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Body Odor-An Unpleasant Encounter

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Biology 103
2002 Second Paper
On Serendip

Body Odor-An Unpleasant Encounter

Melissa Brown

"What is that smell?" you ask.
"It is absolutely disgusting," you reply to yourself as you continue walking along. Then you realize that this smell just keeps on following you, from classroom to lunchroom to dorm room, even in the courtyard. Then it hits you that garbage has not been following you everywhere but you are the cause of that disgusting smell; you have body odor. What is this phenomenon of body odor? According to John Riddle, Body odor is the term used for any unpleasant smell associated with the body(1).

Most of us are concerned about how we look especially, how we smell so body odor which can be a potentially fatal blow to a person's social life is not a welcome addition to one's ingredients for success. It is this human fear of being excluded that led to the invention of the term, body odor. In the 1910s and 1920s, advertisers highlighted people's discontent with the things around them and with themselves in order to encourage them to buy their products. A group of advertising men used the term B.O. to mean body odor in a women's deodorant advertisement for their product, Odo-Ro-No. It played upon women's sentiments that beauty was important to achieving their main goal in life: a husband.

Listerine, which today has mundane advertisements with bottles of Listerine and a voice talking about the results of laboratory research that show Listerine's ability to combat gingivitis, cavities and so on, also used this approach. Listerine had an advertisement that showed "pathetic Edna" who was approaching her "tragic" thirtieth birthday and was always "a bridesmaid and never a bride" apparently because she suffered from Halitosis or bad breath (of course it could not have been personality problems that was hindering Edna's romantic progress!). As a result of this ad, Listerine's sales went from $100,000 a year in 1921 to more than $4 million in 1927. Body odor is a major concern for most people and even those who do not suffer from it are concerned about preventing body odor because of its negative social consequences.(2)

People are very sensitive about how they smell. Humans do not appreciate the power of a bad smell as much as skunks appreciate theirs. The striped skunk which is known in the scientific community as Mephitis mephitis accurately shoots a narrow stream of yellow fluid, butyl mercaptan, up to 10 feet at a threat. If the fluid hits the eyes of the threat it may cause temporary blindness. Even if the skunks misses, which is rare, the musk will cause nausea, gagging and general discomfort. (Perhaps next time you are at a party and you receive some unwelcome attention, you should raise those armpits or let out a breath of air to your unsuspecting predator.) Most people however, try to do quite the opposite and purchase expensive perfumes to mask odors and create a sensual smell that will attract the opposite sex. They spend a lot of money buying perfumes like Object of Desire by Bvlgari and they do not realize that the fluid that skunks emit is commercially used as a base for perfumes because of its clinging nature.(3) This makes me wonder whether if it is only by having a bad smell that we can get a good smell.

So what exactly causes us to have that bad smell? Most of the causes are related to lifestyle choices. If you use drugs, toxins or herbs such as alcohol and cigarette smoking, you body will smell. Also if you eat certain foods such as garlic and raw onions you will have an unpleasant breath. You can also develop body odor by simply sweating excessively or practicing poor hygiene. A couple other causes of body odor include: tooth or oral conditions such as periodontal disease and gingivitis. Also, there can be inborn errors of metabolism for example, aminoaciduria. Most of these problems are a result of a decision that the sufferer had made about how he chooses to lead his life. If he chooses to be a chain smoker he will smell like a cigarette. If he chooses not to shower or wash his clothes then he will have a pungent smell. If he chooses not to practice proper dental hygiene then he will have Halitosis. However, if he sweats excessively because he has a fear of social situations then his cause of body odor cannot be as easily rectified. In addition, people who suffer from aminoaciduria also cannot easily change their lifestyle to rectify their body odor because aminoaciduria results from an enzyme deficiency. We should not judge or marginalize people because of their smell because the cause of it may go beyond poor hygiene.(1)

Almost everyone has received a compliment about the perfume that he or she is wearing. This shows that people react to scents and that a pleasant scent encourages a favorable perception of that person. New research has shown that some individuals are highly sensitive to smelling a component of body odor which is called androstenone. Furthermore, if the person can easily smell androstenone then he will decide whether or not he likes the person based on the smell. What is androstenone? It is a human pheromone which is a chemical attractant that is in body secretions like perspiration. Men release large quantities of androstenone while women omit small amounts. So men are more likely to be judged by their smell than women. According to the study, fifty percent of people cannot smell androstenone at all and one half of them can only catch a whiff and enjoy the scent. Those who can smell androstenone, on the other hand, do not like the smell and compare it to urine or perspiration. The study went on to show that there was a correlation between the ability to smell androstenone and the androstenone-smeller's judgment of the person. In other words, if someone can smell androstenone on someone else and finds the smell unpleasant then he will dislike the person.(4)

Clearly, there is a lot at risk if one has body odor since man is a gregarious animal then body odor can make him unable to maintain or even start relationships. We have realized this so there are number of ways to eliminate body odor. One of the most rudimentary ways to get rid of body odor is to wash with both soap and water especially in the groin area and armpits which are more likely to smell. The best soap to use is a deodorant soap which impedes the return of bacteria. Showering, as well as, washing your clothing regularly will help to prevent body odor. In addition, we should wear natural fabrics like cotton which absorb perspiration better than synthetic materials like polyester. Athletic apparel makers like Nike and Adidas are adopting this idea in their clothing design by creating materials that cause the sweat to evaporate faster.

You should also use commercial deodorants which mask underarm odor or use antiperspirants which reduce the amount of perspiration. If these fail then you should turn to France, the land of fine perfumes and "Le Crystal Nature" which is a chunk of mineral salts that helps to keep bacteria under control without irritating the skin. A more serious approach to fighting body odor is Drionic which is an electronic device that plugs up overactive sweat ducts and keeps them plugged for up to six weeks.(5) There are many ways to avoid having body odor. The easiest way to find out what is available to you is to take a stroll in your local Eckerd, CVS or Riteaid.

Body Odor is a major concern for human beings. It is one concern that affects men and women to almost the same extent. We are concerned about our smell because people judge how we take care of ourselves by our smells and use this information to decide whether we are worthy of friendship because of it. We need to pay attention to how we smell not only because of social interactions but because odors from our body may alert us to a medical problem like a urinary tract infection or periodontal disease. It must be noted however that much of the hype about body odor comes from marketing consultants who need to sell their companies' product and play on our insecurity. Try to avoid being caught up in this web of commercialism while at the same time taking good care of your body.



1) Body Odor. It gives basic information about Body Odor.

2) It provides information on the less renowned tidbits of history.

3) It provides information about the striped skunk.

4) It provides information that otherwise would not get a lot of attention.

5) It provides online information about problems that affect teenagers



Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, post a comment below)

01/22/2006, from a Reader on the Web

I have been searching for an answer about this one person I work with. He smells intensely of a vinegar like substance, but honestly I would have to say he smells like pickles. half the people I work with say the same thing. It is so intense that I get a headache and a stomache and he is unbearable to be near. I cannot find anything on the internet that would explain this, and I do not have the guts to ask the poor guy, because honestly I cannot even be near him. Any speculation on this matter????? Thank you


Additional comments made prior to 2007

Western culture need to avoid of escalation of hatred and wilingness to take advantages over other using somebody's personal issue as their body/breath odor! Where every house or apartment, everyone has access to bath, shower. Where there is no hygiene issues! This attitude can be fueled by nuslim nations. So one should think about this ... Reader on the web, 1 April 2006



I have the same problem with one of my employees who is from Nepal. I think it could be the spicy food they have, another employee addresses the matter to me since I'm the manager but it is a very delicate matter and I feel sick if I stay 3 foot close to this person. Besides this is a high end retail store and also had customers commenting on the way this person smells. I'm going to have to let her go but wonder if there is anything this person can do to get rid of that horrible odor ... Yolanda, 26 April 2006



i have just noticed a body odor of vinegar. I saw reference to another person about same problem. This just started in the last few days and I am trying to find a reason. Any suggestions? Supplements? thanks ... Tom, 15 July 2006



I see alot of people with posted requests for body odor issues. Mr. Chan has won the Geneva award for his invention in the medical category for a product that cures body dor. A press release was issued and maybe some of your readers would benefit from it.

Here it is below:

Dr. Mist winner of several awards including the Geneva Award for itsí invention in the medical category is currently marketed as a deodorant is also used as a multi-function hygiene product. As a deodorant, there is absolutely no staining, no aluminum, alcohol, oils or fragrances and it flushes out toxins. Customers are moving away from sticks and gels which stain their clothes and lasts part of the day. Dr. mist will last for days, even if bathing is not possible (ie: patients in hospitals, campers, etc)

Dr. mist is a new invention based on floatation technology that works like an anti-perspirant, but still allows the pores to breathe. As recently featured on the news, it is also very effective athlete's foot, soothes mosquito and insect bites, accelerates healing in wounds, clears up acne and pimples with visible results in 24 hours and soothes skin irritation ... Claudette, 13 September 2006


I had bad breath and body odor since I was born. Spent more than 20 years and thousand of dollars trying to find what was missing in my system until I saw Dr. Brenda Watson describing what happens when there is not enough intestinal flora in the body. What happens? Vitamins along with impurities go straight to the blood causing the odor. So that is what was missing in my system.

I started taking probiotics (the higher the number the best) and multi enzymes and that was the beginning of my cure. Now I added Culturelle Lactobacilus Gg and no more body odor and bad breath.

Please, tell other people so they do not go through what I went through ... Mindy, 31 October 2006



My daughter is told she smells like pickles......we can't figure out what is causing's not perfume, soap, shampoo or anything else she's putting on externally.....I read your body odor article and the question posed by one of your readers is the same as mine.....why does my daughter smell like pickles??? What can be done about it?? ... Lupe Rodriguez, 7 December 2006



Re: an earlier post

Either he's wearing something that smells of what you described or it could be some form of disease ex. cancer. could be other forms but if you are that concerned. Does he have a desk? write an anonymous letter? it could be a medical problem and you do need to get your views across, because it could save his life ... Jennifer, 3 February 2007



I have recently noticed a slight wiff of vinegar odor from my body. I asked a friend if he noticed it and he said "no". I shower daily and am clean. Any ideas what may cause this? ... Phil, 16 July 2007



Hello there. I have been experiencing an odor for a while now but I still don't know where it is coming from. It occurs mainly when I am around my friends and it doesn't smell when I'm at home or at my doctor. Other people say that they smell it also. Please advise me what to do if you guys ever came across such an experience before. Thanks in advance ... Saf, 2 October 2007


lonely one's picture

please help, BO

Its comforting knowing that im not alone. I have had this problem since 12 years old. Started with puberty. As you all know it has been a living hell. Its no wonder why they call us paraniod or crazy. I am 38 yrs old. I dont know how I survived so long with this humility. I recently started a job where I sit in a room with 30 people. Its been 3weeks and the coments have been so unbearable now I want to walk out and kill myself but I have 3 kids to support. Im sure they will find a reason to let me go. How can I go home and tell my family I got fired because I smell. All I think about is suicide but that is not the answer. I dont understand why there is no medical research to solve this problem. WHY WHY WHY!!! Theres got to be a solution. PLEASE WILL SOMEBODY FIND A CURE.

Connected's picture

please help, BO

I quit my job last July for the same reason. My boss said I smelled like poop and he was making gestures to other managers (like holding his nose when he was standing behind me) and things like that. The economy had just started crashing and I had already taken a job for half the pay of what I am used to. I just couldn't keep going in there every day. I have seen gynecologists, gastrointestinal and all kinds of doctors and tests but still no relief or cure. I changed my diet and lost 40 lbs but nothing made any difference in the smell. I take a multitude of vitamins and probiotics, many mentioned on this site but still struggle terribly every day. I have taken 2 good paying jobs since and lasted a week at one and then only 3 days at the next. The smell was so overpowering that one girl asked to be moved to another area. I have a five year old and because I quit those 2 jobs I lost my unemployment. I don't know how to support myself like this when I used to make good money and now cannot work in the office. I admire you for hanging in there. I just don't seem to be able to go to work like that every single day without relief. It is so painful. I feel isolated and depressed and I am not sure what the future holds for me and my son. We're going to be living in a cardboard box soon. How do people go on like this every day?


Hnag in there and if push

Hnag in there and if push comes to shove, see if you can find a job online doing telecommunications or something. We know it can be hard, but just do the best you can. Don't let them overpower because you have no control over it. When you walk by them just look straight in the direction that you are going and keep your head held as high as you can. You want to provide a home for your son and be the best mom that you can, which I'm sure that you are. Your strength lies in him and in the rest of us that understand and sympathizes heavily with you.

Best wishes and I'll keep....


Serendip Visitor's picture

I suffer 2 from b.o

i'm a 42 yr old women now that has suffered with this since i was 20 frs old i don't know what happened to me having the choice to have my children, or what but it is so isolating and unfair to us but what i found that works is take a shower with oil of olay body wash purple@white bottle and mix a little of comet powder as a cleaser and lightly scrub your body to remove dirt @ TOXINS OFF OUR SKIN IT SEEMS TO HELP I ALSO TAKE ZINC VITIAMS DAILY MAKE SURE U EAT WITH IT,AND CULTURELLE @ MAKE SURE TO SWITCH YOUR DEODERANT TO SECRET SOLID UNSENTED AND LOTION WITH A LIGHT PURFUME LOTION AND YOU SHOULD NOTICE A DIFFERANCE.PLEASE EMAIL ME BACK @ TELL ME IF YOU NOTICE A CHANGE.DON'T EAT FOODS THAT SMELL BECAUSE IT WILL BE LIKE YOU ARE WERING THE FOOD.@ LIMIT THE MEAT YOU EAT TO 2DAYS A WEEK. AND YOU SHOULD BEGAN TO FEEL MORE COMFIDEIT. DOCTORS ARE CLUELESS TO WHAT TO DO @ DON'T CARE THAT YOU SMELL.PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH OTHERS ON HERE

Serendip Visitor's picture

BO Comment-

I totally hear you. I have the same problem and people make fun of me at work, if they see me coming, they go down another hall, they will actually see me coming and turn around and go the other way. People are very cruel, somedays, I don't even want to go to work, because I know what waits for me. I come to work and I try to stay in my cubicle for most of the day. If I need to go to the bathroom or run an errand, I try to make sure noone else is in the hallway and if they are, I try to wait until they past, because this situation is so embarrasing, it hurts my feelings and it makes me want to go into a corner and die. People just don't understand how hurtful their actions and can be and sometimes I don't think they care. Thanks for sharing.

Serendip Visitor's picture

i'm in the exact same situation

i'm in the exact same situation but i'm not gonna feel bad or guilty anymore about something that isnt my fault , fuck everybody else , i dont give a shit what they think or say

tomorrow i'm gonna get tested for TMAU (god i hope i have that ) , and people you dont have to smell like fish to have TMAU/TMAU2 (fecal smell is the most common)



Did you get tested for TMAU

Did you get tested for TMAU and if you did, what were your results?

Serendip Visitor's picture

I just watched an episode of

I just watched an episode of Mystery Diagnosis on The Learning Channel and I am not sure if you have the same exact disease, but if so, this smell can be very dependent on your diet. I would reccomend watching this show.

Hope this helps. It's unfortunate that adults can act so much like immature children.

Hope this helps!

Crystal Wade's picture


flax seed oil is good to ingest for depression but of course we still have to deal with the real issue which is the odor; Im 25 have had sweat spells come from nowhere and bad breath since puberty; visited many doctors (family practice,ENT,Dentist,psychologist,etc); only one I havent tried is an endocrinologist; changed my diet which helped a little and people have suggested to me to get screened for vitamin deficiencies; you wouldnt believe how much stress can deplete your body's supply; Ive heard MAGNESIUM and ZINC deficiencies are two common ones that can cause a nasty B.O. I would imagine people should be screened prior to self diagnosis, but to be honest,I've never met a doctor that could tell me what was wrong,and only one in my lifetime confessed that he absolutely did not know; Had one tell me in a nutshell that I was crazy because he couldnt smell me;I had a lot more respect for an "im sorry I dont know" as opposed to others that didnt want to admit they had no idea; eat healthy take care of your body which im sure you do; rule out the obvious and venture to the extreme; dont let one doctor give you a ruling on your life without a second opinion; Im still looking for that one magical fix...and dont let people shame you so much to the point you want to die; Ive been there but I had to realize that it's a medical condition; Yet we all want to be accepted, I understand that too; but if you know and love who you are, it is truely more important than you smell; Arent you glad our place in heaven is not determined by the way we smell?do realize that alot of times those people truly dont like themselves and theyre a%&$holes for judging you; some people just arent tactful or sensitive to the possibilities of why you have an odor; I have actually cursed people out in public due to comments; but some people will leave you alone if you pull them to the side or snap in public; for me, its an eye for an eye-Embarrass me, I'll embarrass you; my attitude is everybody has problems and no one's any better than the next; And if i have to go to the extreme because someone is trying their best to humiliate me due to their ignorrance then shame on them and Im ready! :-) You take care of yourself, pray, and keep your head up! You and everyone!

CRYSTAL WADE's picture


LOOKING FOR ANSWERS and anyone else: try drinking alkaline water...You can purchase tablets or water at any health food store..I've been taking it for week, and people that have complained aloud of my odor have whispered that I smelled a lot better lately...I bought something called CONCENTRACE, which are alkaline drops.FYI, alkaline water will help various odors, as it rid me of musty armpits and lessened my overall offensive BO...Please let me knw if it helps you...S W E E T L A D Y 2 2 2 2 A T H O T M A I L D O T C O M

Smelly feet problem's picture

Feet smell of ammonia

It's a really embarrassing problem that's hugely difficult to get rid of. Sometimes, at the end of a day, my shoes are like a paddling pool and the odour is repellant, including a smell of ammonia.

Mike Roberts's picture

You should try to scrape your

You should try to scrape your feet with the Ped Egg and use a fungal scrub for your feet. Also do a yeast and fungal cleanse.

anonymous's picture

I'm going insane..


I have the same problem for about 5 years now, i went from doctor to psychiatry (because the doctor thought it could only be unreal and therefore a mental problem) to dermatologist who tested me for TMAU, tested negative, but found something in my urine wich was tested but not resolved, lost about three jobs due to not coming in because i coudn't take the humiliation, friends (real good friends) an family saying ther's nothing wrong, but sometimes i just see the reactions, an d at work it's far worse because of stress and what it additionally does to your body.

I even mentioned candida to the doctor and dermatologist, they simply won't take that serious, because mostly hiv patients and people who are under a lot of medication could get that, not a person like me, so hey said.

because the doctor said it was mental i went by it and tried to accept it, but after a month or 6, i got a new job, and the symptoms worsened and came back again, although i personally think it never really was away.

i read a note from the doctor once diagnosing me with ocd, because the BO was getting me obsessive, totally false diagnose and everytime i go to a hospital or something the same OCD siagnose is put on the letter that the doctor gives to you for your hospital visit (don't know the exact name, i'm not english)

Now i am officially sick (depressed, totally burned out) and on welfare, no GF, 33 years old, ups and downs, mostly downs though.

Tried suplements, chlorella, magnesium, lots of water etc. for months, at first i thought it helped, but now i just eat and drink what i want because ij ust can't seem to get a straight answer on my problem, it isn't taken seriously or the doctors simply don't know, like i guess most of you heared before.

Never really was a religious person, although through al the sadness i believe in pure Evil by now, still not sure of a God, because he seems to be absent most of my and my familys life.

i'm going for the zinc now, because i haven't tried that before, but i guess it won't help like all other so caled reliefs.

I would want to say to keep your heads up, but have difficulty doing it myself, i just hope someone finds a cure for this.

BLESSED's picture

Iknow how that can be cuz I

Iknow how that can be cuz I can remember when I was younger trying to address the issue and my family made it like it was in my head but as time go by you keep getting the whispers and funny stares and 1year for christmas imagine in front of the class getting some bubble bath and bathbeads as a joke as if you dont bathe HUMILIATED!!!!!!!!!!!!! After that I really couldnt even stand going to school and dropped out soon after but fotunately I recently went back to get my GED and attempted college but dropped out and started online but that didnt work for me and I really want to start back but dont want to go through the embarrasment so
anyone dealing with this and needs to talk feel free because we need each other support because until now I hadnt even face the issue or express what Im going through with anyone since dat time before and noone in family even says anything but my mom died but I believe she knew it was still a struggle for me but just never mentioned it again email me

Serendip Visitor's picture

I feel the same way i deal

I feel the same way i deal with bad body odors that make me exclude myself from people i feel that i cant go to school or be around people because of my promblem i need an answer and a doctor now because this cant stop me not at all.

Uni's picture

Body Odor

Bentonite & Psyllium, salt water enema, yogurt enema, vitamin C enema, apple cedar enema, they all did no good.

I suspected Crohn's, candida, ulcerative colitis, toxin overload, etc.

My regimen - Drinking turmeric with milk or water for antioxidants, hydrogen peroxide enema for bowel cleanse, and tons of oral probiotic capsules for flora balance.
Avoid alcohol, sugar, and keep low on carb.
And yeah, drinking coconut oil (edible) helps removing many bad stuffs.. Fast and drink coconut oil and see results immediately.

I was the stinky guy, garbage guy, fish guy, metallic odor guy, etc.. Sugar and carbohydrates were my enemy..

After a week of my regimen, I am missing the odor. No odor even if I dont bath for 2 days :).

So it's turmeric, H2O2 enema (food grade dilated to 0.5% at least), and lots of probiotics capsules..

It was never in my head.. It really was in my gut.. Ruined my career.. But am ready to rock again!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Happy for you :)

Hi Uni. I'm really happy for you. I'm gonna try this out and see if I get any results. I just smell fish, fecal, or metallic odor. I bathe every single day, at least twice, and I've just started taking probiotics recently. I hope everything is still going great for you :) I'll tell you if I have any results. Btw, can you recommend how the enema thing I need like an enema bag or something. I want to try this.....but I'm kind of scared. Some advice would be appreciated.

Message me at a i l e e n 8 @ l i v e. c o m

Best wishes,
Looking for Answers

Serendip Visitor's picture

Does it still work?

Is this still working for you? How long did it take and how many enemas did you do per week? I need some serious help and you seem to have sorted out this issues. Please help me.


Serendip Visitor's picture


have you ever tried crystal deodorant stone? it costs about $6-7 on the
I have the same problem too. I am going to try this crystal deodorant now. It kills odor causing bacteria and eliminate body odor.
best wishes

Serendip Visitor's picture

i would recommend that

i would recommend that EVERYONE that has body odor problems non related to hygiene get tested for TMAU ( trimethylaminuria )

this test could have the answers to your problems

Serendip Visitor's picture


Ive been to many doctors with no solution because they didnt smell and or didnt take me seriously; Before I gained a little insight that my odor stemmed from my diet, I constantly smelled like feces, brocoli,collards,rotten eggs and occasionally fish...This odor was all over and also on my breath! I wanted to die because people were so mean~ So about 3 years ago I went on my on health venture and tried a GLUTEN FREE DIET; It improved my odor somewhat, but at times I STILL SMELLED ABSOUTELY HORRIBLE; And then I realized that a lot of the GLUTEN FREE foods I personally was eating still contained soy lecithin and/or choline; One of my favorites, ENSURE drinks, and so I would reek...also the odor was worse when I ate seafood; During the process I lost 30 pounds but the BO and bad breath remained...So anyway, I went back to my regular diet gained back 20 lbs but still determined to find a doc who listens to me and takes me seriously...everyone here, I agree with the earlier statement of a visitor: EVERYONE that has body odor problems non related to hygiene get tested for TMAU ( trimethylaminuria ) check out this website: From my reading, I understand there's no cure but there is relief in control. The site has a list of facilities that will test you upon request of your doctor... and here's another for the TMAU diet that I found helpful... EMAIL ME GOD BLESS

Serendip Visitor's picture

ur email didnt show up. email

ur email didnt show up. email me at SHENELLPILL AT YAHOO DOT COM.anyone is more thn welcome to join we can even form a supportive group :) im now trying 400mg magnesium 4xs daily 30mg zinc 4xs daily and kombucha tea 2xs daily. im giving it a 3 days test. i hope it works. i willpost the result.

Serendip Visitor's picture

WOW! I just read a biology

WOW! I just read a biology book and found out the cause of body odor is choline. To much causes toxicity and will cause you to have body odor. I am in the process of eliminating choline from my diet and I will see how it goes. Wish me luck. Also I have tried DEVROM which will control odor from incontinence but what are the side effects? I stop taking it because I did not want to get any other conditions.

Smelly feet's picture

Foot odour smells of ammonia

I have a real problem as my foot odour smells strongly of wee! Yuk, help!

Serendip Visitor's picture

That is killing me!!!

I don't
really know what i have and it's hard to diagnosis yourself.
More I read more I think that I have smell is more like gas, but
sometimes I just can't sense that..but when I leave my room for about
10minutes..and when I come back..there is always a smell.

I'm student and during the week I live in student
home. I don't have any problems with grades or anything. I am also a
good computer programmer with kind a good salary for a student. But I
just dont feel good you know..
I have roomate..I asked him for about 100 times, but he always deny that
he could smell anything! But I just know that is true..

It started about half an year ago (as I'm aware, maybe before).. before
that I was very sociable with a lot of friends. Well, I have friends now
too, but I just don't feel confortable when I'm with they
slowly but reliable stop calling me for coffe, beer... You know what I
mean. I just think that they always smelling me..but they all deny that
(those are friends?).

I can tell you my story.. I like electronic music just as my friends we we're going to parties almost every weeked (they still
do)..and you know what comes with parties..drugs of course. That is not
something that I'm proud about, but that's just the way it is. Ok, I was
abusing exctasy and speed regulary at the weekends (and sometimes
cocaine, lets say once a month).
When I first time noticed that smell I just think drugs are the cause of
that farting all the time. It's more than 2 months that I didn't take
anything..and I still farting just every day, all day long.. well not
just farting, I feel strange things in my guts (so I believe its IBS?)..
but when I read symptoms.. I don't have diarrhea or constipation
predominant.. But all the other symptoms are the same.. So I'm really
confused now.
I need to go that away..sometimes I just want to fell asleep and never
wake up again.. sometimes I'm so depressed that I have very strange
thougths..but I just can't do it because of my mom..I love her too much,
that would killed her.


Pls look at this!!'s picture

Pls look at this !!

Hi, my former username is Godbless, you'll find it in this page, however the reason why I'm using a different account is because I've realized a different reason for the "odour". You see,in my previous acct, I've said that the cause of the odour is because of leaky gut or bad bacteria, same as many of the users here, however I've came to realise that actually the most likely cause of the "odour" is a mental illness, called SCHIZOPHRENIA, or SCHIZOPHRENIA like syptoms, I've came to realize the graveness of this illness, because this illness causes one self to misthink that they have an odour emitting from them, which is not true, its a mental illness whereby patients perceive and hear other people commenting about their odour, its really a serious HALLUCINATION, I because I have this illness and I'm now undergoeing treatment, with a very good medication, risperdal. Let me first tell you my story, it first started when I was 16 yrs old. On Nov, my sister commented that I have odour emitting from my hair, after which they say that my hand stinks when I go to church. On christmas eve, I attend the mass and most of the ppl looked at me and cover their nose and one even kicked me, things got for the worse when my family say that I stink like shampoo even though I bathe twice a day!! I didn't dare go back to school, I bought three deodarants and I sprayed it hard whenever I went out, my sis say that my mouth stinks and I should spray deodarant in my mouth. When I'm in the bus, most of the ppl cover their nose and comment all kinds of nasty stuff such as sick, disgusting, horrible stuff, stinks like shit,and my classmates would cover their nose and avoid me cos of my "odour". SCHIZOPHRENIA could be an on and off illness, and one fine day when I told my parents abt my odour and I should see a doctor,(that's when i decided to stop school) they looked at me as if I've gone nuts and after my persistence in asking them to bring me to a doctor, they say that I'm in great need of a phsychiatrist, pls if your parents did asked you to see a physchiatrist, and your not sure, pls consider for it. At first, when the physchiatrist told me I have no smell, I don't believe him, of course eventually I did after much persuasion and forced medication. Now, I'm well and back to school and there's no more ppl saying that I have an odour, and just a note, this illness have REALLY REALLY SERIOUS HALLUCINATIONS AND DELUSIONS!! !! PLS IF YOUR PARENTS ASKED YOU TO SEE A PHYSCHIATRIST PLS CONSIDER FOR IT COS THEY WON'T GIVE YOU MEDICATIONS IF YOU ARE FINE!! ! ! BY THE WAY, THIS ILLNESS MAY CAUSE YOU TO SMELL CERTAIN NASTY STUFF--OFLACTORY WHEREBY THE BRAIN IS UNDERGOING CERTAIN CHANGES AND TO MAKE UP FOR THE CHANGES THE BRAIN PERCEIVES CERTAIN SMELL--THIS SMELLS LIKE DEAD FISH, .. PLS CONSULT A PHYSCHIATRIST IF YOUR NOT SURE OF WHAT TO DO!! HOPE YOU WILL BE FINE!! GODBLESS, WITH GOD THERE'S NOTHING TO BE AFRAID PS GOD IS REAL AND ALWAYS WITH US!! YOU'LL SEE GOD IN HEAVEN!!

Anonymous's picture


I've considered that this could be a psychological problem early on,a insane man doesn't question his sanity, he questions others. I know this problem runs in my family. My grandmother,father and brother all had the same problem and have had comments by others about it. Every time I meet or talk to a stranger or co-worker they often cough or chain smoke when they are around me, my doctor even told me he could smell it, but after many test concluded that it was probably my diet.

charlie's picture

I totally agree, I think

I totally agree, I think there's more of a visceral, psychological basis behind ppl's fear of unpleasant body odors. A friend of mine had a mild case of gingivitis, and despite her being very attractive, guys would run away from her like she was a leper. After she had the inflammation taken care of and teeth whitening done, she found a b/f almost a month after. I think there's something hard wired in our DNA that hits the alarm button when we smell something unpleasant to us.

john9's picture

wow , just wow , you my

wow , just wow , you my friend need some medication for shear stupidity , so all of us suffer from schizophrenia ? yes , let's all take antipsychotic medication , it's not like the severe anxiety side effects will make things even worse ,not to mention how much the long term side effects of such medication will fuck up your brain

i for one found many comments on this forum very helpfull , i self diagnosed myself with secondary TMAU and i'll continue researching

john9's picture

let's compare notes

i read a lot of posts here that have many things in common with my story , this is my post: /exchange/node/1752#comment-119103

and also a lot of people say they posted their email but at every user it says (not verified)

this is my email :

if your story has something in common with mine please contact me , i would like to talk to as many people as possible , together we can find a solution

Anonymous's picture

I can be myself..can you? get

I can be myself..can you? get a life..;)

DONEGAL RAT``'s picture

tell me do you smell????

tell me do you smell????

Larry Dean's picture

Cigarette Body Smell - Really Bad but now Cured!

I worked in a recording studio where the desk receptionist was a heavy smoker. She was in her mid-twenties and really was an attractive girl except for this terrible tobacco odor that was like a fence around her.

Someone must have had the courage to have a serious but understanding talk with her about it. She found a solution in going to a doctor who gave her a shot that caused nausea if she as much as did one drag on a cigarette. The bonus to this (she later said) was that it killed her urge to drink since the smoking and drinking went together for her.
The improvement in her health is amazing. Her skin doesn't look pasty and her teeth seem whiter now too. All over she says she is so happy that someone asked her if she knew the odor that she gave off in the office. She didn't have a clue of the tobacco stench she was broadcasting.
This is really one story that had a sensational ending. She's even turned into a runner! There is always hope and help so don't ever give up trying.

vuksy's picture

i really dont know what to do

i really dont know what to do anymore , if someone could help me it would mean everything to me

i started to have a bad body odor when i was 13 , until then i had no problems at all , now i'm 22 and this condition made my life a living hell ,i really dont know what future i can have like this, i have no friends , had to drop out of med school cause people cant bear to stay near me

i'm a very clean person , i shower at least once a day , my clothes are always clean , my house couldn't be cleaner , the problem is that i cant really feel the bad smell that bothers everyone

it started in the 7th grade when my bench mate moved away from me , and then all the other classmates that were around me moved away ,people couldn't stay near me and were covering their noses when they walked past me, then i started to shower every day , use the best soaps , it didnt seem to help , i figured it was a temporary thing , cause i just entered puberty , then 8th grade was even harder , people started calling me names.
Then came high school , nothing changed , new classmates but they were all looking at me like i had no personal hygiene , when in fact i was probably cleaner the all of them

I told my mother i was feeling sick so she took me to the doctor but all the blood work came back ok .
Then i told my mother about the smell , i was all crying about it and she thought i had a nervous breakdown , she said that she doesnt smell anything so she took me to a psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist laughed at me and gave me antidepressants (paxil)(i'm from Romania so you can imagine what great doctors we have here), after this i really didnt want to talk to anybody about my problem, i started to skip school , almost didnt finish high-school cause of all my absences , even though i had very good grades.

I stoped going out and being around other people , for 2 year i didn't leave the house.That's when i started to try to eat healthier (stoped eating pork,beef and junk foods)I always had a good health , was never overweight so that wasnt a problem.

Since i cant feel this smell i was hopeing my problem would be over with puberty so when i was 19 i went to med school with high hopes , i soon realized nothing changed , the problems came when i had to go to lab classes and people couldnt stay near me . I was determined to do something about this so i went to the best dermatologist in the country , this was very hard for me to talk about ,but non the less i got the courage to try to explain my situation, he laughed at me like it was a joke, then he looked at me like i was crazy , i told him that maybe i had a problem with my bowls and maybe he could recommend me another doctor , he said no and gave me a disinfectant solution to wash with.

I didnt see a way i could go back to classes like this so i dropped out and moved back home, now i'm 22 and i'm studying biology extramural , so i only go to the exams and study at home

I adopted a vegan diet 2 years ago but it still doesnt seem to help.I dont go out around people so i dont really know for sure whether i smell worse if i eat some foods or not , i have no one close that could tell me this

I try not to think about it (i'm not obsesed about it) but it's always a problem when i have to go to exams or in other situations when i have to be around people

I tried to find a solution on the net but i cant seem to find one .
A few years ago i emailed a few doctors i found on the web but no one replied

Anonymous's picture

Hi there... I can tell you

Hi there... I can tell you what I know and what I've experienced. You are not alone. I know my problem involves the production and overgrowth of yeast in my G.I. due to a malfunction of my amino acids. Want to compare notes? Write me and we can go from there.

john9's picture

i would really like to

i would really like to compare notes , my email is

maybe together we can find a solution

Anonymous's picture

body odour

i experience the same things please tell me more of what you know?

Anonymous's picture

Hi..thank you for the

Hi..thank you for the information. How did you discovered that your condition is due to overgrowth of yeast? I guess that would be candida.

Anonymous's picture

Hi there... Give me a call if

Hi there... Give me a call if you want to talk. I can tell you what I know and what I've experienced. You are not alone. There seems to be different posts regarding different odors, so I wont claim to be an expert on all of them, but for myself, I know that my GI produces yeast due to some kind of amino acid malfunction. I believe that all of us are suffering from various conditions on the same theme. I take many different supplements and have tried various other kinds of treatments. I have not found a cure, but I can control the odor to some degree. Until genetic medicine advances along, I don't think I'll be able to completely conquer this. It's a lonely and painful thing to suffer with, as most friends and family deny its existence, but I've tried to lead a strong life and not let it shelter me. For anyone out there who wants to compare notes please feel free to write me. I'll give you my phone number via email and we can go from there.

You are all my family,

mischa's picture

cant go on like this

I started smelling bad around 15 years old - im pretty sure. and am now 19. It is the most hoorible thing that has ever happened to me.

I used to be so outgoing, social and confident when i was younger. Now i have lost most of my friends, i only have one now, who i see at totally random times, hardly at all.

I go to college, and it is horrible. Catching the bus to and from college is soooo fricken embaressing. The smell is so wierd. i just cant describe it, and i dont understand where it comes from. However whenever i eat takeaway i can smell it comming from like my pours. Once some little kid sat next to me on the fully packed bus, he leant as far away as he could and held his nose. EVERYONE could see. I cried so much when i got home.

i never go to classes now, only once a week - if i can force myself to do it. Usually i cant because it is so emotionally stressful.

Then today when i was at church with my family, we sat in front of a group of young teens (13/14) They would not stop coughing, sniffing, laughing. And when we were going to walk past them they said "ssh here she comes." I even feel worse about it, because i think they thought it was my mum. I HATE having to put her through such embaressment. Im really upset from this incident. Suicide is looking extremely good right now, but i dont want to hurt my family.

Its horrible how something so stupid as smell could ruin my life. Im never going to have a boyfriend, husband, kids, friends, a good job etc/ I hate how unfair it is and how totally humilating it is and i cant stop crying about it. If food is causing this smell the only options i can see for me, is starving myself or commiting suicide. Fantastic.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Body Odors An unpleasant encounter

Hi I would like to say that alot of factors affect our body odor. My hair would have a metallic smell so I stopped eating can foods and cooking foods in metal pans. I also could not eat fish because of the smell lingering around me. I started drinking hot water mixed with warmed honey and now I can eat fish without the smell. I would advise a good naturopath. Detox, because we collect toxins everyday.

Take a look at what you are eating. Candidas will cause you to smell bad. It is a yeast overgrowth from sugars and processed foods. Try the Atkins diet, consult a doctor first to make sure you do not have an immune disorder. Such as hypothyroidism or Chrons disease. Take enzymes to help digestion. It is hard for me to give any specific advice if I do not know what type of odor you are suffering from.

Visitor's picture

I dont feel comfortable because of my odor problem

I noticed that i smelled in High School when I was a freshman. I came in one Morning and sat in my seat then the guy behind me told me i smelled like s**t and i didnt understand why because i had just got a shower that morning. Ever since he told me that i started pay attention more and every class i went to the person sitting behind me would breath really hard or put their heads down on the desk or somtimes asked the teacher if they could move to another desk, and i just knew it was because i smelled, but the thing is i couldnt smell the odor. My self esteem just went down i didnt even feel like myself anymore. Now im pregnant and live with my baby's daddy and i dont feel comfortable around him because i know i smell. Im embarrased to ask him if i smell like s**t because i know i do and i just dont want him to say it. That would just hurt me and i will break down in tears. I started thinking maybe its my digestive system that i have so much build up in there that the smell is just coming out from my pours or my behind (butt). I wanna find the solution because i want to love on my boyfriend without him movin away from after a minute holding me. i want him to hold me all night without him breathing hard or moving away from me. I mean even after i get out the shower i still feel like i smell awful, n thats that i take a shower every morning n every single night. please let me know what you think i should do.

Serendip Visitor's picture


If you havent had this problem all your life and perhaps it began during puberty,you may want to get screened by an endocrinologist;'s your diet? if youre anything like me, stress from fear of body odor can take its toll; if you dont eat right you can end up with a vitamin deficiency;
read about MAGNESIUM ZINC VITAMIN B...lack can cause body odor..not a doctor but hope this helps...shoot me an email sometime and take care..God bless

Serendip Visitor's picture

in most cases the

in most cases the endocrinologist wont find anything (like in my case ) every single test came out perfect

to everybody who who has this odor problem from puberty , go get tested for TMAU !!! , most people dont even consider this disease cause from the start it says "fish odor syndrome" but that's not correct at all, most people with TMAU or secondary TMAU have fecal like odor , and the smells can vary greatly from person to person

and everybody that says they want to talk on email , please post them in the comments cause otherwise we cant see them

mine is

Serendip Visitor's picture

what if you smell like

what if you smell like different types of faeces what would you recommend for that?

Pj's picture

body odor

Hi Mischa, i know what your going through, iv'e had a body odor problem for 11 years now and i know how it feels to
feel like an outkast the sneezing,coughing and sniffing
is annoying, i just want to tell what i'm going but i know i can't.
I have gone to plenty of specialist, gastroligist, dermatoligist uroligist a rectal surgeon
this past week i went my gastroligst and he advised me to see
an endcronolgist to see about my metablism level and
hormone level, maybe one these specialist can help ypu.
please don't give up suicide is not the solution, there is help out there you will find the doctor who will figure out
what is going on with you.
i'm 34 now, the embarasment that i have gone through all these years, i found a wife and i have a 15 month old daughter
things will turn around for you, god bless keep the faith.

Anonymous's picture

Suicide is not your answer. I

Suicide is not your answer. I have the same problem and I am 35 years old with 4 lovely kids and I am married. My family supports me and They don't understand the humiliation. It is hard because you know that people are talking about you and judging. You have to talk to GOD and he will help you make it through each day. I am still haveing the body odor and don't go to social events or visit friends because of it. It has changed my life but I still go to work. And it is horrible because my clients get a whiff of the smell and you should see the expressions on thei faces. But I go home and take a bath and pray. I will continue to try to find a solution and GOD will help me. Even a change in diet will not help. I don't eat meat,dairy, etc. I only eat fruit and veggies. Mostly juicing but the odor remains. You have to know that it comes from within so we need to figure out how to change it. I am positive that their will be a solution soon. I have had this odor for more that 15 years. ONE DAY AT A TIME>

Serendip Visitor's picture



I'd like to ask you have you ever been to a doctor to eliminate obvious causes? I have and they could never tell me the cause or they would say I was imagining things...It's something that everyone does not smell; I have had body odor since I was 15; Im 25 now; I have found that the odor is worse for me when I'm under intense stress...It has gotten better with age so I wonder if it was hormonal or dietary- not sure.... smelly underarms and breath..smell ranging from mold, wet metal, feces and/or must. As Im sure you know Odors happen for many different reasons...Eliminate the obvious like dental or hygiene issues and then perhaps vitamin or enzyme deficiencies such as magnesium or zinc as well endocrine problems, lack of stomach acid; Going without eating can worsen the problem found my issue to be internal because obvious was not a problem (no dental or hygiene issues). Im certainly not an expert, but these are things that I do to help improve my problem:

extra bathing if needed ( also I use secret deodorant along with Certain-Dri)
healthy balance of fruits vegetables nuts lean meat
liquid vitamin B supplement
colon cleanse supplement
digestive enzymes
HCL Pepsin (for underproduction of stomach acid)

Anonymous's picture

I have the same problem

I have the same problem, I am trying to see a doctor soon to find out if there is any serious helth issue, that is my last hope, the difference between me and you is that I have a job, and already decided to leave that after 2 years as soon as I find a new one ofcourse a grave yard shift or a job behind the scene or solo, becouse I have to pay the bills and rent, so you can imagin what I was going trough the couple of year not one secend without the pain and humiliation I am not sure if you are geting this but let me know i will write more about my experiance to you

eric's picture

I know how you feel

this sucks so bad to see that im not the only one that is like this i cant even bare to go to school because of the fear i have of how people react to it. most of my personal life has been shattered because of this and i just cant help but want to end it all it feels like a nightmare and im only 16 i cant take it i think im gonna give in but right now its my concern for my family that i dont want to hurt because they have enough problems as it is that keeps me going.

I am so ashamed of myself because i use to have a life and now im that kid from science class that smells bad. Pretty much everybody thinks i have bad hygiene but they are wrong! im a pretty clean guy That needs help and if not imma budge to this burden anyway i hope you get through it.