11.19.2015

Strange Smells


I am dipping down to body weight levels not seen in several years (222 pounds this morning).

A few years ago, when I worked in R&D at a vitamin company, I underwent a clinical detoxification that comprised several of the company's nutritional products and a whole food diet. It wasn't designed for weight loss, but dropping a few pounds was a consequence of the healthy diet and the diuretic and colon cleansing powers of some of the supplements.

A side effect of the detox was an increase in body odor, as toxins were excreted from oil and sweat glands in the skin. That was one indicator that it was working (biometrics like blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar were also measured).

The following is TMI that may make some readers uncomfortable. Stop reading now if you are a sensitive type. You have been warned.

The past couple days, I have had the "pit stank" pretty bad and I could not figure out why. I showered in the morning and wore freshly laundered clothes, but still developed a Pig Pen like cloud of BO around me by noon or so. This rarely happens.

I gave it some thought, and my current hypothesis is that with all my recent healthy eating, exercising, not drinking beer, and losing about 15 pounds over the past two months, maybe I have inadvertently put my body into a detox mode.

More specifically, I have not been this light in years, so perhaps I am starting to hit deep tish "brown" fat reserves that haven't been exposed to my metabolic processes since my 20s and early 30s (relatively toxic periods in my life compared with now).

If that's so, then this rank stank I have been wafting out the past two days is a good sign I am not only losing weight but detoxing too.

Another hypothesis, which I favor less, even though it is probably more likely, is that I am sweating "fear." That is, I have been anxious lately because of some stressors in my life, most notably the pending acceptance (or rejection) of an offer to buy my house from some interested buyers. I don't feel that worried about it, but if I am producing excessive levels of cortisol and other stress hormones, this could be contributing to elevated perspiration and secretion of the breakdown products of stress hormone metabolism (aka "the smell of fear"). It is not fear in the traditional sense. But these hormones are also manufactured by the body during fight or flight responses, hence the name.

In essence, sweating out stress hormone metabolites is a form of detoxification, so in some ways both factors described in this post may be at work.

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