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Does your sweat have a strong odour? (it could be your gut… or your liver)

Believe it or not, I used to have pretty bad “BO” and I could never figure out why… until, that is, I fixed my gut and liver health.

I was surprised to find that bad body odour may be the consequence of genetics.

Mutations in a gene called ABCC11 may contribute to pungent body odour, but as always, we can create the problems ourselves.

I think it’s unwise to blame genetics for such a common, everyday complaint, and I found my body odour improved when I detoxified my gut, liver and kidneys.

Sweat, odour, gut, liver and kidneys

Sweat having a strong odour (commonly and cruelly known as “B.O.”) may be a sign that you need liver and kidney support, and/or that you have a toxic bowel. It can also be a sign of magnesium deficiency.

Sweating is a pathway of detoxification – it’s not the main one, but it operates excessively if your liver, kidneys and bowels are blocked or under-functioning.

The more toxic your body, the more smelly your sweat is likely to be (it stands to reason, right?)

Adequate liver, kidney and bowel function means you’ll detoxify properly through these pathways, with less demand on the sweating process.

But if your liver and kidneys get overwhelmed, your body has to find other ways to dump out its toxic load, with sweat being one such pathway.

It often begins with a toxic gut or bowel

A toxic bowel usually starts with low stomach acid and the overgrowth of unwanted microbes.

Proteins and carbohydrates end up not being digested properly and are acted upon by microbes in your gut.

Furthermore, you may already have imbalanced gut flora in the form of H. pylori, SIBO, Candida, parasites and fungal/mold organisms, which themselves produce some pretty nasty chemicals for you to detoxify.

Excessive amounts of toxic by-products can build up, leading to what we call ‘bowel toxemia’.

All the blood from your gut goes to your liver to be processed, and if the blood is tinted with toxins from a toxic bowel, your liver can get overwhelmed.

As a result, toxins enter general circulation and begin to overwhelm the usual detoxification pathways, especially if you have pre-existing low kidney function.

Sweat serves a major excretory function and if the kidney or liver is dysfunctional, the body will use the skin to eliminate toxins.

The result?

Smelly sweat, body odour, B.O. or whatever you choose to call it.

You might also develop bad breath/halitosis in this situation.

How can you check for liver problems?

  • Check for tenderness under your right ribcage
  • Right shoulder pain not associated with injury can be a sign of liver inflammation
  • A good manual therapist can check the Chapman reflex for liver-gallbladder
  • Liver detoxification test through a private lab (organic acids is a good one)
  • On a blood test, look for elevated SGOT/AST, SGPT/ALT*

How can you check for kidney problems?

  • Dull pain in your kidney areas may indicate chronic inflammation or kidney infection
  • Cloudy urine and pain/burning on urinating can also indicate kidney problems
  • A good manual therapist can check the Chapman reflex for kidneys
  • Check to see if your blood pressure increases when you go from standing to lying on your back
  • Take a 24 hour urinalysis test with your doctor
  • Check creatinine, BUN/urea, GFR, and other markers on a standard blood test *

* Please be aware that you may not see imbalances in these blood markers without looking at the test from a ‘functional’ perspective. Medical reference ranges are often too wide to find subtle imbalances. They are looking for outright diseases, not metabolic imbalances that create every day symptoms. We always run blood chemistry results through an analysis tool that helps us spot the more subtle imbalances.

How can you check for a toxic bowel?

I’ve discussed this in many other articles so here is a shortened list:

  • Foul smelling farts and bowel movements
  • Hydrogen / methane breath test for SIBO
  • Urinary organic acids urine test for indican, D-arabinitol and other markers that indicate dysbiosis
  • Stool test for parasites, H. pylori, Candida, and other dysbiosis
  • Gastro-Test for stomach acid levels

What to do if you find imbalances

Because your liver, kidneys and digestive system can all be involved with nasty body odour, it can take a little work to resolve the issue.

The following may all help:

  • Chew your food properly and don’t rush at meal times
  • Avoid drinking fluids with meals so you don’t dilute digestive juices
  • Drink plenty of water between meals to support your kidneys
  • Ensure you have optimal electrolytes, especially potassium and magnesium
  • Optimise your stomach acid levels (betaine HCL, bitters, B6, zinc)
  • Support your liver (glutathione, taurine, glycine, milk thistle, B vitamins)
  • Molybdenum to detoxify sulphites
  • Powdered detoxification support formula
  • Herbs and probiotics to rebalance your gut

Would you like some help?

I realize there’s a lot to take on board here – it’s not easy to teach you how to resolve this issue in a short article.

Your situation is different from everyone else’s and will require a unique solution that’s tailored to you.

Realistically, it’s hard to know what’s going on with your breath until you get the right testing.

We specialize in helping you navigate the minefield of misleading information that’s out there and hold your hand through the process of getting things right.

It’s faster and more effective.

The best starting point is a case review and consultation where we spend a full 60min running through your health history, symptoms, family history and diet.

After that, we can recommend the right testing and make sure every ounce of energy you spend on improving your health is spent wisely.

You can learn more about the case review and consultation here.