Changes in Body Odor
In a blind study, both males and females rated the body odor of vegetarians as more attractive to that of meat eaters.
As if hot flashes and night sweats weren't bothersome enough in and of themselves, changes in body odor that occur as a result of these menopausal symptoms are one of the most odious side effects of menopause. Changes in body odor can lead to embarrassment, dejection, and anxiety in social situations.
Fortunately, once the root cause of these changes in body odor is understood, it is possible to control them and sashay with confidence once again. Keep reading to learn more about changes in body odor, why they happen to women during menopause, and how to treat the problem.
About Changes in Body Odor
Definition of body odor
Body odor is a byproduct of sweat, the body's natural cooling system. Women possess two types of sweat glands.
• Located all over body
• Produce odorless sweat
• Sweat is released onto body's surface
• Produce fatty sweat inside of the gland
• Located near hair follicles
• Sweat is pushed to surface when women feel anxious or stressed
In the case of sweat produced by the apocrine glands, which are located near hair follicles on the scalp, underarms, and groin area, the sweat contains fatty compounds. Bacteria feed on this sweat when it is secreted to the skin's surface, and the resulting waste products, fatty acids, ammonia, and chemical reactions form a palpable odor which is unique for every woman.
Changes in body odor and menopause
Numerous typical menopausal symptoms can cause an increase in sweat production, which can lead to changes in body odor. Hot flashes and night sweats in particular have a strong effect, though psychological symptoms such as depression, panic attacks, or anxiety can lead to an increase in the incidence of sweating as well. More sweat leads to changes in body odor.
Keep reading to learn more about the causes of the increased sweat production that results in changes in body odor.
Body odor can really damage self-esteem and sometimes be the mark of a more serious condition, such as diabetes, or occur as part of menopause. Luckily, treatment options abound! From eating more spinach to wearing more cotton, read on to discover six simple ways that you can get rid of body odor naturally.
During menopause, women are more likely to experience hot flashes and night sweats, which can make them sweat profusely and even smell. Additionally, certain medications like those for hypoglycemia can make women sweat more. Menopausal women should avoid cold showers which can trigger hot flashes and alcohol which can exacerbate body odor.
Causes of Changes in Body Odor
For most mid aged women, hormone fluctuations are the primary cause for changes in body odor. The main player is estrogen, which is responsible for helping regulate the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls body temperature.
When estrogen levels drop, as is common during menopause, a false message is sent to the hypothalamus saying that the body is overheated. At this, the hypothalamus springs into action, causing an increase in sweat production and changes in body odor as a final result.
In addition, other factors may play a role in the changes in body odor a woman experiences. Diet, stress, certain diseases, and heredity are all potential causes as well. A wardrobe heavy on synthetic fabrics such as polyester or other non-breathable materials will also collect sweat and lead to increased body odors.
Changes in body odor don't have to be permanent for women. Read on to learn about treatment options to regain one's former natural level of body odor.
Body odor is not often talked about, and therefore its causes can be unclear. Get rid of the mystery surrounding this condition by reading on about four common myths regarding body odor, so that you can find a treatment to gain both relief and peace of mind.
Treatments for Changes in Body Odor
There are many treatment options available for women to fight their unwelcome changes in body odor.
Zinc and magnesium help banish body odor. Seafood, particularly oysters, and nuts are high in both nutrients.
It is generally recommended that women begin with the least invasive option, which would be lifestyle changes. If changes in body odor are being caused due to stress or poor nutrition, eating a balanced diet rich in magnesium and zinc in particular can be extremely beneficial. Wheat grass acts as a natural deodorant due to its high chlorophyll content. Practicing stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation can also help, as can wearing breathable cotton clothing and bathing regularly.
Lifestyle changes can be difficult to implement all at once for a busy woman, however. The most effective approach, as changes in body odor in menopausal women is primarily caused by fluctuating levels of estrogen that leads to an increase in sweat production, is to treat the problem directly at the hormonal source. A variety of natural and alternative remedies exist that are able to address this imbalance. A combination of lifestyle changes and alternative medicine is the smartest and safest way to battle changes in body odor.
If experiencing other symptoms that may indicate a disease of which changes in body odor may be a symptom, it is recommended that women seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Surgical and pharmaceutical remedies are also available for the treatment of changes in body odor, but are recommended under very severe circumstances as side effects are inevitable.
Click on the following link to learn specific treatments for changes in body odor, which begin with lifestyle changes, move onto alternative medicines, and finally, if those options don't seem to help, try prescribed medications. The most effective treatments typically combine lifestyle changes and alternative medicine.
- Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007