My husband lost his sense of smell and taste after an ischemic stroke, will it ever improve?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
Pk4 asked...

My husband had an ischemic stroke in December 2010. He is 46 years old and he's had a couple strokes earlier in July of 2010. He's lost is sense of smell and taste. He said everything he eats taste spoiled and has a horrible after taste. He even starts gagging at times because of the smell and taste of certain foods. He's lost about 20 lbs in 7weeks. Will this ever improve? His weakness and cognitive functions from his stroke in July are improving.

Expert Answers

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

I think it is too early to say with certainty that he won't improve. I'm not exactly sure how to treat this particular problem, and a review of the literature indicates that no specific treatment is readily available. However, since his strokes were fairly recent, it seems very reasonable to expect that he will continue to improve. I would focus on having him eat foods that give him the least amount of distaste, and try to supplement with higher calorie foods such as Ensure, to make sure he is getting the proper nutrition and vitamins even if he is not able to take in a large quantities.

Good luck!