Can depression cause metallic body odor?

This article will discuss if depression can change the odor of your body and if the odor from it can become metallic. Aside from that, the article will discuss what are other matters that can cause your body to develop metallic body odor.

Can depression cause metallic body odor?

Science has shown that the metallic body odor can come from some of the oils on your skin breaking when in contact with a metallic object, or metallic chemicals. Some people may have a heightened sense of smell and can even smell the metallic odor coming from the blood.  

You can start to feel as if your sweat has a metallic smell to it. Your sweat can start to have a metallic smell because of your diet, you might be burning protein instead of glucose to fuel you during your workout. This can be caused by a high protein diet, that is low on carbohydrates. 

Depression can affect many aspects of your life. It not only alters your mood, but your energy, and appetite. So if you make a big change in your eating habits because you feel like you don’t have the energy to cook, or you don’t have the appetite, you may start to experience metallic body odor. 

But it is also known that depression and its treatment can affect your hormonal levels, and as a consequence, it can change the way you taste and smell things. Although it is still not completely clear as to why this happens, it seems that the level of serotonin and dopamine you have on your body can affect how your body smells.

Aside from that, when you are depressed you can experience a form of sweat called stress sweat. It is one in which a high dosage of adrenaline, cortisol, and other hormones are released. It is different from the regular workout sweat because, unlike it, it comes from the apocrine glands. 

The sweat that comes from those glands is usually thicker and has a higher composition of lipids and proteins, this will combine with the bacteria on your skin and cause a metallic odor. To manage this situation you can try to wear antiperspirant. Those, differently from deodorant, will block your sweat pores.

Aside from the antiperspirant, to prevent stress sweat one can use some stress-reducing techniques such as practicing breathing exercises, talking to people they feel comfortable with, listening to music, or even chewing gum. 

But if you still experience stress sweat, you might want to take care of your hygiene. You should bathe often, so the bacteria can be removed from your body, to decrease the smell. Aside from that, if you trim your underarm and pubic hair you will reduce the number of bacteria that can cause the smell. 

But it is not only depression that can affect your body odor or even your sense of taste. Some people can experience metallic body odor and taste due to many other conditions. Let’s discuss what they are. 

What are other reasons why your body develops metallic body odor? 

Sometimes you may notice you have a metallic smell on your hand, and you may assume it is related to holding a coin, or any other metallic object. But it might be related to your body chemistry at work. 

You can also develop a metallic smell on your breath or the taste of it in your mouth. They can be caused by gum diseases or gingivitis. Going to a dental health professional, and better dental hygiene can improve those conditions. 

It can also be caused by some medications. Antibiotics, some muscle relaxants, antiviral drugs, or antihistamines can alter your sense of smell and taste. It can also be caused by some multivitamins or some forms of anti-inflammatory drugs. But once you stop taking them, it will improve.

People that are under cancer treatment, going through radiation therapy or chemotherapy can experience a metallic taste in their mouth, gum usually helps. Another thing that can cause people to develop a metallic taste or smell is pregnancy. 

The hormonal changes that come with it, can trigger these symptoms. They are most common during the first trimester. Staying hydrated is important, and some saltine crackers can help. If you have been exposed to some sort of chemical, especially lead, you can experience a metallic taste. 

Some neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease can have as a symptom a metallic or other unpleasant taste in the mouth. Since it is a chronic condition, trying to season the food differently can help. 

Other people may have a condition called Phantosmia, which causes them to scent a metallic odor, or some other form of smell when no one around them can. It is an olfactory hallucination, and it can be caused by allergies, dental problems, exposure to smoke, migraines, cancer treatments, or even Alzheimer’s.

If Phantosmia is caused by a chronic condition, it might linger on, which can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. If its cause is some temporary matter, as soon as the person feels better, it will go away.  But if you feel the metallic smell has been going on for too long, let’s discuss when you should look for professional help. 

When is it time to look for a doctor?

If you notice that the metallic body odor or taste is related to a medical condition, or the medication you are taking, you should get in touch with your doctor. The two of you may find a new course of treatment or maybe investigate a new diagnosis. The important thing is to take care of yourself. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Can depression cause metallic body odor? 

Can antidepressants make me less attractive? 

Antidepressants can have many effects on you, including on your sexuality. It can make your libido go lower, and it can sometimes give you a feeling of bluntness, which can cause you to look differently at your loved one.

Along with that, the use of antidepressants seems to affect people’s sense of smell, which can lead them to have trouble smelling their partners, something that is extremely important in a relationship. Another effect of antidepressants that can affect your self-esteem is sweating.

It seems that when a person is on medication, they tend to sweat more, and have a different odor in their sweat. And since the antidepressants make it harder for them to smell things, this can cause a situation during hot days. 

Antidepressants can also affect your personality. Aside from. Sometimes making people feel blunter, which causes them to not care about things, they can stop caring about people, including their partners, and the consequences of their act9ns, which can lead to risky behaviors. 

All of this often causes people to quit their medication. If you ever experience something similar, you might want to get in touch with your doctor to discuss what possibilities you have, but don’t stop taking the medications alone, since it can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Can anxiety change my sense of smell? 

Yes, anxiety can have a huge impact on your sense of smell. It can, for example, make you sensitive to certain smells. That happens because anxiety usually makes you more aware of things, especially negative ones. And the same will happen to smell. 

Aside from that, anxiety can create a smell, especially when it is related to your body odor. That is because people with anxiety usually are self-conscious. Which can cause them to worry if they smell even when they don’t. 

Aside from that, anxiety can also create smells in the sense that when you have anxiety, and it is triggered you will most likely sweat a lot. The same is said about the dry mouth the anxiety causes. It can harm your self-esteem. 

Although you should not worry about these possible changes, be aware of any sign of anxiety, and if you notice it, it is important to look for help.

What is serotonin syndrome?  

Serotonin syndrome is a drug reaction people can have to medications that are supposed to work on their serotonin levels, such as many forms of antidepressants. The serotonin syndrome can be mild, or severe, which can even lead to death. 

When someone is experiencing serotonin syndrome, they can start to become more agitated, have insomnia, and even have moments of confusion. Their heart rate can go up, the same way as their blood pressure. It can cause dilated pupils, muscle spasms, and even loss of muscle coordination.

It can lead to heavy sweating, diarrhea, headache, and shivering. And even though those symptoms are common in people with mild and severe serotonin syndrome, when a person has the severe form of it, they can even develop high fever, tremors,

seizures, irregular heartbeats, and might even become unconscious.

If you are taking any medication that is supposed to affect your serotonin level, and you start to experience these symptoms, it might be important to get in touch with your doctor. But if the symptoms become too intense, you might want to look for an emergency room. 

What is osmophobia? 

Osmophobia is the name given to someone having intolerance or hypersensitivity to smells. It can lead to stress, headaches, or sometimes even phobias of determined smells. Other times, when it is not so serious, it can just indicate a dislike for a particular scent. 

What are the signs of low serotonin levels?

Low serotonin levels can impact many parts of your life. Here are some signs you might be dealing with a low serotonin level. The first thing is that you might start to feel depressed. It seems that your serotonin level is related to your mood. 

You can get depressed because it is low, or because you are going through a traumatic experience that can also cause it to go low. It can also affect your sleep pattern, causing your body clock to not be as regulated as it was before. This can impact the quality of your sleep, making you wake up tired.

It is also connected to chronic pain because it affects how the muscles behave. Low serotonin levels are usually linked to fibromyalgia, a condition that causes chronic pain. It is also related to anxiety, because of how it relates to stress.

Low serotonin also seems to be present in people with eating disorders. It can lead them to eat a lot more, or not eat at all. Along with that, it is related to dementia, although it is not clear how, it can harm a person’s memory, concentration, and other cognitive functions. 


This article discussed if depression can alter your body’s odor and if it can cause you to have a metallic body odor. Aside from that, the article explained what are other matters that can cause people to develop metallic body odor, and when it is time to look for professional help.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the section below.


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