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Can a stroke cause a metallic taste in the mouth?

5 answers | Last updated: Mar 21, 2015
A fellow caregiver asked...

Since her stroke, my mother has complained of a metallic taste in her mouth. She says she can't eat because the taste makes her gag. She's lost quite a bit of weight and I'm worried about her. What could be causing this, and will it get better?


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Nerissa Ko is an assistant professor of neurology and an assistant director of the Neurovascular Service at the University of California in San Francisco....
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Nerissa Ko answered...

Strokes rarely affect taste sensation in isolation, although it's certainly possible depending on the location of your mother's stroke. What's more likely is that one of the medications she's taking See also:
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is affecting her taste. The first thing I would suggest is that you talk to her doctor about whether her medications can be adjusted so she doesn't have this side effect. That would be an easy solution.

If it actually is stroke related, it's a much tougher problem. It's actually a combination of loss of the sense of smell and the sense of taste, and it's very challenging because nothing tastes good. You may have to supplement her nutrition with very high-calorie foods so she doesn't lose too much weight. Very severe cases may require the use of a feeding tube.


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wcwsue answered...

my mom had an ischemic stroke a few months back and she was left with a metallic taste in her mouth ..she could not eat or drink because of this.. she was borderline malnurished when they put her on magase..shockingly to the Doctors this cured the metallic taste in her mouth...hoipefully this will help someone else..


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A fellow caregiver answered...

dont really want to provide and answer just wondering what WCWSUE meant when she said they put her mother on magase.... what is that product it must be short for something. My mom is having the same problem > I was thinkinging she had Thrush mouth maybe . but would love to try something that works because she is not eating anything and loosing wieght. thanks.


hospicenurse0607 answered...

Actually, the medication is Megace (Megestrol) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000539/ My dad's doctor used it after my dad had open-heart surgery and completely lost his appetite for awhile. It worked well for him, and he was gradually able to eat better. Now, my mom had a stroke and is having the problem of nothing really tasting good to her. All she wants is milkshakes, but she hates the supplement shakes, so we just let her have the ice cream. I'm going to ask the doctor for my mom to prescribe her some Megace; it couldn't hurt to try....


jrl5678 answered...

I had a stroke about 3 weeks ago. I have a weird sense of taste, it is often metallic tasting. I have found raw food taste good most of the time meat does not nor does sugar. I have lost about 10 lbs in the past few weeks. I suggest keep looking for things that taste good.