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    Includes Expert Content
    Stroke and Taste
    vick55 posted:
    I had a stroke on 12/7/09. My left side was affected. Afterwards I noticed a change in my taste. My left side of my mouth still tingles and I nothing taste the same as before. Can a stroke affect your taste buds?
    kokobonna responded:
    I don't know about a stroke. But I was recently diagnosed with Bells Palsy, which is alot like having a stroke. I have hardly any taste myself. I was in the hospital for this last week. I can taste Peach Ice Tea, and Dairy Queens Arctic Rush drinks, and thats about it.

    I am a chef, so this is devistating to me. As a cook, I feel I'm not cooking to my full potential at all.
    thsoltrk replied to kokobonna's response:
    My stroke of 4 months ago has recently left me aware of heightened taste sensitivity. It seems to have progressed from a very subtle saltiness sensitivity to a more pronounced sensitivity to most flavors, but mostly saltiness. The overall feeling is something like a metallic taste.
    It's odd that it has become more, rather than less, pronounced with time but residuals from a stroke can be time-related. I'm hoping it settles out and goes away but this stroke, my third, is not being kind to me. So, we'll see.
    itmatsb replied to thsoltrk's response:
    I had my stroke over 3 years ago and have never had a good appetite since. (I used to be overweight.) When I got severely depressed, one of my chief issues was that I had to get up every day and eat. I still hate to eat.

    How it affected my taste buds directly was that I can't eat anything the slighest bit tart, e.g. cherries, strawberries, grapes, etc. My whole face contorts severely from even the slightest tooth mark into the cherry for example.

    A friend of mine also never got her same appetite back after her stroke 7 years ago.
    enteebee replied to itmatsb's response:
    hey were you able to walk or use the left leg again? Did u recover from mom justhad stroke and got her left body affected. I want to know if she can recover
    thsoltrk replied to enteebee's response:
    I also had a left side effect, mostly in my leg. After 2-1/2 months of twice-a-week physical therapy to relearn how to walk properly, I still have exercises to do to keep from regressing. It's been 7 months since the stroke and , even though there is still a possibility to improve, I have not regained full control of my left leg. It limits what I do and leaves me tiring easily if I walk much. So, in that respect, this last stroke was somewhat life-cxhanging.
    To answer your question more directly, there likely can be recovery but your mother's doctor will have to advise on what therapy and/or exercise might be needed.
    itmatsb replied to enteebee's response:
    Definately it is worth getting physical therapy as soon as possible, but even later on is worth it. Every one is different, so difficult to predict her progress.

    The right dominant side of my body was affected along with my speech. I was told 8 months later by a neurologist that had I not been 56 years old (meaning younger) AND having a exceptional circulatory system which saved the day, I would have been sitting before her paralyzed and not able to speak, so it was a pretty bad stroke.

    After a LOT of physical therapy (PT), I am able to walk with a bit of a limp sometimes, trip about to fall frequently and have had a couple bad falls. But sometimes I walk quite well and clients don't know that I've had a stroke.

    Give your mother time and demand that she get PT.
    JPJamster replied to itmatsb's response:
    Hi there, my father just got a stroke and he can't eat gelatin or yugurt.

    What foods were easiest for you to eat?

    It seem seems like even water tastes funny to him.

    Thank you.
    Richard C Senelick, MD replied to JPJamster's response:
    The distortion of taste is not uncommon after a stroke or illness. The compaint of a metallic taste or unusual taste is also quite common. I am going to assume that they have ruled out a swallowing problem with your father. If not, he needs to be evaulated by a speech and language pathologist
    Unfortunately there is no easy solution, but the first place to look is medications. Some many medications, particulatly some heart medications can cause taste problems.

    My wife had severe problems with her taste sensation after an illness last year. Even bottle wwater had a metalic taste. It became a real challenge to get calories into her. She would eat lime sherbert but not orange. Finally we found that if we put cilantro in her food she loved it. We were fortunate , in that everything returned to normal. I think you will have to experiment and think "unusual" flavors and not just the bland hospital stuff.

    Finally, a study of over a 100 stroke survivors with taste disorders found that the majority improved.

    Here is another tip sheet from England for people with taste problems after stroke.

    Good Luck
    After your stroke you may be experiencing a new normal, but remember what George Eliot said- It is never too late to be what you might have been. You still can achieve new goals.

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