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Old 01-22-2009, 07:01 PM   #1
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Loss of smell and taste

Hi, I can imagine worse things, but, this is pretty serious and I thought you all would understand and maybe have some insight on what could cause this.
One of my co-workers has lost some of his sense of smell and taste recently. He says milk tastes normal. Other things don't. He says he loses taste and smell somewhere where the two meet, if that is possible. Sometimes things smell like peroxide/ammonia? in hair dye, even though it's food. Sometimes smell like cleaning solutions but not like they should smell, like food stuff.
He's generally in good health and this is just recently. He didn't use zicam, which is known to cause issues sometimes.
Anyone have any insight? Medical issues that has might cause this?
I can't imagine how tough it would be to not even be hungry because food doesn't taste and smell good to me...he tells me he's losing weight due to it now too.
TIA ~Bliss
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:06 PM   #2
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he needs to go see a neurologist.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:16 PM   #3
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TG, he is setting up a physical first, then a referral to a specialist. We talked about possible problems like polyps (sp?), sinus infections, so an ear eye nose and throat person, and we talked about maybe a neurologist. Do you have any references as to why you would make that choice? He might end up going to many specialists before they find the problem. Thank you for your input. ~Bliss
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:21 PM   #4
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I second the vote for a neurologist. The reason is that disturbances of one or more of the senses can be caused by a brain issue. Especially when there is no other obvious cause. One of the reasons for starting there is that brain issues are always best caught early and neurologists are trained to detect or rule them out.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:23 PM   #5
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If you can get in with an ENT, they will check as far as they can, then, they should refer to Neuro. The brain does some really weird things. I'm still waiting for my dh to go, but, he refuses until I have insurance. Tumors can cause changes in smell and taste. Not to scare you or him, but, that is the reason for my saying it.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:40 PM   #6
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I've had that before and it cleared up after getting treatment from my ENT - ended up being a sinus issue. Best wishes for a quick recovery! :o)
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:06 PM   #7
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I really appreciate all your replies, thoughts, and experience on this. I hope it's not as scary for him once he has medical opinions and I think it might help for him to hear your opinions and thoughts on this. Thank you, ~Bliss
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:16 PM   #8
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When my dad had a virus or the flu years ago, he found that chocolate tasted like dirt to him, and he couldn't smell things correctly. His doctor thought he was nuts, but when my dad felt better he was able to taste and smell correctly. I would definitely suggest (as others have) to have the throat, nose, sinuses, etc. checked. Taste and smell are very closely connected (try eating an apple while smelling a cut onion).

I went through something similar last year, only I had a sickly sweet smell in my nose constantly, and a lot of things tasted sweet. Nothing was found, and it went away as mysteriously as it came.

Barbara
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:19 PM   #9
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This is a great article to give your friend an idea about what can cause these side effects:
Smell and Taste Disorders: A Primary Care Approach - January 15, 2000 - American Academy of Family Physicians
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blissful View Post
Hi, I can imagine worse things, but, this is pretty serious and I thought you all would understand and maybe have some insight on what could cause this.
One of my co-workers has lost some of his sense of smell and taste recently. He says milk tastes normal. Other things don't. He says he loses taste and smell somewhere where the two meet, if that is possible. Sometimes things smell like peroxide/ammonia? in hair dye, even though it's food. Sometimes smell like cleaning solutions but not like they should smell, like food stuff.
He's generally in good health and this is just recently. He didn't use zicam, which is known to cause issues sometimes.
Anyone have any insight? Medical issues that has might cause this?
I can't imagine how tough it would be to not even be hungry because food doesn't taste and smell good to me...he tells me he's losing weight due to it now too.
TIA ~Bliss
A bad sinus infection can do that. I've known a couple of people with this problem.
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