During menopause, women may notice differences in their body odor, or their deodorant can become less effective. Hormones, food, habits, and environment all have an effect on body odor, especially hormones. A dip in estrogen during menopause negatively affects the regulation of body temperature, which often results in symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. This increased sweating has a direct effect on body odor.
While such bothersome and potentially embarrassing menopause symptoms may seem daunting, there are many ways to treat body odor changes and related symptoms by addressing the underlying hormonal imbalance that occurs during menopause. Keep reading to find out more about these methods.
Three Approaches to Treating Changes in Body Odor
When managing body odor, three different approaches can be taken into consideration: (1) Lifestyle Changes, (2) Alternative Medicine, and (3) Medications and Surgery.
Women are encouraged to start with lifestyle changes, since that approach carries the least amount of risk. Then, they can move up to the subsequent levels of treatment if necessary. Medications and surgical options should be reserved only for the most severe of cases.
1. Lifestyle Changes
The first approach to treatment involves the least amount of risk, but in contrast, it requires the most determination. Minor lifestyle adjustments can often help greatly in reducing body odor, sweating, and other symptoms of menopause.
A balanced diet is the first key to eliminating body odor through lifestyle changes. In particular, calcium can be helpful, since odor is sometimes linked to calcium deficiency. Zinc and chlorophyll are two other nutrients that also fight odor and excessive sweating. In general, consuming foods with a pleasant aroma can help as well. Estrogen-boosting foods, such as soy, may help compensate for the underlying hormonal imbalance.
Foods to Fight Odor
- Dairy products
- Leafy greens
- Citrus fruit
Even though women may want to avoid getting sweaty, an exercise routine contributes to overall health and can even benefit the hormonal glands. Aerobic exercises are recommended, but yoga and Pilates entail less sweating. In addition, the latter two have the added benefits of reducing stress and teaching relaxing breathing techniques.
Lastly, it is essential to reduce or eliminate the use of alcohol and tobacco, since they can only contribute to unpleasant odors and overall poorer health. They can also worsen hormonal imbalances. In addition, lowering stress can help to fight "anxiety sweating," which refers to sweat glands that are activated as a stress response to events like being late or giving a presentation.
Lifestyle adjustments are a healthy way to eliminate changes in body odor, but many women find them difficult to implement and keep up with. In addition, not all methods take care of hormonal imbalance at the source. However, alternative medicines are a safe and effective way to both treat symptoms and balance hormones. Continue reading to learn more about natural treatments for body odor.
2. Alternative Medicine
This approach consists of several possible treatment methods. Herbal supplements are the most prominent because they are the only alternative method that can treat the hormonal imbalance that underlies most cases of menopausal body odor. There are two primary types of herbal supplements that can balance hormones: phytoestrogenic and hormone-regulating supplements.
These supplements, like dong quai, are in rich in phytoestrogens, plant-based molecules that act like estrogen in the body. They can effectively balance estrogen levels. However, the extended use of these supplements is not recommended, since the body may become less able to secrete its own hormones, which can cause a decline in estrogen levels in the long run.
These supplements, such as Macafem, do not contain any form of hormones. Rather, they achieve hormonal balance by nourishing the endocrine glands and supporting natural hormone production. This balances not only estrogen levels, but also those of other hormones that are affected during menopause. In addition, they are safe to take, as they entail virtually no side effects.
From "Nature and Health Magazine," Dr. Gloria Chacon says:
"Macafem nutrients help restore natural hormones in women. Unlike hormone drugs, which are basically resumed in taking synthetic hormones, Macafem acts totally different in your body. It nourishes and stimulates your own natural hormone production by inducing the optimal functioning of the endocrine glands." Read more about Macafem.
A combination of approaches is often the best way to combat changes in body odor. However, in severe cases when lifestyle changes and alternative treatments are not enough, a woman may look to medical treatment. However, it is important to be aware of the risks before starting any type of pharmaceutical intervention.
3. Medications and Surgery
The final approach carries the most risks and typically the greatest costs. Body odor can be remedied with special deodorant, certain surgical procedures, and hormone therapy.
Medications for hormonal causes
In Western medicine, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is widely used to treat menopausal body odor and other symptoms. Although it is often a fast and powerful form of symptom relief, it also poses the risk of adverse side effects, such as blood clots, as revealed in the study below.
In 1991, the National Institutes of Health started the Women's Health Initiative, the biggest clinical trial ever performed in the U.S. Its aim was to discover the pros and cons regarding HRT, but it was halted in 2002 when it was concluded that synthetic hormones increase the risk of certain diseases, such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Other medications and surgical procedures
There are also other medications and surgical options available. For persistent odor, prescription-strength deodorants may be helpful. In addition, Botox and sympathecomy procedures can reduce sweating by effectively paralyzing the sweat glands. However, these options - like all medical treatments - include the risk of side effects, which may possibly outweigh any potential benefit. These treatments should only be considered as a last resort after first discussing all the possibilities with a healthcare practitioner.
In order to effectively treat the symptoms, any combination of the above three approaches can be employed. A growing number of women are finding that lifestyle adjustments complemented by natural medicine are the best way to eliminate changes in body odor.
A Safe Way of Treating Changes in Body Odor
Making lifestyle changes:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Consuming estrogen-boosting foods
- Doing yoga or Pilates regularly
- Wearing breathable fabrics
- Alcohol and tobacco
- Read meat and spicy foods
- High stress levels
- Hot environments
And taking herbal supplements to balances hormone levels:
- Provides nutrients to the hormonal glands
- Supports natural hormone production
- Natural, safe, and high in nutrients
Click on the following link to learn more about Macafem.
- Columbia University. (2015). What can I do about my strong body odor? Retrieved April 20, 2016, from http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/what-can-i-do-about-my-strong-body-odor
- Havlicek, J. & Lenochova, P. (2006). The effect of meat consumption on body odor attractiveness. Chemical Senses, 31(8), 747-752. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16891352
- National Health Service UK. (2014). Body odour - Treatment. Retrieved April 20, 2016, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Body-odour/Pages/Treatment.aspx