Changes in Odor
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Changes in Body Odor

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Did You Know?

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.

Eccrine Glands

Located all over body

Produce odorless sweat

Sweat is released onto body's surface

Apocrine Glands

Produce fatty sweat inside of the gland

Located near hair follicles

Sweat is pushed to surface when women feel anxious or stressed

Skin Anatomy

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.

4 Types of Menopausal Body Smells and What They Mean

Menopausal body smell is uncomfortable to talk about, let alone experience – but a precise description of the condition makes it all the easier to diagnose and treat. Read on for four distinctions you can use to get the best results from your healthcare professional today.

5 Diet Changes to Fix Body Odor in Women

Female body odor often has to do with much more than hygiene, especially for women going through menopause. Read on to learn about the connection between body odor and one's diet, as well as five changes you can make today to find relief from symptoms.

Causes of Changes in Body Odor

Hormonal causes

Parts Where Changes in Body Odor Affect

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.

Other causes

Other Causes of Body Odor

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.

Myths and Facts about the Causes 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.

Did You Know?

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.

Woman with a healthcare professional due to 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.

5 Diet Changes to Get Rid of Sour Body Odor

Eliminating sour body odor can be, for many, as fast and effortless as choosing something healthier to eat. Read on to discover five dietary substitutions that can help to put the problem in the past in no time flat, from drinking cleaner to switching seasonings and more.

Traditional Body Odor Remedies you'll Find in your Kitchen

Contrary to popular belief, treating unpleasant body odor is neither difficult nor expensive, given the right ingredients and techniques. Read on to learn about five traditional home remedies that result in overall freshness, standing the test of economy as well as the test of time.

  • 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
Updated on August 20th, 2013
5 Things You Should Know about Your Menopausal Body Odor Excessive perspiration and unpleasant body odor can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing situation to deal with. Menopause impacts a woman's thermoregulation and can also affect her perspiration and body odor. However, there are ways to cut back on sweating and the unpleasant smells that come with it. Click here to learn more.
Updated on April 25th, 2011
Talking to Your Wife about Her Changes in Body Odor Perimenopause is a complicated transition stage, and can cause a number of changes in a woman, including altering her body odor. However, there are a variety of reasons for this, and most of them have simple ways to reverse the effect. Click here to learn more.