Drs. Oz & Roizen's Tip of the Day: What bad smells can tell you

King Features SydicateJuly 9, 2013 

"It doesn't pass the smell test" is a phrase used to describe everything from rotten meat to legislation enacted by Congress. But what do bad odors tell you about your body?

Chronically bad breath: It can come from gum disease, H. pylori or GERD. If you have gum disease - a risk factor for heart troubles, diabetes and tooth loss - it's time to see the dentist. Vanquishing an infection from the ulcer- and heartburn-triggering bacteria H. pylori (that calls for antibiotics) and intense acid reflux (a diet change and maybe meds) will make you feel younger and reduce your risk for esophageal and gastric cancer. Don't chew gum to mask bad breath; find out the cause and remedy it.

Smelly pits: They're usually from proliferation of bacteria around underarm hair follicles (obesity and diabetes increase the problem). Clean them up by eating chlorophyll-rich foods like kale, wheat grass or parsley, showering regularly and going for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days.

Flatulence: Probably means you should drink more water, eat more fiber (best at the start of every meal) and ditch fatty food. If that doesn't help, you may have irritable bowel syndrome. Try taking 2-4 billion spores of the probiotic bacillus coagulans daily. Still a problem? See a gastroenterologist.

Bonus smell: Malaria-carrying mosquitos love the smell of stinky feet. If scientists can duplicate foot odor, they can develop more powerful mosquito traps. You can save the world with smelly sneakers! So donate yours to science if they attract skeeters.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.

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