I met up with some girlfriends last week for dinner, and we had a great time catching up—it had been months since we last saw each other. Work, kids, and life in general seem to get in the way of planning regular nights out.
After we ordered drinks, one of my friends shared some exciting news—she's successfully doing keto. You know the ketogenic diet that seems like everyone is on? When Julie* announced that she lost 5 pounds in the first week of doing keto, every lady paused to listen in. All of our friends wanted to know more about this magic diet. What can you eat? Is the food good? How do you feel? We wanted to hear it all.
If you haven't heard of the ketogenic diet before now, keto is a low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet that seems to be effective, according to many online testimonials. Additionally, some people with certain medical disorders, such as diabetes and epilepsy, have found that the ketogenic diet helps their conditions. If you're intrigued by keto, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new diet. Keto may not be the right choice for every person.
Now back to the story. So while Julie was telling us about her new diet, she confessed that she almost quit in the first week. Why, we all wondered. Well, Julie went on to explain that she experienced some icky side effects, mainly the keto flu. No, that's not an actual medical illness, according to doctors. However, it's well known that drastically changing your diet may cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as headaches, stomach troubles, and more. In many cases, the issues seem to disappear after the body adjusts. If your symptoms don't go away shortly after trying a new diet, it's best to see your doctor.
Julie told us that in the first couple of weeks of doing keto, she felt tired, irritable, and nauseated. Julie even had the runs. (Sorry if that's TMI—but keto diarrhea is a real problem, according to the keto enthusiasts of the internet.) After sticking with keto for a while, Julie started feeling better, and she's not looking back, especially since she fits into her favorite jeans again.
After Julie shared her story, we had a couple of very personal questions for her—the kind you only ask your closest pals. You see, Kara* heard that you stink on keto, and antiperspirant doesn't help. Krissy* chimed in to say her sister experienced some keto crotch, where the diet changes how you smell down there—yikes. Julie said that she did battle with body odor while her body was adapting to her new lifestyle. However, she found effective ways to deal with it.
The first weird body odor Julie had was keto breath. After the first week of doing the diet, Julie's husband said that her breath smelled like nail polish remover.
The way the keto diet works is by depriving your body of carbs, as you're mostly eating fat and protein. Since there are no carbs for your body to use up, it starts to burn fat for energy, resulting in weight loss, at least temporarily. If done correctly, a ketogenic diet will force your body into the fat-burning state known as ketosis. The jury is still out on whether the keto diet leads to long-term weight loss.
While your body is in ketosis, it converts fats into chemicals called ketones. One of them is acetone—yes, the same chemical that's in nail polish remover. While it sounds terrible, it's usually normal. We expel ketones in our urine and as we exhale. That's why your breath and pee may smell off when you're on the keto diet.
Julie said that she dealt with bad breath by drinking more water and using breath mints. The good news is, once her body adapted to the diet, Julie's breath returned to normal. Some people say that their breath has a fruity smell when they're in ketosis, while others say that they didn't notice this issue. Well, you know, everyone is different, but ketosis body odor is no fun.
Now onto what our friends, me included, really wanted to know…did Julie's lady parts smell different while on keto? Julie said that her vaginal odor changed, and her armpits smelled funkier for the first couple of months of doing keto. But she handled it like the badass she is. No odor was going to stop her from reaching her goal weight.
Julie said that her vaginal odor was stronger, especially after working out. She also noticed her armpits smelling ripe after a good sweat sesh on the treadmill. Showering right after exercise seemed to help control the odor, but Julie didn't like smelling bad after sweating. On the bright side, her hubby never noticed a stronger scent while they were, ahem, intimate. Nonetheless, Julie hoped that keto wasn't really to blame for her body aroma, so she sought out answers.
One night, Julie shared her troubles in a keto forum, which unfortunately confirmed her suspicions. Other ladies chimed in with their experiences—they too noticed stronger vaginal and armpit odors when first starting keto. The good news is that the long-term keto dieters said that ketosis body odor goes away after a while. Julie didn't want to risk it socially, so she went on the hunt for a solution.
Of course, she found conflicting advice on the internet. One article said that foods can change your body's pH. So, in theory, your vaginal pH could change, affecting how your private parts smell. Another article theorized that changing your diet shifts your hormones and body chemistry, which could affect your body's scent. But none of what Julie read was an absolute fact.
A curious person by nature, Julie continued searching, specifically for clinical studies on whether a diet can change the way a person smells. She didn't find anything online. All Julie could confirm was that others have experienced the smelly side effects of keto. Now Julie had two choices: she could stop the diet or find something to control her ketosis body odor.
Late one night, Julie was having trouble sleeping and was still bummed about keto's funk factor. She started scrolling through forums again, seeking body odor remedies. Someone on the forum said that a crystal deodorant helped her smell better. Julie was not so sure it would help her. She had tried natural deodorants in the past, and they lasted for about 10 minutes.
Coming up short in her research, Julie needed a mindless break and switched to Facebook. An ad for Lume Deodorant came across her feed, catching her attention. She was intrigued by the ad but still skeptical, given her past experiences with naturally derived deodorant. Julie headed to Lume's website to learn more. She was amazed at how many positive reviews there were and discovered that Lume could be used anywhere on the body, including private parts. Could this stuff actually work? Would it solve all of her odor issues? Julie just had to see for herself and ordered some.
As soon as the package was delivered, Julie put Lume on her underarms, outer lady parts, and under her breasts right before working out. She was happy to share with us that Lume helped. Coincidentally, I also came across the Lume ad on Facebook and bought some, albeit for different reasons than Julie's. I'm happy that it worked for me and my friend's ketosis body odor!
Note: *All the names in this post were changed to protect my friends' privacy.
Review - Lume for keto diet odor:
“Being on keto diet which does let your body get rid of toxins and comes out through your urine which makes you smell. Well Lume stopped that. So proud of this product... I can skip a shower without being self conscious... It has made a world of difference of how I feel.”