one wish it would be for my anxiety and my bo to go away , not even over money and riches . Just this ! I cry at night I think about it from morning till I sleep. Because of this as a College freshman I have not made many friends in the four weeks I have been here . I have had anxiety on my recent midterm , earning me a failing grade -even though I studied and new the material -My mind went blank with test anxiety . Finally I do not want to go the rest of my life worrying about this . Constanlty bathing myself raw, and not sitting close to people , or not being more sociable because of my fear of anxiety or my bo .I want to date , but I fear to becuase of these issues .  I do not want to offend him on my first date because of my anxiety and the accompanying bo. It is trully a life burden .
Avatar universal
Hi Jessica, I really feel for you and can identify with your situation. I too have suffered from extreme sweating due to anxiety. I also thought I would never find a solution to this problem but a few months ago I was prescribed a special anti-perspirant by my doctor. You put it on at night then wash it off the next morning and hey presto!....no more sweating. Trust me on this, it really does work. I would never have believed it if I hadn't had first hand experience. Also, the more you use it, the less often it needs to be applied. I only apply it once a week now and I stay perfectly dry. I am sure there are many brands out there but the one I use is called 'Driclor'. Give it a try, I promise you it will work. Best of luck Jessica!
Avatar universal
I really feel what your all feeling. I don't have bad BO, barely any at all, actually, but I do know I have more than others. I also think it is partly because of anxiety and my diet - even though I don't eat that many bad foods. I sweat at school - and never at home, it was a really puzzling situation but I did have a hint it was my nervousness and self-conciousness. I haven't tried barely any deoderants yet, but I have made up my mind that I will switch to natural. Aluminums can pick up the odour and are very bad for you if used for a long period of time. There are many other ingredients that you should watch out for, like parabens and glycols. Please I advise you to switch to natural. :) When you put on a deoderant you know your not contaminating youself with various chemicals. I google searched and found an article on natural deoderants that are safe.
Here is the link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21208797/

I would suggest trying Doctor Hauschka or Weleda - also Burts Bees deoderant sounds effective. I haven't tried any of these deoderants but will be trying Doctor Hauschka Floral. I hope so much that this helps, and remember, you are NOT the only ones out there feeling this way. I have deep sympathy for those of you like Jessica who feel it is getting to the point where it is leading your life. I would feel the same way.
Avatar universal
i have read ur comments. one thing u people r not considering and i am suffering too is the smell with effects others is high level of harmons which released with breathing and irritate others and cause them to sneezing etc.
I could not got any better suggestion but if any one has then let me know.
First thing is that as anxiety starts, the brain issues signal (chemicals) for the heart to beat faster. If anxiety lasts long, the harmons level remain very high. This heart specific harmon is volatile. As its levels become high, it is also spread in your room effecting other person's anxiety sensitive sensors located in nose.

Other people think that it is smell of smoke but it is actually my high level of hormons which also cause high heart beat.
This also initiates high level of enzymes released in stomach which cause bad smell
people to help me can contact me at ***@****
Avatar universal
I get the same thing, if I sweat, no odor.  If I get anxious I get a really bad smell, like onions, in my armpits, mainly the left one.  

But again, no sweat, just smell.

Very strange!  But you aren't the only one. When you feel the anxiety coming, try to focus on staying calm and smile.  It helps.
Avatar universal
I use the high strength otc anti-persperants and they've stopped the wet patches completely.  I shower every morning with a anti-bacterial soap. But whenever I come out of meeting, my armpits stink! (I haven't even realised I've been anxious but I do suffer with anxiety and sweat only in these situations before I started using the high strength anti-persp), I use alcohol handwash on them straight away but usually it's spread onto my clothes by then and nothing masks it. I overheard people at work talking about my smell, people I thought were close friends and I wanted to never face them again.  i struggle to look at them now as I know they're thinking that I don't wash or wear clean clothes but that's not true.

When I use the high strength anti-persp they make me itchy down below which I think is sweat related.  I asked my asthma nurse if the meds could cause it, she laughed and said she'd never heard that one.  No-one wants to know and I can't turn to anyone as I think I'd lose their respect.  I am miserable and slowly withdrawing from my friends.
Avatar universal
I also have a terrible anxiety problem and B.O problem. Sometimes I feel like jumping off of a building. I left a great university. I gave up all forms of a social life because I just hate having people smell me, rub their noses, etc. It's just too much. When I went to the doctor and he did blood work, he said he found nothing. I was on anti-anxiety meds, but my insurance expired. I plan to get back on them though. They do not help all the time, but they do help sometimes.

My sweating and odor mostly occurs in the groin area. Before you ask, I bathe daily, and I do not have a venereal or sexually transmitted disease. I'm a virgin for the obvious reasons that I can't get even get close to a guy.

I just feel so hopeless sometimes. I have tried chlorophyll, deodarants....and just everything. I plan on getting some therapy soon because I think I might just put an end to everything. I am so unhappy and depressed. I can barely have a social life. This problem has affected me in so many ways. I gave up everything I had. I was going to one of the best universities in the country, but after my freshman year, I basically had no friends, I was severely depressed because of my anxiety, and everything in my life went downhill.

Doctors are not much help because when you go to them, they tell you that nothing is wrong. I'm just exhausted now. All I ever wanted in my life was to go to college, meet people, and be a normal 20 something year old young woman. I graduated at the top of my class in high school and now I'm resigned to just going to school online and not meeting anyone.
Avatar universal
I also suffer to this cursed odor. 5 years ago I consulted a doctor and prescribed me one thing - DRICLOR. It's a roll-on specially formulated to reduce excessive sweating. It's effective for me for at least one week. I stopped putting it on because there was a painful effect when I applied it. But like I said, it worked! My underarm became super dry that I didn't have to put on a deo.
After a week, the sweat returned, 'till now. I just let it happen.

Try it. Hope it works for you guys.
Avatar universal
I feel for you guys, I have been having this smell stuff for years, and It felt like there was nothing to do about it, and the more I tried the worse it got, but finally I have been having some success in this,

I have been doing chi gong- the 6 healing sounds and its healing my body and mind, as well as meditation and exercising (good to sweat out the toxins regularly) and it makes you feel better to! strengthens the breathing which also is one key factor, the oxygen supply to the brain is more balanced than my anxious breathing patterns.

I've also been cleaning out my stomach and eating healthy, see previous posting (no fast foods and alcohol and sweets etc) It could be a part of candida.

No deodorants and perfumes in the world would mask the smell....it was horrendous...but now finally it's getting better, sometimes it occurs but not everyday and all the time that is used to. There is hope, just keep trying different solutions and something will work for you too.
Avatar universal
I have the same dam problem and it all started when I was in High School and the kids were so dam cruel. They would hold their noses, move away from me, and cough and clear their throats once I came in the room, and they would make these disgusting faces, crack jokes,etc. I was so scared about this body odor problem I would take deodorant to school and run in the bathroom to cake it on if I thought I was offending anyone, but it didn't matter it would not go away. For 10 years this would be my life, when I told my parents they thought I was crazy when I went to the doctor like a lot of you they said nothing was wrong. I was about to give it all up, when I realized that this is something that I am going to have to conquer or deal with so I can make something out of my dam self body odor or not, I knew it wasn't my fault and people fear and ridicule what they don't understand. While I still to this day have this body odor problem I know it comes from anxiety and just thinking that I smell bad. I plan to get counseling, and I am on medication and Xanax which helps a little bit. I notice it feels good to talk about it either to myself or to people who understand which would be you guys. I thought I was the only one and I really felt alone, but after hearing you guys stories I know that I am not and that feel good also. I am in college and failed a couple of semesters because of this problem, but I am bouncing back and I am trying to remain positive, but it still hurts that I know that society wont except me the way I am, that that beautiful girl might run away from me when I approach her, but you know what guys its going to get better I promise just stay strong and go out there no matter what and just try and live your life..... I am doing it and I am not going to stop until I get my degree and live the life just like everybody else we deserve it. Stay strong my friends and remember as I found out just today you are not alone. feel free to hit me up at [email protected],com and well chat if you want.
Avatar universal
I have been reading all of these posts. I have high anxiety, am on an antidepressant, see a Dialectical Behavior Therapist each week, and I experience body odor specific to stressful situations as well. Something I have noticed is, a few weeks into taking the antidepressant, I no longer felt the urge to smoke, and quit smoking. Suddenly, my body had no odor even in stressful situations! Has anyone ever considered that maybe things like smoking, drugs, and alcohol might affect our natural body scents? I wonder about this.
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