Smelling Like Bleach Could Be A Sign Of This Health Condition

Body odor is often seen as something to hide with deodorant and scented products, but paying attention to your natural smells could clue you in to the state of your health. For example, the foods you eat may change how your sweat smells, as well as how much you sweat (per WebMD). Odors from sweat may also change due to hormone levels, medications, mood, genetics, and other factors, according to Cleveland Clinic.

Additionally, body odors can signal serious health concerns. "Diseases change the balance of chemicals in the body," Dr. William Hanson, a professor of anesthesiology and critical care, told Everyday Health. Sometimes, these chemicals give off a different odor than your usual scent.

It's a good idea to talk to a doctor any time you notice a new, persistent body odor. In particular, a bleach-like odor should be checked by a medical professional as soon as possible. Here's what it might mean if you smell like bleach.

Sweat that smells like bleach explained

Body odor may have a pungent, sour smell at times, but generally, it shouldn't have an odor like bleach or ammonia. According to MedicalNewsToday, smelling like one of these chemicals could be a sign of liver or kidney disease. The liver and kidneys are both responsible for removing toxins and waste from the body, and when they don't function properly, toxins linger in the body, producing a distinct smell.

Besides a bleach- or ammonia-like body odor, other symptoms of liver and kidney dysfunction include nausea or vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, urine changes, and swelling in the legs and ankles.

Another possible explanation for sweat that has an odor like ammonia is a diet heavy in protein. Physician Dr. Lewis Maharam told Time that people who follow a low-carb, high-protein eating plan may notice that they smell like ammonia, a byproduct of protein.

Any unusual body odor is a sign that something in the body is off-kilter and should be checked by a doctor. If it's caused by something serious, a medical professional can recommend an appropriate treatment.