Your body odour could be a sign of four serious health conditions

The way you smell can raise an alarm for some deadly health conditions.

Your body odour could be a sign of four serious health conditions
© Getty/ Chanintorn Vanichsawangphan / EyeEm
Your body odour could be a sign of four serious health conditions

The food you eat, some medications you take, your hormones and even certain infections can alter the way you smell. Quite apart from these, your body odour could also be a subtle (or strong) indication of serious health issues. Here are three diseases that can alter the way your body smells.

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Skin conditions

It is quite normal for your body to emanate a not-so-pleasant odour when you’re just done working out or have gone a long period without deodorant or a shower. However, some skin conditions can cause your body to give off a bad smell. Doctor Jennifer Stagg tells Bustle:

Skin infections can present with a putrid odor from the byproducts of bacterial growth. Gangrene, which is dying tissue, has one of the most offensive odors and smells like rotting meat.


People who have type 1 diabetes are more likely to have a fruity breath and/or body odour, according to an article on The change in odour is caused by Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) which occurs when your body is running low on insulin, causing your blood sugar to spike. Since your body is unable to burn sugar for energy, it turns to burn fat instead, pushing your ketone levels up, thus causing your blood to become acidic and your body odour to be sweet, according to The Sun.

Liver and kidney diseases

Two other chronic diseases that can cause unpleasant smell are liver and kidney diseases. These medical conditions can cause sufferers to sweat profusely. The sweat produced has been likened to that of rotten egg, in the case of liver disease, and ammonia for kidney disease, according to an article in Global News.

Menopause, gout and overactive thyroid as well as stress can also cause your body to generate bad odour. You should see a doctor if you notice any change in the way you typically smell.

Sources used:

The Sun: How your body odour could be a sign of four deadly diseases

AARP: What's That Smell? Possibly a Health Issue

Bustle: 11 Weird Body Odors That Might Be A Sign Of A Health Problem

Global News: What does your body odour say about your health?

Cleveland Clinic: Body Odour

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