This might ramble a little bit but here goes...I too suffer from chronic B.O. It's been like this now for a bit over a year. It started happening about a week or so after I got off of Antibiotics
. In any case, since then I've tried to learn as much as possible about why I stink and what I can do to fix it. I've spent endless hours on the internet learning about mundane things such as nutrition to the extreme like Liver Flushes
with olive oil, all the while I probably should have been doing work (I'm a college student soon to graduate). For over a year now, Body Odor
is all I can think about, especially in class when people are constantly sniffling and trying to figure out where that odor is coming from - though it isn't as bad as it was last year. Also the cool weather helps. I definitely avoid many situations for fear of people finding out that I smell bad. I have a car and sometimes drive to campus on really hot days to avoid walking and sweating even though I live pretty close. Anyways, here is my theory of why we (or at least I) smell bad.
Any of the books or articles online that you'll read will say that "death starts in the colon." The most important aspect to health is the colon (large intestine). This must be clean and be filled with beneficial microflora, or else you'll start having problems. Problems arise usually due to poor diet (eating lots of Sugar
feeds harmful bacteria and in turn kills good bacteria), perhaps food allergies
or intoleraces (I am gluten and casein intolerant, and I stay away from soy milk). Intolerances are harder to detect than full-blown allergies since allergies cause a reaction right away (like rashes or swelling). Intolerance may cause something as simple as gas or excess burping (but this could also be due to hypochloridia - or lack of sufficient stomach acid). An intolerance means your body does not produce a specific enzyme (i.e., lactose intolerance is due to your body's inability to produce lactase). I've read stuff where people cut stuff out of their children's diet (as in milk) and their child's B.O. goes away in just a few days (these kids, for whatever reason, also tend to be autistic). Another problem with the colon is if you have intestinal permeability issues, or Leaky Gut Syndrome. People with candida overgrowth, crohn's, celiac and colitis normally have this I believe. But regular people can get it too overtime. Although the naturopath I went to says otherwise, I think food particles and stuff that shouldn't be passing through the intestinal wall are passing through and putting a strain on the blood-filtering organs. As a result, our blood-cleaning organs like our kidneys and liver are taxed and do not clean the blood. Because the blood is dirty, every organ in the body suffers because everything runs on clean blood. When the pancreas gets dirty-blood sent to it rather than nutrient-rich clean blood, it doesn't function as well, can't produce enough enzymes and digestion suffers. This leads to more undigested food in our system which gets fermented by harmful bacteria and yeast, producing more toxins, putting more of a strain on the blood-filtering organs, and causing a vicious cycle. Also what gets affected by dirty blood are your glands which produce hormones. With poor horomone production, we feel sluggish and our body doesn't produce enough of the hormone that gets the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid (necessary in protein digestion). Thus more poor digestion and fermented food in our system. When food is fermented rather than digested, this leads to Body Odor
(at least in my case).
I also have poor carbohydrate digestion because of Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. These bacteria in the intestine degrade the digestive enzymes that break down starch (grains, potatoes, corn, etc.). Thus when I eat grains, like potato chips it gives me not just gas (because my body isn't breaking it down properly), but it kicks my B.O. up a notch.
I think the underlying theme that connects all of us, or at least seems to, is use or overuse of Antibiotics
in the past. I was prescribed Antibiotics
several years ago. I was given a one-month prescription. Because it worked so well at getting rid of acne, I kept using it. I didn't realize that it made me have to take a dump like four times a day because for me that was relatively normal (I believe because I was gluten intolerant and still ate bread, pasta, etc. in my diet). I took antibiotics for several years. Meanwhile, candida took hold of my intestinal tract. After 3+ years of Antibiotic
use and numerous doctors visits because I was starting to realize something was wrong (digestion was really bad for pretty much everything I ate), I slowly began trying to eat healthy. When I did, I noticed I didn't need to take antidepressants anymore (which I was taking because my doctors thought I was depressed because I was always so sluggish; really it's because my body wasn't absorbing any nutrients from the food I was eating, it was just passing through me due to food intolerance
and poor digestion due to candida overgrowth). I eventually stopped taking antibiotics too. Things started to get better for a week, but then I started noticing weird things happening. Like people sitting around me in class start sniffing like crazy, and leaning towards me and sniffing. After working out then getting in the elevator, people making comments and noises and gasping for air after trying to hold their breaths. Also, people who I used to see and talk to would just say hi and try to avoid talking to me. I started to think that I smelled bad, but couldn't get any of my friends to confirm this (either they were being polite or really couldn't smell it at the time). Even now, it's hard to smell the odor directly off my skin.
Anyways, getting back to the point of this post, in terms of how to help this problem, I have a few suggestions. I can't say with complete certainty that this stuff will cure your problems since I am still going through this, but it is a start and something to think about. I have tried many things, and some have worked and some were useless. I think the most important thing is digestion. You want your body to digest your food entirely or as entirely as possible so you are not putting an extra load on your liver or kidneys with fermented bacterial byproducts. You can do this by cleaning out or supporting your liver and kidneys. I don't recommend the olive oil flush. I tried this over the summer once and I don't think it did much. There are herbs and stuff you can try to support your liver like milk thistle and dandelion, and there are others for your kidneys. But the most important thing is that everything is of the highest quality possible. If you buy cheap stuff, don't be surprised if it doesn't do anything. That's the other thing, keep your job cause the stuff you need to get is expensive. Keep yourself motivated at work by telling yourself that soon this will all be over, and tell those jerkoff people who make rude and insensitive comments to f--- off. I am about to try this stuff, agaricus bisporus extract, or white mushroom extract called Odex. It's produced by Pure Encapsulations. It cleans the kidneys, somehow regulates the microflora balance in your intestines and contains antioxidants, which are always good. I don't usually buy stuff with such a lame name, but it's worth a shot. I'll let everyone know if it's worth the 25 bucks after I try it for a week or so.
Stuff I use that I know works for sure is Intestamine by Douglas Laboratories (which contains 5,000 mg L-glutamine and n-acetyl d-glucosamine). Google these two nutrients if you're curious - they both help heal the intestinal lining and help with Leaky Gut. For probiotics, I've tried a bunch, including VSL#3 (which is expensive as heck), Custom Probiotics (the owner is a good guy - he runs everything himself) and stuff I've bough at Whole Foods (really weak stuff though; only like 1 billion cfu per serving). The best stuff I've tried though is Kirkman Labs probiotics. You know their stuff works because it makes you tired (a die-off reaction from harmful bacteria and yeast). I take one of the multi-strain ones that includes sachorromyces boullardi (not sure of that spelling but it kills candida - fights yeast with yeast - and then leaves your system when there is no more candida). But if you take probiotics, always support your liver and kidneys to make sure your digestion is good, otherwise the die-off byproducts and toxins that are produced will tax your kidneys and liver especially and your digestion will suffer - leading to even more undigested food and waste products for these organs to filter. The Intestamine is expensive - $55 a bottle for the powder, I think $30+ for the capsules, but you get less - but I think it works. I tried the GNC brand l-glutamine awhile back with dubious results.
After stopping the antibiotics, the candida in my system was already shutting down my digestive powers, thus after every meal there would be lots of undigested food in my system. I think harmful bacteria from the large intestine crept up to the small intestine to feed on this undigested food and that's how I got bacterial overgrowth in my small intestine. To kill these bacteria, if you too have this problem, you have numerous options. I would suggest all natural because drugs have side effects. Grapefruit seed extract supposedly works, but it was too rough on my stomach (I also had an ulcerated stomach after taking antibiotics and anti-depressants on an empty stomach every morning for 3+ years). People say Olive Leaf Extract works well too. I am trying honey. Tests show that Manuka honey works well (but it is expensive). I am trying the brand Really Raw Honey. I don't take it as consistenly as I should though (don't heat it though cause it kills the active enzymes in it). I am hoping that taking good probiotics will also help kill the harmful bacteria (probiotics, or good bacteria, produce bacteriocin, a natural antibiotic).
Also, to aid with digestion, you can take digestive enzymes, but I would use these only when necessary. Don't let these become a crutch. Also, your body needs rest. If I don't get enough sleep, my digestion suffers the next day. Take naps whenever you need to (of course, this is easier to do for a college student than someone who works in an office).
That's about it for now. I'm sure I've left lots of stuff out, but this post is probably long enough as it is. Also, while we are all suffering, use this opportunity and whatever free time you have to educate yourself. Read books on health, nutrition, stress, whatever. It's easy to feel like a victim, but it's hard to do something about it. Take the hard path and struggle a bit, you will be a better person for it. Also, find comfort in using this board and sharing your experiences with others. As for feedback, I'm curious to hear what other people think about the suggestions I've made, whether they've tried them or not, and what result they had.
Also, one last thing. In "Detoxification and Healing," Dr. Sidney MacDonald Baker says that oxidation is the cause of cell death (and thus aging and death in general) and so antioxidants are the key to good health and life. Although antioxidants won't solve your b.o. problem directly, it probably helps your health in general and thus indirectly helps with the b.o. I'm starting to drink green tea. More likely than not, b.o. is not caused by one single thing that when eliminated or added will solve your problem instantaneously. It is probably the result of a chain reaction or some underlying hidden cause(i.e., some people say zinc deficiency is the cause, but how was the zinc deficiency caused? Was it celiac disease - many celiacs are zinc deficient), or it could a combination of things (i.e., leaky gut, failing kidneys, dysbiosis and vitamin deficiency). The solution won't come over night or in a simple pill. Even if you do overcome your b.o. problem, I think a healthy lifestyle should always be a goal.