Top 5 diseases that make you “stink”

Verified 05/30/2022 by Guillaume Tabbara, journalist

Some diseases have strange consequences of emitting an unpleasant odor. Here is a list of five diseases that can make you “stink”.

But how can diseases affect our body odor? Many diseases are caused by deficiency or accumulation of hormones, enzymes, gases, etc.

Some of these secretions must then be released by the body, often characterized by exhalation, urine, or sweating. Unpleasant odors can then be escaped.

rotten fish odor syndrome

Its medical name is trimethylamine, but it is more commonly referred to as “rotten fish smell syndrome.” This genetic disease, as its name expressly suggests, is a pathology that creates a strong body odor from rotten fish.

This is explained by the absence of an enzyme that makes it possible to metabolize gas: trimethylamine, which gives its name to the disease. Since the body no longer metabolizes it, soil methylamine evaporates with sweat and urine, and it is this gas that gives off an unpleasant odor.

It is also the source of the strong smell of herring. There is no cure today, but many habits make it possible to reduce odors that can become a real daily complication for people with this disease.

It is therefore recommended to maintain a diet low in the molecules that make trimethylamine: choline and lecithin. It is then necessary to avoid: eggs, liver meat, kidneys, peas, beans, soybeans …

yellow fever

Yellow fever is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes. It mainly concerns people traveling in the most vulnerable countries, ie in certain areas of Africa, South and Central America or the Caribbean.

The preventive vaccine helps reduce yellow fever. Some patients may not have any symptoms, but often a case of fever, muscle aches in the back and nausea are noted.

according to National GeographicYellow fever gives the skin an odor similar to that of a butcher’s shop.

Diabetic ketoacidosis

In diabetics, the body is forced to use fats as an energy source in case of severe insulin deficiency.

The breakdown of these fatty substances results in ketone bodies. Its buildup is called an acetone crisis or ketoacidosis. The blood becomes more acidic and the ketone bodies exceed the amount the body can normally eliminate.

Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, frequent urges to urinate … and a very special breath that smells like rotten fruit or apples are then noted.

typhoid fever

Typhoid fever is caused by a bacterial infection. The bacteria involved are salmonella typhiCommonly transmitted through food and consumption of vegetables or seafood from contaminated crops.

These bacteria are the source of the latest scandal KinderAnd the salmonella typhi It was detected in factories Ferrero. Highly contagious typhoid fever can be dangerous, even fatal, if treated too late.

It is characterized by the release of the smell of baked bread. Admittedly, we’re not talking about the most unpleasant odors here, but the disease itself should be taken seriously.


This time, you will not be able to smell any scent in front of someone with cacosmia. On the contrary, it is the latter who will be bothered by unpleasant odors.

Cacosmia is an olfactory disorder that is identified by the perception of unpleasant or fetid odors without the presence of any such odors in the patient’s external environment and without a defect in the olfactory system.

There are two types of cacosmia: objective cacoscia (the odor is real) and subjective cacosmia (the odor is fictional).

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