Saturday, July 5, 2008

Losing my Sense of Taste for a Day

Last week something strange happened to me. After eating loads of Wasabi and Chili, I woke up the next day without any taste from my tongue.

I realized while having my breakfast because the chocolate syrup didn't taste as sweet as usual. It still took some time until I fully recognized my loss of taste.

So if you ever wondered how chocolate tastes when you can't taste, I can tell you it's boring. And because I lost all my other taste senses, it didn't taste bitter either, just like an tasteless paste.

The good part about chocolate is that it has a very good smell, so smelling it makes you remember what it tastes like, so you imagine the taste. This does not work with salt for example. I tried a little bit with the tip of my tongue. Normally it's quite intense when tasted pure, but for me it had less taste than a few grains of sand.

For lunch I had salad with many ingredients. Again, I know what most things taste like, so I imagined the taste and really thought I had little bit of my sensuality back. But I rather blame my memory for that, again.

The evening was even worse. I had potato wedges with tomato ketchup. If I didn't know ketchup before, I would be wondering why people love this viscid cream so much. At least it had a slightly sour taste when swallowing. And that taste came from my palate. I didn't know you can taste with the roof of your mouth... but it's true.

I better skip the part about how beer tastes without a taste, and even water tastes horrible without any sense of taste. Yeah, not tasting has some kind of anti-taste. Probably water has some taste that cancels out this anti-taste to taste neutral... who knows.

Luckily, the next day I slowly regained all my senses and now this temporal disability has vanished. But it left some great impressions on me and I want to summarize those for you:

  • You judge a lot about food by it's smell and your imagination about how it could taste.
  • You only fully realize how wonderful the sense of taste can be when you lose it
  • Never eat too much of Wasabi unless you intend to have the same experience I had :-)


Anonymous said...

Taste impediment varies in loss. This impairment ranges from a slightly distorted taste to a complete loss of taste. It is very rare to have a complete loss of taste. Along with varying severity, there are various causes of taste loss. They include: aging, Bell’s palsy, common cold, flu gingivitis, heavy smoking, injury to the head, mouth dryness, nasal infection, nasal polyps, sinusitis, pharyngitis, salivary gland infections, side effects of certain medications, strep throat, vitamin B-12 deficiency, or zinc deficiency. Also, the loss of taste or partial loss of taste is very rarely permanent. The sense of smell it is linked to the sense fo taste, a lot of time when food or drinks are to hot the sense of taste are obstruct, but the smell will help to determinated de flavor

Anonymous said...

Just had the same exact thing happen to me. Yesterday I ate a ton of wasabi, and now i have no taste, tried the salt thing, nothing, hahah, hope it comes back soon

Anonymous said...

Perfect time to dare eat lemons / limes...

NaiOlrac said...

glad i'm not alone..
i was afraid... coz i couldn't taste anything.. i tried eating one whole lemon.. nothing.... -__-

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm glad to hear about your experience because I was starting to wonder if I had a brain tumor. I was eating Chinese takeaway for dinner and I said to my family "I think they've been cutting down the salt in this food, it tastes really bland". My wife relied "taste's ok to me". Then i was eating some salted pistachios which tasted bland too - and i knew they were salted because i was eating them last night. I tried eating salt - just like sand. Then I remembered I'd bought a large bag of wasabi peas and had been snacking on them all day, so I'm hoping that's the cause. Thank heavens for the Internet - I doubt this would be found in any textbook!

Anonymous said...

The same for me:)

Things started to taste strange today - water was the worst - I realized that I can't feel sour and salty. It took some hours to eralize that wasabi peanuts may ahve something to do with that.

I've just checked old friend Google to see how long this would last.

Anonymous said...

Finally found somebody or bodies that just lost their taste overnight basically. But, I didn't have any wasabi. I'm really puzzled on why? The only thing i did different the day prior was acupuncuture for tennis elbow and started a regimen of flu medication, which is 2 tablets under the tongue. I slowly clued in when loosing my sense of taste when I thought things tasted so bland, its been a week now and still the same. Its really depressing, especially for me when I had the best taste buds around.
Any ideas to what i should do? I am not doing acupuncture and flu tablets just incase there was a link to that. Had blood testing done with doc but no reports yet.Please help!!!

Anonymous said...

I lost my sense of taste after eating a whole bag of wasabi nuts aswell, and I couldn't taste anything other than salty flavores for weeks after that. For a while I was afraid that my sense of taste was permanently gone but eventually it came back and now it's just as good as ever.

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed with coughing asthma and soon after this, my sense of smell and taste completely disappeared. Came back very briefly last week but soon went and now onto the second week of this.

At first, I was devasted because I love food. The smell part, I can do without actually because there are more bad smells then good - but taste - now that is different!

So agree chocolate is one of my favourites and I could have cried when I tasted it - yuck just nothing! I can taste all the basics and so I made something with tons of garlic in and guess what? Might as well not have been there! I in the end put tons of mustard and herbes de provance and thankfully got a tiny bit of taste.

What I am discovering is that hunger has to be related to taste, because even when I have eaten, I find myself gasping for taste that end up having a strong mint because there is just a subtle taste there!

I am sort of getting used to this, because really it is rather funny that things I could not tolerate before, I am eating! I peel onions and no reaction and even ate a bit of raw onion that I never do, and ust got a hint of taste. So basically, I need extra extra stong taste to get a bit of taste.

Even though smelling is not the issue really other than every time I cook now, I get this horrible sweet sickly smell coming up and also when I had a shower!!

I would really just like my taste to come back but I guess I have to wait another week for may be that happening!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, and thanks to the other commenters for posting similar experiences. I've eaten spicy food all my life, but I ate a lot of wasabi peas yesterday and have lacked a sense of taste since then, so I'm relieved to hear I'm not alone and the sense will return. I even tried another fairly spicy food (a hot-pepper soup I make a few times a week) but couldn't taste the hot pepper. Right now, water and fruit juice taste the strangest to me: who'd have guessed water could be so off-putting? It's also interesting that wasabi was the trigger for most of us, as opposed to all the other spicy foods out there; maybe this is a chemical property of wasabi that warrants scientific study.

Unknown said...

I was eating wasabi peas... Ended up eating the whole container. Woke up, drank water and it tasted awful, then I realized everything had no taste. Good to know it was just the wasabi.

Unknown said...

Omg so so so glad I am not the only one. I ate wasabi chili bits yesterday and whole lot of them and today I cant taste a thing makes me not want to eat anything, wasteful calories if I cant taste it hahaha jk jk...but thank you for this post