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What causes bad body odor?

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Posted on Thu, 12 May 2016
Question: Hi,
I am a 65 year old man, suffering from a bad body odour. This problem has created a bad social problem for me both at work and in private life. The problem started at around the age of 19 year with a lot saliva flowing into my mouth. The unfortunate part of this was that at that time I was in one of the so called third world countries, that is, no appropriate medical evaluation or treatment. Eventually at age 21, a ENT doctor told me that my tonsil had been affected and the tonsil was removed. After that I moved to Germany (West) where there was better or superb access to medical doctors. In Germany those days, students were required to undergo medical test before registering for the semester and on one occasion the X-ray showed some sign of TB, but a skin test was ordered which came back as negative. Up till the age of 40, it was more of bad mouth odor. As from the age of 46 on, I started having some occasional pain on the lower right side of my stomach. This pain on the right stomach side is not constant but comes for maybe 20 minutes at times and stop. However, each time this pain comes on, people around would start asking "what is smelling here?" I have had friends asking what is smelling like natural gas here? After so much complaints from me, I was allowed to do MRI of the abdomen and organs. The result was that there is a 8 mm diameter calcification in the liver. Also, many Ultra sound test showed the same thing. My problem is that this body odor is gradually getting out of hand but my family physicians are not doing much to solve the problem. Lastly, I have never smoked, and hardly drink, neither beer nor alcohol. If I drink, probably 2 bottles of beer in a year.
Please, what do think about my problem? XXXXXXX A.
Canada.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko (46 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Rare metabolic issue can be the reason.

Detailed Answer:
Hello!

Thank you for the query.

First of all please note that it is extremely hard to help you from the point of this service. Especially that this issue is with you for a very long time.
Body odor can be caused by many different things including metabolic issues (lack or low amount of internal enzyme responsible for chemical action with substances), chronic skin infection (bacterial), bowels bacteria (overgrowth of bowels bacteria), diabetes, excessive sweating and many many more.

Mouth odor usually is a sign of acid reflux. In same cases, esophageal diverticle (gives also hoarseness) or esophageal narrowing can be the reason.

Lower right abdominal pain is not caused by the mentioned calcification for sure. To determine the reason of this pain, colonoscopy is necessary.

I suggest you to start with some diagnostic:
- gastroscopy
- colonoscopy

Consider Rifaximine intake for bacterial overgrowth.
If this steps wont help, you should consult a doctor specialized in rare metabolic diseases.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask further questions.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Grzegorz Stanko

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 5769 Questions

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What causes bad body odor?

Brief Answer: Rare metabolic issue can be the reason. Detailed Answer: Hello! Thank you for the query. First of all please note that it is extremely hard to help you from the point of this service. Especially that this issue is with you for a very long time. Body odor can be caused by many different things including metabolic issues (lack or low amount of internal enzyme responsible for chemical action with substances), chronic skin infection (bacterial), bowels bacteria (overgrowth of bowels bacteria), diabetes, excessive sweating and many many more. Mouth odor usually is a sign of acid reflux. In same cases, esophageal diverticle (gives also hoarseness) or esophageal narrowing can be the reason. Lower right abdominal pain is not caused by the mentioned calcification for sure. To determine the reason of this pain, colonoscopy is necessary. I suggest you to start with some diagnostic: - gastroscopy - colonoscopy Consider Rifaximine intake for bacterial overgrowth. If this steps wont help, you should consult a doctor specialized in rare metabolic diseases. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask further questions. Regards.