Everyone has body odor to one degree or another, such as the occasional smelly armpit, or bad breath in the morning. And usually, it's nothing to worry about. But if you happen to notice new or worsening smells take note as it may be a sign of inflammation — among other health concerns.
"New, strong, or persistent body odors are your body's way of warning you that something may be up with your health," Carolyn Dean, MD, ND health expert and author of The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women’s Health, tells Bustle.
And while there are several possible reasons for stronger body odor, inflammation — and the impact it has on the body — can be one of them. "Inflammation is the body’s immune system response to injury, irritation, or infection, which is a natural and healthy process," Dr. Dean says. "However, when inflammation is chronic, a constant flow of free radicals is generated which overwhelms our antioxidant defenses, damages our DNA [...] and causes chronic disease along with body odors."
Luckily, there are many ways to lower inflammation before it gets to this point, with some of the easiest being simple lifestyle changes. "Lowering inflammation naturally helps you to solve the problem from the root rather than just cover up the symptoms," Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics, tells Bustle. Backe suggests eating anti-inflammatory foods like fatty fish and leafy greens, getting more sleep, and adding exercise into your routine. And of course, speaking with your doctor to make sure it's not something more serious.
With that in mind, here are a few body odors that may get stronger if you have inflammation, according to experts.