Types of Sweat Glands
The body naturally produces two types of sweat chemicals, both of which are odorless, until anaerobic bacteria mixes with the fluids:
- Eccrine Sweat: eccrine sweat is produced by the eccrine glands. They are major sweat glands, located all over the body and is designed to regulate the body’s temperature.
- Apocrine Sweat: a apocrine sweat fluid is a little thicker than eccrine sweat and is referred to as the fatty sweat. It is produced in the armpits, areola of the nipples, the groin, the mouth, feet, and hair. When apocrine sweat mixes with bacteria on the skin, the bacteria causes a change in body odor. Staph are germs that naturally live on the skin and when it is mixed with sweat, body odor is produced. Bacteria feeds on sweat when it is secreted onto the skin. Anaerobic bacteria produces bi-products or body odors made of excess fatty acids, ammonia, and whatever chemical that is unique to every woman.
Menopause Causes Body Odors
Unfortunately, it is common to experience a rise in body odor during all the menopause cycles. Body odor increases when a menopausal women is experiencing other menopause symptoms, like hot flashes, night sweat, mood swings, and psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. Bacteria grows on the body because it doesn’t get enough oxygen as a result of overactive metabolism, as it tries to get rid of waste products caused by hormone imbalance. As a result, all kinds of odors are emitted from various parts of the body, like the feet, hands, breath, and armpits. Not every woman experiences many of the mental and physical changes that accompany perimenopause and full-on menopause. But for the women that do suffer uncomfortable side effects like body odor, there is help.
Hormonal Symptoms Contribute To Body Odors
The main hormone that is also responsible for menopausal body odor is estrogen. Estrogen is responsible for helping to regulate the hypothalamus, which is a part of the brain that controls the body’s temperature. During menopause, estrogen hormone levels drop which creates a chain reaction, where the hypothalamus tells the body that estrogen is heating up. The agitated hypothalamus causes an increase in sweat glands production, thus changes in body odor is the end product.
Symptoms of body order depends on the type of condition being experienced. Body odor conditions affects the endocrine system and exhibits the following symptoms:
- weight loss
- night sweats
- cold hands
- excessive sweating as in hot flashes
In serious cases, symptoms that require menopausal women going to see their healthcare provider, includes:
- Pressure sensation in the chest
- Chest pain
- Loss of consciousness
- Shortness of breath
- Vision problems
Dietary Changes To Combat Body Odors
There are many remedies and treatment options open to menopausal women to help combat this added symptom of menopause, body odor. Zinc and magnesium, available in capsule form or can be found in fish like oysters, shellfish, scallop. Vegetables (fibers) are also rich in these minerals, foods such as spinach, okra, and broccoli, while enriched nuts include peanuts, pecans, pine, and cashew. Other foods are cheese, bran cereals, eggs, tofu, and liver. Wheat grass is nature’s natural deodorant due to its enriched chlorophyll ingredients. Always drink plenty of water to flush out toxins and waste products from the body. Foods to avoid are large consumptions of red meat, only because red meat doesn’t digest quickly and remains in the digestive tract, releasing toxins into the bloodstream. While combating body odor and other menopausal symptoms, cut back or avoid white flour, sugars, spicy foods, caffeinated drinks, and deep friend foods.
Baking soda is useful as a paste that can be used on the body, especially under the arms, because it absorbs moisture from the skin and deodorizes. Women can use a solution of apple cider or white vinegar and water to wipe off the skin and decrease body odor. Apple cider vinegar actually regulates the pH balance of the skin which eliminates odor. Cotton clothing is a natural fiber that resists body odor and helps to control sweat. Wear cotton undergarments or shirts and blouses for women to feel confident and to repel moisture or sweat build-up. From head to toe, talcum powder or baby powder contains ingredients that soak up excess moisture and helps menopausal women feel cooler and dry. Of course, antiperspirants are useful when they contain aluminum compounds, which controls sweating by blocking sweat pores and covers up body odor.
Added lifestyle changes that help to defer body odor, is to reduce the amount of stress that menopausal women are going through. Women should choose one lifestyle change at a time so that change becomes more fun and comfortable to achieve. To reduce or eliminate body odors, practice meditation or quiet time so that the mental and physical body calms down, which does not allow body odors to occur. Other alternative methods can include acupuncture, aromatherapy, and gentle yoga exercises.