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Changes in Body Odor in Menopause

Changes in Body Odor in Menopause

Contrary to many people's beliefs, sweat does not cause body odor. There are two kinds of sweat, eccrine and aprocrine. Eccrine sweat is produced all over the body and is entirely odorless.

Aprocrine sweat is a fatty sweat produced by glands located in the armpit and groin. While it too is odorless, the bacteria on your skin feed on the fatty components, and it is those bacterial by-products — including fatty acids and ammonia — that cause changes in body odor.

Definition of Changes in Body Odor in Menopause
Changes in body odor during menopause are generally a matter of quantity rather than substance. That is, your basic body odor, which is different for every person, doesn't really change. There's just more of it, so it becomes more noticeable.
When it comes to increased perspiration, symptoms and causes are somewhat like chickens and eggs. Which comes first? Are night sweats a symptom of increased sweat or a cause? Does anxiety cause you to sweat more or do you become anxious because of increased sweat? It doesn't really matter. What matters is the effect it has on you and how you can treat it.

Symptoms of Menopause Changes in Body Odor
- Anxiety
- Self-esteem issues
- Night sweats
- Hot flushes

Causes of Menopause Changes in Body Odor
Other menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes and night sweats, are partially responsible for increased perspiration. Estrogen is the hormone that regulates the body's temperature, in conjunction with the hypothalamus. When estrogen levels decline during menopause, the hypothalamus assumes that the body is overheated. The hypothalamus then sends out messages that cause increased sweat production as a means of cooling the body.

Other elements also affect sweat production and changes in body odor. Stress and anxiety cause increased sweat, as do spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol and lack of certain nutrients, particularly magnesium and zinc. Wearing non-breathable fabrics such as polyester and other synthetics can also increase the amount you sweat. Synthetics also trap sweat rather than wicking it away, so bacteria have more chance to feed on it.

Menopause Changes in Body Odor Treatments
Lifestyle changes can help somewhat in controlling menopause changes in body odor. Wearing cotton or other natural fabrics helps, as do avoiding triggers in your diet. Stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation may also help. Of course, bathing frequently and using an antibacterial soap are basic steps.

As with most other symptoms of menopause, however, the most effective treatment is to treat the source of the problem: low levels of estrogen. Conventional hormone replacement therapy has fallen out of favor because it carries with it serious side effects. A natural treatment such as Amberen, however, can help stimulate the production of your body's own estrogen, relieving increased perspiration and other symptoms.

Menopause Changes in Body Odor FAQ

Q: What are the best dietary sources of magnesium and zinc?
A: All kinds of seafood provide these important minerals. Oysters are especially high in these nutrients. You can also get zinc and magnesium from nuts.

Risks of Menopause Changes in Body Odor
The primary risks of menopause changes in body odor are psychological rather than physical. Embarrassment and anxiety about body odor may cause a woman to limit her social life and worry about those times when interaction with others can't be avoided, such as work.

Body odor is a touchy enough subject when having to manage it personally but when it becomes absolutely necessary to confront a close friend or co-worker the subject can become downright delicate. Knowing the facts behind the possible causes of body odor may open doors as far as how to approach the problem and lead to the awareness of plausible solutions.

Q: What Is Body Odor?
A: When our sweat meets bacteria on the skin, body odor begins. Our bodies are comprised of two to four million sweat glands that are located in the dermis layer of the skin. Of these sweat glands there are two types: eccrine sweat glands and apocrine sweat glands. Eccrine glands are located throughout the surface of the body and secrete a mixture of water, salt and trace electrolytes. Eccrine sweat glands jump into action as the temperature of the body rises and the autonomic nervous system stimulates them to perform their body cooling duties.

Apocrine glands populate areas of the body that are dense with hair follicles such as the scalp, armpits and groin. The apocrine sweat glands are activated at times of anxiety and emotional stress. Apocrine secretions are composed of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins which are a perfect recipe for bacteria. Sweat is odorless, but when apocrine glands secrete its thick fatty substance onto the skin, bacteria flourish and create the malodorous scent we associate with body odor.

Q: What Causes Body Odor?
A: Once these fatty secretions arrive onto the skin surface, bacteria work to break it down resulting in strong body smells. Studies have shown that body odor is also linked to the following causes:

Diet - Red meat eaten in large quantities has been shown to contribute to body odor. Red meat contains high levels of protein that the body is unable to metabolize, so in turn, is expelled by the apocrine glands that feed odor-causing bacteria. Diets high in sugars and saturated fats also contribute to the problem of strong body odor.

Hormonal imbalance - Women approaching menopause are prone to estrogen and progesterone fluctuations that cause the phenomenon of hot flushes and night sweats. When the activity of the apocrine glands are over stimulated by endocrine system that manufactures these hormones, excessive sweating can result in unpleasant body odors.

Certain medications - The thyroid hormone thyroxine is known to produce nervousness, anxiety and heart palpitations that cause the apocrine glands to surge with excess secretions. Certain anti-psychotic drugs and the powerful pain medication, morphine, are also known to contribute to body odor.

Diseases - Conditions such as diabetes can create breath and body odors. The liver and kidneys serve to cleanse and eliminate toxins from the blood. When these organs become diseased and can no longer function properly, heavy toxins build up in the blood that can result in unpleasant body smells. Certain cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia produce unusual sweating processes that result in strange bodily smells.

Q: What Can Be Done To Help Alleviate Body Odor?
A: Hygiene - The first approach should be a change in personal hygiene habits. A daily regimen of showering with soap and warm water and toweling completely dry afterward should be routine. The use deodorants and antiperspirants as needed throughout the day is highly recommended. Loose fitting clothing made from natural fibers such as cottons, linens and silks will allow for better ventilation, absorption of moisture and create a cooling air flow around your body.

Diet - By cutting out excesses such as red meat, sugars and saturated fats, and adjusting your diet accordingly, will aid greatly toward reducing a propensity for body odor. By including an abundance of vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes as a regular diet should not only help with body odor, but will improve overall health.

Coping techniques - Stress and anxiety are major factors that increase the incidence of body odor. Explore options that involve the promotion of relaxation, calmness and the release of stress. The consistent practice of yoga, Tai Chi, or a daily walk can directly affect you battle with body odor in a positive way.