Many women voice concerns about increases and changes in body odor and sweating when they become menopausal. Menopausal women are more likely to experience hot flashes, night sweats, and anxiety. These things can lead to excessive perspiration and resulting body odor. However, many women also find that their increased sweating or body odor is not connected to other menopause symptoms.
Hormones interact with the brain
The brain's hypothalamus gland, which is located at the base of the brain, controls body temperature and is partially regulated by estrogen, one of the main female hormones. As estrogen levels decrease during menopause, the hypothalamus has trouble regulating temperature and this can lead to hot flashes, night sweats, and other vasomotor systems.
People have two different types of sweat glands
People have two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine sweat glands are found all over the body and secrete a sweat that doesn't have a smell. Apocrine sweat glands, located in your armpits, groin area, and other places close to large hair follicles, release a sweat that contains fatty composites that bacteria feed on when the sweat reaches the skin's surface. The bacteria release an odor that could be considered unpleasant. Eccrine glands produce sweat to cool down the body, while apocrine glands produce sweat when a person experiences emotional stress.
Some medications can increase perspiration
Research suggests that people taking medicine for hypoglycemia or breast cancer, or medicine prescribed to lower their body temperatures, may experience hot flashes. Some combinations of medication may also cause hot flashes and intense perspiration. Talk to your doctor if you think your medications might be giving you excessive perspiration or body odor problems.
Deodorants and antiperspirants have different uses
Deodorants are meant to get rid of odor, but they do not decrease body perspiration. Deodorants are usually alcohol-based and work by creating an acidic environment on the skin that is inhospitable to the bacteria that feed on sweat and make it smell bad. Deodorants also often contain perfumes or scents meant to mask smells.
Antiperspirants contain aluminum compounds that clog pores so that sweat cannot escape onto your skin. Antiperspirants cause a person to sweat less, and stronger antiperspirants are available with a prescription from a doctor.
Don't be afraid to see a doctor
Perspiration and body odor can be embarrassing and uncomfortable to talk about. However, this should not stop you from seeking medical help from a doctor if body odor or perspiration is lowering your quality of life or making you uncomfortable in certain situations. Also, remember that certain foods and products - such as alcohol, red meat, coffee, garlic, and cigarettes - can increase perspiration or give perspiration a stronger scent.
Click on the following link to learn more about how to treat menopausal body odor.