Body Odour Isn’t Always Normal, These Medical Conditions Also Cause Body Odour

Body odour is normal if it only comes with sweating. If your body smells foul for no reason, it could be due to a medical condition.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Jul 09, 2021Updated at: Jul 09, 2021
Body Odour Isn’t Always Normal, These Medical Conditions Also Cause Body Odour

Admit it or not, body odour is a very common thing but no one talks about it openly. This is because people who get body odour are considered to be unhygienic which is making their bodies smell foul. However, this is not the case every time. There are many reasons why body odour could be occurring including certain medical conditions. Ignoring smelly sweat and stinky armpits for long could mean that you are escaping from the potential problem. A lot of people do not know why body odour is caused and so, this article focuses on medical conditions that cause body odour.

5 Health Conditions That Cause Body Odour

Changes in your health internally can affect you externally. When your body is going through some problem, it might give signals. Body odour is one such signal that your body gives about your internal health. Here are seven health issues that cause body odour.


To begin with, a health condition that is identified as extreme body odour is Bromhidrosis. This is caused when the bacteria present in your skin release a weird smell by breaking down the sweat. People who sweat profusely are highly likely to experience this condition. There are two types of Bromhidrosis-

  • Eccrine- Rare form of Bromhidrosis where body odour comes from hands, feet, torso and head. The eccrine gland is responsible for causing this condition.
  • Apocrine- This is the most common type which makes your armpits and genital areas smell really bad. The apocrine gland is responsible for this condition due to excessive sweating.
Body Odour


This medical condition is characterised by abnormal or excessive sweating. However, in this condition, sweating doesn’t cause body odour generally but in some cases, it may also cause your sweat to smell foul. This is when the bacteria present in the body gets mixed with sweat, a foul smell is produced. The two types of Hyperhidrosis are:

  • Primary hyperhidrosis- This is caused majorly in hands, underarms, head, and feet.
  • Secondary hyperhidrosis- This is identified as excessive sweating all over the body due to a medical condition. When the condition is relieved, sweating would eventually stop. Also, certain medications and supplements such as antidepressants, iron supplements and zinc supplements also cause profuse sweating.

Also Read: Perfume Guide: What Kind Of Perfume To Choose For Different Occasions To Smell Good


If you have thyroid, you might be experiencing body odour. Underactive or overactive thyroid alters sweat response as it regulates it. This is why even if you are not exerting yourself or doing much physical labour, you might be experiencing body odour. If you are troubled with this body odour, you must consult your doctor. Maybe he can prescribe medicines to control it.


There are several medical complications that diabetics experience and body odour is one of them. The reason for this is increased blood glucose levels. These can hamper many bodily functions and can also cause a foul smell coming from your body. On the other hand, if the diabetic person is dealing with diabetic ketoacidosis, his body can release a fruity smell which is exactly the opposite of what you would experience otherwise. Thus, you must report this to your doctor and get treatment as diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening health complication.

Also Read: Obesity and Diabetes Together Increases Risk of Kidney Diseases, Doctor Explains

Metabolic Disorders

Metabolic Disorders

Another medical condition that causes a stinky smell coming from your body is a metabolic disorder. These cause genetic mutations that can produce body odour. The two major metabolic disorders that affect body odour are- Trimethylaminuria and secondary Trimethylaminuria. These cause the breaking down of different chemical compounds that release extremely bad smells from the body, breath and urine. So, if you are noticing a foul smell coming from your breath, body and urine, you must get yourself tested and treated for metabolic disorders as this would automatically reduce body odour.

Apart from the aforesaid five health conditions, liver dysfunction, kidney failure and hormonal fluctuations can also be held responsible for body odour. If you yourself aren’t able to bear the stinky smell coming from your body, there must be something underline that you don’t know.

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