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"Idiopathic Dysgeusia" and other indignities of age - Elf M. Sternberg
"Idiopathic Dysgeusia" and other indignities of age
Let's talk about my mouth.

For the past couple of weeks, everything has been tasting... off. Funny. Sometimes it's a semi-metallic taste, like there was a penny in there. Most of the time it's a dry, caustic sensation, as if I had accidentally breathed in a bit of alum.

So I went to the doctor. She looked. She poked. She prodded. She swabbed and tested. And we can't find anything wrong. There's no infection, no pathogens found, no swelling, no other signs of dysfunction. Nothing else is wrong with me. There hadn't been any significant changes in medication or diet up until the first symptoms. The diagnosis is idiopathic dysgeusia, which is as sad as it sounds: "We don't know what it is, it happens to some people as they get older, it usually goes away after a few months."



I've lived with it for five weeks now. As "crippling syndromes associated with getting older," this is one of those nobody ever told me about. Bad knees, bad eyesight, poor weight management sure. "Everything will taste funny and probably bad" was not on the list. And I can think of two things that may have gotten me here. The first is possibly my own damn fault. The other was that I was exposed to a slow, long-burning electrical fire that may have put tons of volatile metallics and burned insulation into the air. Both of those happened shortly before the symptoms manifested so... who knows?

It's distressing. It makes kissing less fun, much less other activities one does with his mouth. I'm eating less, so that's a win, I guess. I've lost three pounds. I don't recommend it as a weight loss program.

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Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

8 comments or Leave a comment
acelightning From: acelightning Date: March 22nd, 2016 01:19 am (UTC) (Link)
It says that zinc supplements have helped at least 50% of the people who tried them. (Be careful, though, because you can overdose on zinc.)
en_ki From: en_ki Date: March 22nd, 2016 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Be very cautious with zinc cold products. (Can't speak to plain old supplements.) I lost my sense of smell and taste for a week from a few zinc lozenges: could taste nothing but metal.
elfs From: elfs Date: March 22nd, 2016 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that happened to me, too.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: March 23rd, 2016 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Apparently "too much zinc" and "not enough zinc" cause the same symptoms :-(
idancewithlife From: idancewithlife Date: March 22nd, 2016 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Welcome to what it's like to be on chemo. I hope it goes away very fast.
elfs From: elfs Date: March 22nd, 2016 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I hope it goes away soon too! Take care.
featheredfrog From: featheredfrog Date: March 22nd, 2016 10:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Did you eat any pine nuts just before this started?
elfs From: elfs Date: March 22nd, 2016 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think I did. Nothing in my diet suggests I would have.
8 comments or Leave a comment