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Old 12-02-2011, 07:00 AM   #11
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my mom was deathly sick over thanksgiving, w/high fever, malaise, and NO appetite whatsoever--couldn't get her to eat a morsel of anything. she lived on liquids, including ensure, for days. our doc remembered (back in the far recesses of his brain) an old-time remedy called "eldertonic" (i know, even sounds like snake oil, doesn't it?) and we decided to try it, right? the tonic is basically a b vitamin and mineral supplement, plus appetite enhancer. i now give mom one T. 1/2-1 hr. before a meal. she hasn't refused a meal since. her appetite is still not great, but she "can eat" and her legendary sweet tooth is back. she now eats with seeming enjoyment again, petite fours, dobosh torte, florentine lace cookies, peanut butter m&ms and her old standby--jelly beans. she separates out the black and red ones, which she doesn't like--s'alright, means she still has foods preferences, right? the tonic is sold otc, unfortunately, and costs about $35 for 31 doses. it states on the bottle, "a mild. effective way to take your vitamins and enjoy your meals again, for those who have lost their desire to eat due to age, illness, surgery or malaise. quite a brazen claim, don't you think? but so far, seems to be working when nothing else was....worth a try, dawg, no?....:)
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:36 AM   #12
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When my great-aunt was in nursing care and would not eat, we had to bring her "pony" bottles of beer. She would be served a beer 1/2 hour before supper. I don't know how they got her to eat the other meals of the day. I've heard Port or sweet wines do the same.

Marjuannia (sp) capsules (Marinol?) are available in Canada, not sure about in the States. Supposedly can help stimulate the appetite.

My mother lost 30 lb in 3 months. She didn't have 30 lb to lose. She had to drink Ensure 2x/day plus her regular meals, which were what a toddler would eat. Nothing tasted good--she was on IV antibiotics and said everything tasted awful.

I know that when I've had dogs that were "off" their food, I was told to give Vit B12 to try and stimulate their appetites and to feed foods high in Vit B12 (chicken liver comes to mind). Oregano was also suggested to stimulate the appetite.

Good luck. Hopefully this is temporary.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:57 AM   #13
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Marinol/Megace is only available by prescription. It does work, usually a last option by an MD when it should be the first!
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:52 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
...I recently read an article stating that old age dulls the tastebuds
While this may be true to some extent, here is one observation I can share.

During the summer months I find occasional work as a judge in various wine competitions around the country. Some of the other judges I work alongside aren't exactly spring chickens. Many are well into their 70s and older. There is one gentleman in particular I know who is in his mid-90s and still judges wine and has a fabulous palate and sense of smell.

So taste may well be one of those "use it or lose it" faculties.

Or at least I hope so.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:13 AM   #15
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Great ideas, guys! I am definitely going to look into these! Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:28 PM   #16
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Loss of taste has indeed been reported as a side effect of Asacol. It is a very small number, about one-half of one percent of all people reporting Asacol side effects of all kinds. 70% of them were women. A third were over 60. That was an informal study, but taste perversion is an documented side effect and includes both loss of taste and metallic or bad tastes.

There are, of course, other possible causes, a number of them being risks for the elderly. So it's worth making sure the primary physician knows of this and can screen for other causes. Loss of taste is far more serious than one would suspect. It can contribute to depression and, as you worry about, to weight loss. If the defect is one that affects the ability to even recall tastes, there can be no appetite, because there can be no imagining any pleasure from food. Those who have certain color vision defects report similar problems. Food looks horrible. And one aspect of loss of taste can be that all food has a "bad" taste.

And you don't say if her physician has been informed. In the priority list for medical consults, a foodie forum is far from the top. Maybe she's one of the few unlucky ones who suffer this side effect. Maybe there's an alternative medication.
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:19 PM   #17
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Interesting. Thanks for the info, GLC! Mom promised to discuss it with her doc at her next appointment.
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:31 PM   #18
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Loss of taste......I have two examples.

There is a cold remedy--OTC--a zinc nasal spray that affects taste and smell and I believe it was at one time taken off the market because the effects for some people were permanent.
I've used the oral spray cold remedy--OTC--zinc based and I can't taste anything for days after using it, or I should say, I don't like the taste of anything for days.

A co-worker lost his ability to taste foods (except milk). He had fallen in his garage and hit the back of his head on the cement. This was a permanent loss as far as I know. From reading about it, we found that there is a thin boney mesh that the nerves for taste are threaded through and a fall can sever those connections. The effects of losing taste caused him to be difficult, irritable and evil.
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:32 PM   #19
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I hope you find a solution Dawg, my 96 yrs old Mum is a freak of nature she still puts a dab of channel behind here ears each morning then pencils her eyebrows, she will only eat Godiva chocs and Forman wild smoked salmon, I try to cheat but I just get a withering stare and a rather scarey raised eyebrow.
Ps tom in the late 60s she was a fan of sensi.
Your Mom sounds like a character, Bolas. Smoked Salmon is one of my absolute favorite tastes. May she live another 50 years in good health!
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:58 PM   #20
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I lost my sense of taste after I broke my nose in a car accident. The only thing I could STAND for about 5-6 weeks were blueberry milkshakes. It wasn't expected that my sense of taste (or smell) would come back. My sense of taste and smell did come back--and are super sensitive. I can smell / taste rain, dust on a dirt road and recognize I have driven on that road, etc. And I CANNOT clean up dog bodily fluids of any kind indoors--outside, no problem, but inside, I'm dry heaving immediately (just the sight starts that reflex) (I know--TMI) and it can go to the next stage. Orange juice after I've brushed my teeth does that, as well as PB before noon.

It is horrible when the DH isn't here and I have to clean up after a dog...funny, chicken poo doesn't do that to me. But then, I can also smell the town bbq 8 miles away if the wind is blowing the right direction...
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