So many Toronto Star readers have had compassion for the painful, embarrassed, and “mercilessly-teased” 33-year-old man with a persistent body odour problem (July 12), that they keep posting suggestions.
Here’s a second list, to add to the one previously published (August 7):
Reader # 1 – “He might have a genetic medical problem commonly called Fish Odour Syndrome (Trimethylaminuria).
“It’s caused by an inability to break down trimethylamine in the liver. A change in diet will help - but he should first get tested for it by a doctor.”
Ellie - For those interested, more on this syndrome will appear in tomorrow’s column.
Reader #2 – “Check out as soon as possible whether anyone in your family has the same problem, for more clues to its origin.”
Reader #3 – “Make sure that all the clothes next to your skin (shirts, pants, caps, underwear, pajamas, housecoats, scarves, socks, etc.) are 100 percent cotton, no synthetics.
“Cotton socks should be thick enough to be very absorbent. Wash and dry all clothes after one day’s use; no second-day wearing without laundering them first.
“Take an extra full set of clothes to work, including socks, and change into them half way through your workday.
“Look for suitable work shoes that are washable, and launder frequently. Look for frequently washable sweaters, jackets, and even outer coats.
“Your bed linens should be cotton or one of the newer “airy” materials that keep your body from sweating while you sleep. Wash them too every other day or so.
“Cover your leisure-time chairs and sofas with frequently laundered blankets or throws. Use something similar when in an automobile.
“Usually what makes people smelly are the clothes that they wear.
“When we sweat, especially in the armpits, and these clothes are taken off, the sweat dries on the clothes and carries bacteria.
“If the same clothes are re-worn, the bacteria are activated again when the person sweats and causes the odour.
“If one wears a washed set of all clothes every time, the BO will be eliminated.”
Reader #4 – “My husband has dealt with the same issue of strong perspiration odour for years until becoming alcohol-free, eats no processed foods, sugar-free, gluten free, zero caffeine in any form of coffee or chocolate.
“We went on holiday to a one week Raw Foods & Juice Fast and that was when we realized the difference. We’ve continued to eat this way.
“His whole metabolism has changed to not feeling over-heated. We even adjusted our house thermostat by four degrees!
“He’d always showered at least twice daily, and changed shirts several times a day, and even then his body odour was "unpleasant."
“Now, no body odour at all and no need to carry extra clothes to change into.”
Reader #5 - “For many years I had excessive armpit perspiration that soaked through my shirts and suits, leaving white stains on the suits and yellow on the shirts.
“I did use deodorant though, and as far as I know, I was not "stinky.”
“My family doctor recommended "Drysol,” It’s a strong anti-perspirant that completely stops wetness. I’ve been using this since December 1988 and there hasn’t been a drop of sweat since. I only use it once every three weeks now, although at first one uses it more frequently.
“It can be purchased at any pharmacy without a prescription and a small bottle lasts about three years.”
Reader #6 – “Mix equal parts of baking powder and body powder and use as a powder, including under the arms.”
Reader #7 – “After washing your armpits, use plain vinegar on the skin. You can dilute but I use full strength.
“Among foods, cheese and garlic are two potential culprits.”
Reader #8 – “I had a similar problem and found that using Purely Great Cream Deodorant (all natural) helped. The website for the manufacturer is https://mynaturaldeodorant.com/ and it can be ordered online.”
Reader #9 – “Chlorophyll tablets or chlorophyll liquid has worked wonders for me.
“For sudden bad breath - I just used part of a small bottle and in a couple of days the halitosis was history, never repeated.
“Now, bad breath is clearly not the same as body odour, but chlorophyll is cheap, has been proven effective against some unpleasant odours, and may penetrate in its effect throughout the body. It’s certainly worth a try.”
Tip of the day:
Don’t self-diagnose. Try only those recommended remedies that won’t be harmful or cause allergic reactions. If a serious problem persists, seek medical tests from a specialist.