The body has numerous responses to anxiety. Your heart races, you feel like you can’t get your breath and you lose your appetite. These responses are largely due to the biological responses to stress hormones circulating in the blood. When excess nor epinephrine and adrenaline are released into the blood, the brain receives a signal for all fight or flight systems to go.
With so many chemicals in action in the blood stream, the body immediately starts to clean them out of the body. You may feel the need to urinate; vomit or you break out in sweats. When anxiety causes body odor, you merely smell the excess chemicals being removed from the body.
The brain/body connection in anxiety is the chemicals released in the body stimulate the area of the brain that controls all of the body functions, known as: The hypothalamus. When this small center is activated, it triggers the sweat glands to begin releasing sweat. Many people have such a sensitive hypothalamus that they develop a condition called Hyperhydrosis due to stress. Even the common person may sweat more than normal under stress or anxiety conditions. It is actually a very healthy response by the body. But some people sweat more often than normal and that can be embarrassing and cause the person to isolate themselves.
One important note is that sweat itself does not have an odor. It is the chemical reaction that cause sweating and the excess heating of the body in a hyper metabolic state cause the bacteria to grow under just the right conditions. When the bacteria grow it causes an odor due to PH balance abnormalities when the body goes into a super “acidic” state.
The process of sweat causing bacterial growth is known as “bromhidrosis,” and can easily be attributed to anxiety if the sufferer sweats during attacks. The problem occurs with too much acid in the sweat. People with chemical and hormonal imbalances that are related to anxiety can also cause disruptions in the sweat glands and excess bacterial growth. The sweat glands naturally produce substances to keep the skin moist and healthy. When this process gets out of control, the bacteria make themselves at home in these areas including; the armpits, groin, creases of the neck and abdominal folds.
Some of the health conditions that cause anxiety are some of the very same conditions that cause excessive sweating. These include menopause and high levels of thyroid hormone in the body (hyperthyroidism). If you suffer from excessive sweating and body odor due to these health conditions, it may be a sign that your hormone levels need balancing. Getting hormone levels under control can help relieve associated anxiety and the excessive sweating all-in-one.
There are things you can do to help alleviate body odor caused by anxiety. It’s as easy as getting up and getting ready for the day using things you may already have around the house. These measures can also help keep you comfortable despite the effects. These measures include:
- Keeping the skin clean and dry
- Remove any body hair in crevices, such as armpit hair and inner groin
- Use anti-perspirant daily
- Wear light 100% cotton clothing, underwear and socks
- Avoid foods that cause sweat to have odor i.e., onions, spices, garlic and curry powder
- Bring down the body acidity levels with baking soda and/or apple cider vinegar
This condition can be controlled if measures are taking first to reduce the anxiety, while using extra meticulous hygiene measures. Bringing the anxiety under control reduces the amount of chemicals released into the bloodstream that the body eliminates via the sweat glands.
Other ways to reduce body odor from anxiety include; eating a healthy diet (especially a detoxification type diet), drinking plenty of fluids and getting plenty of rest. Take plenty of time for yourself and find someone close that you can talk to about stressful situations.
Body odor due to anxiety can be an embarrassing condition and many people who suffer from anxiety already avoid social situations most times. Having this extra symptom makes anxiety sufferers feel even more isolated. With anxiety relief, body odor should resolve itself.