What diseases can cause bad body odor?

Do you know What diseases can cause bad body odor? Before we plunge into the kinds of diseases that cause bad body odor, let’s address a point.

Oftentimes, we do not pay close attention to changes in our body system. This is due to our overly busy schedules.

So, we neglect the changes we notice or brush them aside by the wave of a hand. Not knowing that those changes, albeit little, might be an alarm going off and seeking to be immediately addressed.

Furthermore, these warning signs might lead to full-blown disorder or illness and also set off a chain reaction of problems.

For clarification, our body is built in a kind of way that leaves us in wonder. Just like in the case of a referred pain, which is a pain that you feel at a location of your body, without knowing that the origin of the pain is actually elsewhere.

What is body odour?

As unique as we all humans are, we all have a certain unique way we smell naturally. Body odour on its own is never a bad thing and not a cause for alarm.

For what it’s worth, healthy individuals do have body odour unique to them but it is never unpleasant.

So, all humans produce odourants from the age of puberty upwards. This is when the sweat glands become more pronounced and active.

Most times, people misunderstand the point that sweat on its own does not smell. However, the breakdown of sweats by bacteria on the skin leads to the production of body odour.

Evidently, there is a problem when the body odour becomes unpleasant and offensive.

Bad body odour

Bad body odour begins when an individual releases an unpleasant smell from their body. This might be caused by underlying reasons or diseases if you look at it critically.

Now it is important we search out some of these diseases that can cause bad body odour.

What Diseases can cause bad body odor?

In continuation, our body systems sometimes develop a mind of its own, and when you overlook a sign for so long, you will totally lose the right to tell your system how to react to intruders or unwanted development.

Mind you, your immune system and your body’s ability to fight off diseases can only go a long way if you do not help them to help you lead a healthy life.

So, the best decision you can ever make is to stay on alert. Know your body, listen and watch out for any slight changes.

If you discover that there is this odour emitting from your body, check out one of these diseases. However, make sure you get a confirmation from a good hospital and doctor.

Without much ado, let us look at some diseases that can cause bad body odour.


This is abnormal or excessive sweating. As a matter of fact, we all sweat when the body needs to cool down when we are hot or when we exercise.

But that is not the same case with this condition called Hyperhidrosis. This disease does not on its own cause bad odour but as a result of it, the odour begins to become unavoidable and noticeable due to the breakdown of bacteria mixed with excessive sweat.

In line with this, there are two types of Hyperhidrosis; primary Hyperhidrosis and secondary Hyperhidrosis.

Primary Hyperhidrosis causes a sufferer to sweat excessively to the point that the sweat soaks the clothes and starts dripping out so obviously. Also, the sufferer experiences this abnormal sweating on the feet, armpit, hands, groin, and face.

Secondary Hyperhidrosis is triggered by a more serious underlying medical condition. Not just that, it might be triggered as a result of reactions to some medications. More so, this secondary Hyperhidrosis causes the individual to sweat all over the body. This time around, not just in certain areas.

At this point, it is important for you to visit the hospital, run a sweat test and listen attentively to your doctor. 

some drugs that can cause Hyperhidrosis

  • Zinc supplements
  • Norpramin (antidepressant)
  • Iron supplements

 Metabolic disorders

Now, understand that our body breaks down chemical compounds which helps the system maintain a non-toxic internal environment. When your body stops breaking down trimethylamine, it becomes a problem.

Although trimethylamine is produced in the gut when the good bacteria break down some of the things we ate, the body still needs to break it down and turn it into an odourless chemical.

So, when the body becomes unable to break this chemical compound down, it, in turn, builds up inside the body, finds its way into the bloodstream and then, into the sweat pores.

Moreover, this condition is called Trimethylaminuria. The person begins to ooze out bad fishy-like body odour.

By the way, this condition is not a result of the individual’s doing. Trimethylaminuria is hereditary and caused by a bad FMO3 gene. Once two partners are carriers, their offspring stands the risk of having this disease.

Importantly, individuals that suffer trimethylaminuria are advised to avoid foods like;

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Diary
  • Liver
  • Beans

Also, avoid any activity that might trigger sweating


This is a condition that makes the body unable to break down glucose or blood sugar.

Also, there are different types of this disease but the most common are diabetes type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 is a condition where the individual’s body stops producing insulin. So, the individual receives insulin externally.

Type 2 is another form of it that makes the body unable to use insulin effectively. As much, this can be an underlying factor behind bad body odour.


An obese person suffers from unhealthy excess body weight and fat. You can determine obesity by the individual’s Body Mass Index (BMI).

Therefore, obesity triggers more health conditions including metabolic issues. In light of this, when the body finds it hard to breakdown certain chemical compounds, it may cause a bad body odour.

So, you must maintain a healthy weight, try any form of exercise that you are comfortable with, and watch what you eat always.


Firstly, this is a medical condition that makes the bacteria break down sweat and in turn produce sulfur or onion-like odour.

This medical condition has two types:

Apocrine Bromhidrosis:

Here, the sweat from the apocrine glands mixes with the bacteria on the skin. This just goes ahead to produce an unpleasant onion-like smell from the armpits and groins.

Eccrine Bromhidrosis:

The bacteria in the skin combine with the sweat from the eccrine gland to produce an unpleasant smell in the hands, feet and body.

Summarily, bad body odour can be treated if it is a result of underlying medical conditions. Once the main problem is exposed and treated, these unpleasant smells go away by themselves.

Then again, if the bad body odour is a result of genetic inheritance, you can manage the condition and reduce it to its barest minimum. Only keep to the instructions of your doctor and take the necessary prescribed medications.

Moreover, you just can not overlook the need for personal hygiene. One of the steps to curb bad body odour is to be interested in what your body is telling you per time and also top up your personal hygiene steadily. And while at it, bring a doctor on-board.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) What diseases can cause bad body odor

  • Why can’t you smell your own body odour?

Ans. Frankly speaking, scientists are not exactly sure why you can not smell your own body’s odour.

However, a random idea believes that the receptors in our nose becomes quite familiar with the smell and turns off to it. These receptors are now only interested in picking out new, different smells.

  • Is there any way I can at least, smell myself?

Ans. Of course, there are hacks to these things. You can put the clothes you wore without any form of perfumes and deodorants to your nose after removing them. This might help you know how you smell.

  • How can I smell good naturally?

Ans. You must be clean and keep up with proper hygiene procedures. Also,

  • Take your bath regularly
  • Put on well-dried clothes
  • Put on dry footwear and air your feet regularly
  • Drink enough water daily
  • Keep your armpits dry
  • Use good colognes or perfumes regularly
  • Reduce activities that might lead to serious sweating
  • Eat healthy because you are what you eat.
  • Air out your clothes and wardrobe
  • Avoid overly tight clothes

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