What Body Odors Reveal About Your Health

Tuesday, 09 Jul 2013 10:07 AM

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"It doesn't pass the smell test" is a phrase used to describe everything from rotten meat to legislation enacted by Congress. But what do bad odors tell you about your body?

Chronically bad breath: It can come from gum disease, H. pylori, or GERD. If you have gum disease - a risk factor for heart troubles, diabetes, and tooth loss - it's time to see the dentist. Vanquishing an infection from the ulcer- and heartburn-triggering bacteria H. pylori (that calls for antibiotics) and intense acid reflux (a diet change and maybe meds) will make you feel younger and reduce your risk for esophageal and gastric cancer. Don't chew gum to mask bad breath; find out the cause and remedy it!

Smelly pits: They're usually from proliferation of bacteria around underarm hair follicles (obesity and diabetes increase the problem). Clean them up by eating chlorophyll-rich foods like kale, wheat grass, or parsley, showering regularly, and going for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days.

Flatulence: Probably means you should drink more water, eat more fiber (best at the start of every meal), and ditch fatty food. If that doesn't help, you may have irritable bowel syndrome. Try taking 2-4 billion spores of the probiotic bacillus coagulans daily. Still a problem? See a gastroenterologist.

BONUS SMELL: Malaria-carrying mosquitos love the smell of stinky feet. If scientists can duplicate foot odor, they can develop more powerful mosquito traps. You can save the world with smelly sneakers! So donate yours to science if they attract skeeters!

© King Features Syndicate

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