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Distorted sense of taste and smell

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
About 6 months ago, my sense of taste/smell gradually became distorted. I took a shower one morning and noticed that my soap smelled "smokey" so I threw it out. Then, my coffee tasted awful and made me sick to my stomach, so I had to store my coffee maker away and stop using it. I went to open a can of clam chowder one day and the smell was so horrendous that it went right in the garbage. It was like a snowball effect of more and more things smelling and tasting bad.

It hasn't gone away since then and my diet has been very limited because of it. I can eat white bread, most fruits and veggies, cheese, tea, and a few other things. Everything else smells and tastes awful to me - especially popcorn, chocolate, soda, meat, and prepackaged foods.

You can imagine how this has affected my life. I don't go to the movies because popcorn smells like poison to me now. I don't go to restaurants anymore. I stayed home on Thanksgiving. I avoid pretty much any get-together where there will be food.

I have been seeing my doctor about this since the symptoms first started. At first, she told me to just wait for it to go away. Then, she ran bloodwork on me and everything came back fine. I got an MRI and it was also clear.

I joined a yahoo group for this and everyone else on the group has their doctors stumped as well. The only "cure" for this is to have a surgery done to remove your sense of smell.

My only comfort is that the women in my yahoo group who have had children say that it goes away during pregnancy/breastfeeding but comes right back again after weaning.

By the way, the name for it is Parosmia. There are two types of Parosmia - most members of my yahoo group have Phantosmia - which is a constant bad smell. I seem to have something called Troposmia - where certain things smell or taste unpleasant.

I read about Homeopathy in the recent issue of Mothering. I was wondering if anyone knows of any remedy I might try? I don't know very much about Homeopathy, but my own doctor has not been able to help and I am willing to try anything.

Does anyone have any insight or any rabbit trails you might lead me on? I don't know where to go from here to get help for this.
post #2 of 9
Wow! That must be so frustrating!

I've only heard of distortions happening after head injuries.
Including my friend who cracked her skull as a toddler, and hasn't had any sense of smell since!
This is a website I've found useful for homeopathic remedies for lots of things, http://www.truestarhealth.com/Notes/healthnotes.asp
...but no luck with those terms.

I'd say, go see a homeopath or an acupuncturist. My acu's been able to help/fix all sorts of odd things I wouldn't even bother mentioning to an MD (because they'd just shrug or laugh at me)
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I hadn't thought of trying acupuncture. Can you tell me more about this?
post #4 of 9
THe main symptoms of zinc deficiency are altered or loss of smell and appetite. Don't know if that helps you at all. Have you had your levels tested? IT's pretty easy to test yourself. Just put some liquid sinc in an aqueous solution in your mouth. IF you don't taste anything you are deficient. Good luck and keep us posted.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by firefaery
THe main symptoms of zinc deficiency are altered or loss of smell and appetite. Don't know if that helps you at all. Have you had your levels tested? IT's pretty easy to test yourself. Just put some liquid sinc in an aqueous solution in your mouth. IF you don't taste anything you are deficient. Good luck and keep us posted.
That is very interesting! I struggle with both low appetite and a dull/selective sense of smell!

kaliki,
I always say Try Acupuncture! when the Western approach to healing isn't helping. The Eastern ways of looking at how our bodies function and heal are so very different, I find that my beloved acupuncturist can solve things for me when an MD would look at me blankly, lacking even a name to describe what I'm experiencing.
On my more cynical days, I describe it this way:
Western medicine is based on knowledge gained from maybe a couple of centuries of dissecting dead bodies, while Eastern practice is built on thousands of years of closely observing live ones.

(disclaimer: not to say that Western medicine doesn't have a role to play...)
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by firefaery
THe main symptoms of zinc deficiency are altered or loss of smell and appetite. Don't know if that helps you at all. Have you had your levels tested? IT's pretty easy to test yourself. Just put some liquid sinc in an aqueous solution in your mouth. IF you don't taste anything you are deficient. Good luck and keep us posted.
One of the first things I did when the symptoms started was to start taking zinc and B vitamins. It didn't help... I know lots of people in my yahoo group have also tried the zinc with no luck. Lately, we have been speculating that this was caused by exposure to some chemical, maybe we all had a unique reaction to a chemical in cleaning supplies? We have taken formal and informal surveys and we are all so different - we can't find a single thread that ties us all together.
post #7 of 9

Hello!  i just found this thread and it resonated with me.  Kalika_kila... i'm experiencing the exact same symptoms that you had.  i realize this post was ages ago, but... did you ever get some resolution to this smell & taste problem?  did it go away on its own or did you find something that helped? 

 

if you read this, please answer!  i'm going crazy with this!!!!

 

thanks,

 

Pixie

post #8 of 9

I am so sorry you are dealing with this!

I, personally, would also find a good acupuncturist if I could afford it.  Some places have community acupuncture clinics which are less expensive.  

 

Be prepared that an acupuncturist usually likes to see their clients frequently (once a week at least) to follow how their patterns change.  A lot of folks are not used to that sort of frequent support/office visits.

 

I'm sure you've already come across these possibilities, but just in case you haven't I'll throw them out for consideration:

 

A distorted sense of smell makes me wonder if there is an auto-immune response that is damaging nerves in the sinuses.  Did you have a flu vaccine some weeks before this showed up?  Or an illness that required a strong immune response?

 

Head injury has already been mentioned.

 

Some meds change both taste and smell responses - did you start a new medication?  

 

Do you live in a home with mold issues (or was this the case when symptoms started)?.

 

Do you have sinus issues other than the smell distortion?  Excess mucus, dry nasal tissues, stuffed nose, frequent colds or sinus infections?

 

Hormonal influences? (hormonal birth control, hysterectomy or removal of ovaries?)

 

May some light be shed on this soon for you!

post #9 of 9

thanks so much for the reply.  i'm going to find an acupuncturist.  seems i've tried everything else!

 

but, it's interesting that you mention the mold... this problem started during the six month period when i was staying in a rented house that i think had mold problems.  the house was super humid, the landlord insisted on us running a dehumidifier 24/7, the walls & everything looked to have been washed down and cleaned, but i found evidence of mold on the bottom side of all the air conditioners in the house.  could it be the place had residual mold spores??  

 

i suppose my hormones are pretty goofy right now too!

 

thanks again.  maybe if this is a mold-related response, it will just slowly go away after being away from the moldy house?!  i sure hope so.

 

-Pixie

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