Why do I suddenly smell so bad?
May 7, 2005 12:15 PM   Subscribe

In the last week or two, I have undergone a transition from pleasant-smelling to ripe and rank. Why?

None of my regular habits have changed- I still shower once or twice a day, brush my teeth regularly, and I haven't tried any new foods- but suddenly every part of me is a stink-machine. My feet practically have smell lines coming out of them, my armpits are on overdrive, and *ahem* certain bodily fluids that are normally pleasant on account of my vegetarian diet are starting to smell as well.
Any ideas as to what's causing it? I'd also appreciate advice on how to deal with it in the meanwhile.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
See a doctor.
posted by bingo at 12:46 PM on May 7, 2005

I agree with bingo. Any sudden physical change is grounds for at least calling your doctor's office and discussing it with a nurse.

This last week I started needing 3 to 4 hour naps each and every afternoon as opposed to 1 to 2 hour naps. Plus, I can't walk more than 100 feet without my calves feeling like they are burning up. Since I have heart disease, I will be talking to my cardiologist's office first thing Monday morning.
posted by mischief at 12:57 PM on May 7, 2005

Go see a doctor ASAP.

Are you drinking enough water?
posted by bshort at 1:02 PM on May 7, 2005

Has your stress level increased significantly recently?

IANAD, but that can frequently contribute to increased body odor.

That having been said, I would also agree with prior responders in that you should seek assistance from a qualified medical professional. Any change in body chemistry drastic enough to produce the effect you describe could also have other, more serious effects.
posted by dersins at 1:04 PM on May 7, 2005

Discover long had (maybe they still do, I don't know) great little true-life medical mystery stories, written by doctors who had patients who presented bizarre symptoms and how they diagnosed and treated the problem. At least once, the bizarre symptom was a foul smell, which turned out to indicate some sort of a weird malfunction with some sort of fundamental aspects of the body's method of dealing with cellular waste, or something along those lines.

Hell, I don't remember. Suffice it to say, it can mean something medical is wrong, and that's about all I've got.
posted by waldo at 1:45 PM on May 7, 2005

Good luck... and maybe, if you're brave enough... you should let us know what the doctor said!
posted by silusGROK at 2:03 PM on May 7, 2005

This probably doesn't help much, but a few months ago my wife started smelling pretty bad, and having all kinds of stomach problems. She had never been lactose intolerant before, but once she cut out dairy from her diet, it went away.
posted by Emanuel at 3:56 PM on May 7, 2005


And wtf? Google is off the net at this moment. Weird, that.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:03 PM on May 7, 2005

SO is 58, he smelled fine until about 5 years ago. Now when he gets hot or works, he has an incredibly noticable odor. It's not anything like fish, it's just more like those old men whose wives have died, and they don't have a clue how to do laundry. It has good days and bad days. I hauled him to a doctor. Fabulous, I find the only doc in the North American continent with apparently no sense of smell, he tells him he smells OK and sends him home. The GP says it won't help to culture his skin bacteria, he'll have the same ones we all have. (About to give up and insist on that, they say it's expensive though.) The only thing that made any difference was a trip to the hospital on IV antibiotics for two weeks, it cured him for almost a year, but came back. We've tried Diflucan, and we've tried oral antibiotics of various kinds, nada.
I do his laundry, and he can take a bath 4 times a day and change clothes, I've seen him, the minute he wanders outside in the summer, Yikes.
I wish I could offer something here, I can't. I'll just mention that you aren't the only one to develop a problem overnight, not that this will make you feel better in any way. I've googled, and all I ever found was bad hygiene or the fish odor thing. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them, and if you find anything that helps, I hope you get back to us. (FWIW, I sometimes notice in a crowd the same smell, so it's not that we have the only case of this there is.)

Thanks, emanuel, we'll try no dairy for a while.
posted by deep_cover at 7:48 PM on May 7, 2005

apologies...off topic:

And wtf? Google is off the net at this moment. Weird, that.

so it wasn't just my isp/dns.
very strange.
posted by juv3nal at 8:01 PM on May 7, 2005

And wtf? Google is off the net at this moment. Weird, that.

I'm tellin' ya, fiona's a supernatural force.
posted by mdn at 7:46 AM on May 8, 2005

Are you sure that it's your body odor and not your perception of your body odor? Are you having any trouble with headaches or your sinuses?
posted by puddinghead at 9:19 AM on May 8, 2005

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