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Taste Troubles: Diving into Dysgeusia and How to Overcome It

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If you've ever experienced an unusual or distorted taste sensation, you might be familiar with the term “Dysgeusia”.

Whether you're someone personally affected by this condition or simply curious to learn more, you've come to the right place where we'll explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for dysgeusia. 

What is dysgeusia?

Dysgeusia is a medical term used to describe a condition characterized by an abnormal or distorted sense of taste, it refers to the perception of taste sensations that are different from what would typically be expected. 

People with dysgeusia may experience various taste abnormalities, such as metallic, bitter, sour, or salty taste in the mouth, even when consuming foods or beverages that should taste differently.

This condition can affect individuals of all ages and can be temporary or chronic, depending on the underlying cause, it is also associated with other health conditions or factors that disrupt the normal functioning of taste buds and the taste perception process.

Causes of dysgeusia

Dysgeusia can have various causes, ranging from temporary factors to underlying medical conditions, here are some common causes of dysgeusia:

  1. Certain medications can alter the sense of taste as a side effect (including antibiotics, antihistamines, and chemotherapy drugs).
  2. Some infections, such as respiratory tract infections, sinusitis, and oral infections, can lead to temporary taste disturbances, including dysgeusia. 
  3. Dental problems, such as oral infections, gum disease, or poor oral hygiene, can contribute to dysgeusia. 
  4. Inadequate intake or deficiencies of certain nutrients, such as zinc, vitamin B12, or folate, can affect taste buds and lead to dysgeusia.
  5. Hormonal fluctuations, particularly during pregnancy, can cause changes in taste perception and result in dysgeusia.
  6. Smoking tobacco can interfere with taste receptors and lead to taste disturbances, including dysgeusia.
  7. As we age, normal changes in taste perception can occur.
  8. medical conditions, including respiratory infections, allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Sjögren's syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and neurological disorders.

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What viruses cause dysgeusia?

Several viruses have been reported to cause dysgeusia as a symptom, here are some viruses that have been associated with dysgeusia:

Respiratory viruses:

Viruses that cause respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold, influenza (flu), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), can lead to dysgeusia as a temporary symptom. 

SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19): 

Dysgeusia and ageusia (loss of taste) have been commonly reported symptoms among individuals infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. 


Certain herpesviruses, such as herpes simplex virus (HSV) and varicella-zoster virus (VZV), can cause dysgeusia as a rare symptom, These viruses primarily cause infections like cold sores (HSV) or chickenpox and shingles (VZV), but dysgeusia can occur in some cases.

Dysgeusia symptoms

Dysgeusia, or an altered sense of taste, can manifest in various ways. The symptoms of dysgeusia may include:

  1. Metallic taste (It can be described as a sensation similar to having a mouthful of coins or a bitter, metallic flavor that lingers).
  2. Bitter or sour taste even when consuming foods or beverages that are typically sweet or neutral in taste.
  3. Reduced taste sensitivity, This can result in a diminished sense of sweetness, saltiness, or other basic taste sensations.
  4. Taste distortion, Foods that used to be enjoyable may taste strange or unpleasant, while familiar flavors may become unrecognizable or altered.
  5. In more severe cases, dysgeusia may result in a partial or complete loss of taste sensation (This condition is known as ageusia).
  6. Changes in appetite and eating habits.

What does dysgeusia taste like?

Dysgeusia, or an altered sense of taste, can manifest in different ways, and the taste experienced can vary from person to person, however, there are some common descriptions of the taste associated with dysgeusia, here are a few examples:

  1. Metallic or metallic-like:
    A prevalent description of dysgeusia is a metallic taste, It can be similar to the taste of coins, iron, or blood (This metallic sensation often persists, even when consuming foods or beverages that should not have a metallic taste).
  2. Bitter:
    Dysgeusia can cause a bitter taste sensation in the mouth, it may be described as a lingering bitterness or an intensified perception of bitterness in foods.
  3. Sour or acidic:
    Some individuals with dysgeusia may experience a sour or acidic taste that is not present in the consumed food or drink.
  4. Salty and Sweetness alteration:
    Dysgeusia can also lead to an abnormal perception of saltiness or sweetness. 

Dysgeusia Treatment

Dysgeusia treatments depend on individual cases, but there are some of the most effective treatments: 

How do you get rid of dysgeusia fast?

  • Use supplements if you’re suffering from nutritional deficiency.
  • Dietary (Eating healthy and avoiding spices and highly sweet or salty foods).
  • If you have dysgeusia caused by the medication you take, then ask your doctor to change it.
  • Stay Hydrated.
  • Avoid Smoking.
  • Manage your diabetes.
  • Seeking a dentist and having dental care. 

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