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Body Odor Could Be Medical Problem

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

My friend has such an incredible body odor that sometimes it's really hard to stand even three feet from him. I know that he takes showers, sometimes twice a day. I've bought him smell good stuff as a gift (body wash, shampoo, and deodorant), but he still smells really bad. How do I address the issue so I don't hurt his feelings or make him feel insecure?


Friend needs advice

Dear Friend needs advice,

Your friend's offensive body odor could be a sign of a medical condition. For example, an ammonia odor may indicate a liver or kidney disease, and a fruity smell could be a sign of diabetes. A rotting fish odor could be a metabolism disorder that prevents the body from breaking down trimethylamine (TMA) found in foods such as milk, fish, eggs, beans, peanuts, peas, broccoli, and some meats.

Gently mention to your friend that you have noticed an odor that concerns you because it could be a sign of a serious medical condition that needs treatment. Suggest to him that he see his doctor to find out if he has anything to worry about. Getting your friend to see a doctor is the first step in eliminating or reducing the odor problem.