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Changes in Body Odor
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Changes in Body Odor

Did You Know?

In a blind study, both men and women rated the body odor of vegetarians as more attractive than that of meat eaters.

On top of bothersome hot flashes and night sweats, changes in body odor that occur as a result of these menopause 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 regain confidence. Keep reading to learn more about changes in body odor, why they occur during menopause, and how to treat them.

About Changes in Body Odor

Definition of body odor

Body odor is a byproduct of sweating, the body's natural cooling system. The body has 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 glands
  • Located near hair follicles
  • Sweat is pushed to surface when women feel anxious or stressed
Skin Anatomy

In the case of the apocrine glands - which are located near hair follicles on the scalp, underarms, and groin area - the sweat produced contains fatty compounds. Bacteria feed on this sweat when it is secreted to the skin's surface, and the resulting waste products, fatty acids, and ammonia form a palpable odor that is unique to every woman

Changes in body odor and menopause

Numerous typical menopause symptoms can increase 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 panic attacks and anxiety can lead to an increase in the incidence of sweating as well. More sweat makes changes in body odor more noticeable.

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

Menopause can be a difficult transition to go through for many reasons, and it can be made more difficult by unexpected body odor. Click the following link to learn more about the four main different types of body odor and what each of them means.

5 Diet Changes to Fix Body Odor in Women

Though many find it an uncomfortable subject to discuss, female body odor is actually a common problem, and it becomes increasingly likely as women mature and experience menopause.No one has to live with body odor issues forever - especially when just a few simple alterations to daily food choices could eliminate the problem.

Causes of Changes in Body Odor

Hormonal causes

Body Parts Affected by Body Odor

For most middle-aged women, hormone fluctuations are the primary cause of body odor changes. 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. The body then springs into action, which results in an increase in sweat production and changes in body odor.

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 genetics are all potential causes. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester or other non-breathable materials will also collect sweat and may lead to increased body odor.

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 issues come with a stigma attached which means they can be extremely difficult to discuss in public. Unfortunately, the end result of this is the issue never becoming resolved. To learn more about body odor and its various causes check out the following article.

Changes in Body Odor Treatments

There are many treatment options available for women to fight 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 by stress or poor nutrition, eating a balanced diet rich in magnesium and zinc in particular can be extremely beneficial. 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. Because body odor is primarily due to hormone fluctuations, the most effect approach is to treat the problem directly at the source. A variety of natural and alternative remedies exist that are able to address this hormonal imbalance. A combination of lifestyle changes and alternative medicine is often the most effective way to manage body odor.

Body Odor Treatment

If women are experiencing other symptoms that may be indicative of a more serious issue, they should consult a trusted medical professional. Pharmaceutical options are also available for treating changes in body odor, but are recommended only under very severe circumstances due to the potential side effects.

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 do not work, prescription medications. The most effective treatments typically combine lifestyle changes and alternative medicine.

How to Prevent Underarm Body Odor in Women?

Underarm body odor is always problematic, but especially so for some women going through menopause, as this chronic condition is one of its known symptoms. Read on to discover six simple ways you can beat the condition, from dietary changes to stress-busting techniques and more.

5 Diet Changes to Get Rid of Sour Body Odor

Everyone knows how vital a healthy diet is for almost every facet of life. But did you know that what you eat may also lead to sour body odor? Click here to learn about five dietary choices you can make to help combat body odor.

  • Columbia University. (2015). What can I do about my strong body odor? Retrieved April 20, 2016, from
  • Havlicek, J. & Lenochova, P. (2006). The effect of meat consumption on body odor attractiveness. Chemical Senses, 31(8), 747-752. Retrieved from
  • National Health Service UK. (2014). Body odour - Treatment. Retrieved April 25, 2016, from

General articles

Updated on Aug 20, 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 Apr 25, 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.