How to Know if You Smell

immune systemWorrying that you have an unpleasant body odor can negatively affect your self esteem.   The last thing that you need to be worried about when you’re at work or out with friends is a nagging thought that you smell a little “funny”.  Learn about the ways to determine if you smell, as well as the causes, treatment and preventative measures you can take when it comes to unpleasant body odors.

Sometimes it may be hard to tell if you smell; here are some health tips you can use to figure out if you smell unpleasant.


1. Smell your clothes – once you’re home, have a shower, have a bite to eat and then take a sniff of your clothes from the day.  If they have an unpleasant odor, it may mean that you have a body odor issue.

2. Take a look at your diet – if you tend to eat a lot of garlic, onions, curry, and spices the odor your body gives off may be unpleasant to others.

RELATED READING: How Many People Actually Eat Healthy?

3. If you tend to sweat a lot, chances are you don’t smell wonderful

4. Ask a trusted friend of family member – tell your friend that you’re concerned that you may have an odor issue and ask them for their opinion.  Be sure to tell them you need to hear the truth, that you won’t be offended

If you determine that you do have an unpleasant order, the next step is determining the cause of the odor.

There are various causes of body odor ranging from poor hygiene to immune system deficiencies.  Unpleasant body odor can sometimes be a signal that you may a serious underlying medical condition. Causes include: excessive sweating, poor hygiene, liver or kidney failure, uncontrolled blood sugar levels (diabetes), oral conditions (cavities, gingivitis, etc.), diet (eating lots of garlic, onions, etc.), infections (yeast infections, sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, etc.), metabolism issues, tumors, certain drugs, toxins, alcohol, and/or smoking. Determining the cause of your odor is the first step in the prevention and treatment of unpleasant body odor.


If you have determined that you have an unpleasant odor, there are a number of health tips to follow to help reduce the odor including: adopting a more thorough hygiene regimen by showering regularly using soap, applying deodorant with an antiperspirant and changing your diet to eliminate overly smelly foods.  If these health tips don’t seem to get rid of the odor, it’s time to see your doctor.  Your doctor will make sure that you don’t have a serious medical condition. Your doctor will run blood tests, liver function tests, may take a chest x-ray, may take CT scans and may perform other tests to rule out serious medical conditions. Treatment will be directed at the cause of the odor.  For example, someone with an infection will be prescribed antibiotics while someone with diabetes will need proper management.  Working with your doctor to determine a proper treatment for your body odor will help you gain your self confidence back.

Preventative Steps You Can Take

If you notice that you have an unpleasant body odor, you can follow preventative health tips to prevent it. First, you have to determine the cause of your body odor. Taking medications to control any medical condition under doctor supervision may be necessary.  Regularly brushing your teeth and visiting your dentist for preventative care will help to prevent oral problems that may be causing an unpleasant odor.  Practicing good hygiene is an important preventative step to ensure that excess bacteria are washed away from your body.  Ensuring that you wash and dry all areas of your body (including between toes, and your belly button) is an important health tip as some areas can harbor bacteria.   If you tend to sweat excessively showering a couple of times a day may be a necessary preventative measure.  Sweat itself doesn’t smell; the unpleasant smell occurs when the sweat mixes with the bacteria on your skin. So making sure your skin is clean and dry will help to keep it smelling fresh.

It’s important not to ignore this slightly embarrassing issue.  Addressing it and taking the appropriate preventative steps will help to keep you smelling fresh and will keep you self confidence high.


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