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After my stroke, I lost my sense of taste. Will this change?

7 answers | Last updated: Sep 23, 2015
Julia Estrada asked...

I lost my taste buds after my stroke. Will this change or is this a permanent disability?


Caring.com User - James Castle, M.D.
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James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.
46% helpful
James Castle, M.D. answered...

I have heard a few people tell me that they lost their sense of taste after a stroke. In general, I think of this as being similar to other deficits See also:
What I Wish I'd Known About Stroke Recovery, From Jill Bolte Taylor

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after a stroke. Gauging how much and how quickly an improvement will occur is very difficult.

In general, stroke symptoms improve over the 6 months following the stroke, then start to stabilize. However, the amount of improvement is very difficult to prognosticate. Much like a weatherman or an economist, as a stroke doctor, my forecast predictions are often "off-the-mark". What I can tell you is that, in general, the recovery usually progresses at a fairly steady state. If you feel like things are slowly improving, I would expect that to continue. If you have noticed no improvement, you should not loose all hope, but the expected improvement will likely be less, if at all.


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Dr4evry1 answered...

In my 35 years of experience with my(late)father who was an Ayurvedic Physician in Salem, Tamilnadu, India. I have seen thousands of patients with stroke and treated them. It all depends upon your age and other health conditions like HTN,DM and your Mental Health status, and also depends the stroke side,(left or right). If any one has a stroke on rt side, they will have normal with little difficulty in taste, speech, sight and hearing. If it is on the lt side they will have problem in speech, taste, sight and hearing and also the deviation of their mouth(lips)like the Bells(Facial)Palsy. But all this conditions can be treated by Ancient Indian treatment aka Ayurveda Uzhichil Therapy in 6 weeks course of treatment and gradually, virtually you will see the improvement.


100% helpful
Southern Belle RN answered...

My stroke was in 2006. As of today my taste is still very much altered. It makes cooking difficult because I don't know how the seasonings taste. But every so often I will bite into something and the taste will register and it is like having sex for the first time. I had a sip of coffee a couple of days ago that was heaven. I think of those times as an unexpected pleasure.I am very interested in the note above. Best of luck.


BEETEE answered...

This is weird stuff. my neurologist has never heard of a couple of my post stroke(severe right side in 2003)symptoms. Taste & smell was slowly going away at my 6 year mark and is largely difficult to recognize if not 'gone' primarily on my left 'affected' side.and anything cold sprinkled on my left, feels like a fine tipped blowtorch. God Bless, everyone!


Dr. Boyd answered...

A Physiologic/Anatomic Explanation to account for loss of taste sensation following a stroke After reading the responses citing a loss of taste sensation following a stroke (cerebrovascular accident), I wanted to offer your readers an explanation with evidence based in human anatomy and physiology. The sense of taste involves specific taste nerve pathways in the head (brain & head and neck). There are specialized cells called taste receptor cells which are located on the anterior (front portion) two-thirds of the tongue. These receptor cells transmit taste sensation via sensory impulses which travel along fibers of the facial nerve. Facial nerve (Cranial Nerve VII) is one of 12 such nerves in the head and neck which conduct sensory and motor function to various muscles and sensory areas of the head and neck. Since a stroke interrupts the blood supply to the facial nerve by varying degrees depending on extent of the bleed and location, taste sensory sensation can also be affected in varying degrees. Facial nerve also carries motor impulses to the muscles of facial expression affecting them as well on the side of the brain that the stroke occurred. It is interesting to note that the posterior (back portion) one-third of the tongue and back of the mouth may retain some sensation because taste receptors there send nerve impulses along a different cranial nerve. These areas are served by cranial nerve IX (called glossopharyngeal nerve). So the loss of taste sensation to the anterior two-thirds of the tongue are consistent with the varying degrees of involvement of the stroke to facial nerve. Hope that this is helpful, Calvin Boyd MD Obstetrics/Gynecology Candidate for Master of Public Health University of New Mexico School of Medicine


davkin65 answered...

I had a stroke, lost my taste buds, on my right side, it has been a week, I find it very hard to eat anything, and I agree with the one person, I tasted tea today, it was so great. My problem besides lost of taste is the throwing up after I force myself to eat. Any help would be appreciated


TexkimoGal answered...

I had a brainstem stroke on July 29th 2013, since then everything I eat taste real sour, just wish the taste had gone away, it is terrible to eat, milk helps as it is bland and neutralizes the sour,even meat is sour. I only eat chicken & sweet foods,they are the only foods I can stand. Anyone else know of this?