8 Surprising Reasons You Might Stink

Image: iStock

Image: iStock

Sometimes, the root of our body odor has nothing to do with the last time you took a shower or slapped on some deodorant—there are plenty of medical reasons you might stink. From rare disorders to bad habits, read on for some of the most surprising causes of body odor.

1. You Have A Rare Genetic Disorder

Trimethylaminuria is an extremely rare disorder that makes it impossible for your body to break down the chemical compound known as trimethylamine. After building up the in the body over time, the compound often produces a strong, rotten egg or fish-like smell. This is the main symptom of the disorder—people can unsurprisingly suffer psychological issues as a result of the foul smell they secrete as well.

2. You Had A Few Too Many

Knock back a few drinks last night? When our bodies are breaking down alcohol, most of it is converted into acetic acid—but not all of it. Some of it is released through our sweat and mouths.

3. You’re Depressed

Depression can take a major toll on your life—making even the simplest tasks incredibly daunting. One such task can be practicing personal hygiene habits. It’s not uncommon for regular showers and other tasks to fall by the wayside in people that are experiencing depression.

4. You’re Getting Older

We’ve all seen how dogs, cats and other animals make good use of their noses to detect other creatures. And, wouldn’t you know, us humans do that, too! Studies have shown that people can detect an older person based on their scent alone—likely due to the fact that, well, older people are less ideal mates.

5. You’re Not Getting Enough Magnesium

Magnesium helps your heart, your muscles and your immune system—and not getting enough of it can make you smell bad, too.

6. You’re Stressed

Stress can wreak havoc on your body, and the way your body smells is no exception. When we’re under pressure, we release more sweat in our armpits—a lot more. The stress-related sweat our bodies release is actually stinkier than the average sweat we produce.

7. You’re On Certain Medications

Certain medications, antidepressants in particular, but also in rare cases NSAIDS, like ibuprofen, and other less common drugs can cause excessive sweating and increased body odor. Check with your doctor if you notice increased sweat and odor after starting a new medication.

8. It’s Genetic

Yep, sometimes you can blame your parents! The way our bodies smell has a strong genetic component. Some people, particularly those of East Asian descent, have far fewer stinky sweat-producing glands on their bodies than average.