This entry is written by Truthful Loving Kindness (yes, that is my full legal name) for publishing at http://www.truthfulkindness.com , so PLEASE address any questions or comments to that website, regardless of which website shows these words.
“Smell and taste are often reduced in dementia.” — Psych Today 07Mar2021. Tru here discussing loss of taste for food. The medical term for complete loss of taste is ageusia. There is also a partial loss of taste, or unpleasant perception of taste, called dysgeusia.
For ME, loss of taste was a gradual thing. The first taste i lost was that yeast-y taste from doughnuts and some ultra-fluffy breads. After a life-time love-affair with doughnuts, these yeast wonders were no longer worth even periodic break in my gluten-free way of life (due to Celiac). The anticipation was there, but no reality and fulfillment of the anticipation when i actually ate a doughnut. That began about 2018.
Next big noticeable taste lost was CHOCOLATE ! Baking chocolate is still one of the primary ingredients that go to make my high-protein drink. The mouth-feel of hot chocolate is incredibly comforting for me, even though i quit tasting it in 2020.
By early 2021, i noticed that any Leftovers usually tasted like cardboard. That included poultry and beef (i dont eat pork), and most vegetables. But at that time i could still taste almost all spices, so corned beef, bar-be-cue sauce, and condiments really helped the taste issue for eating food. … and i could still taste many fruits. By the end of 2021, i had lost the taste for the yummy things in fruit tho. The only remaining taste was acidic and yucky.
Now (2022). i have basically lost all taste, freshly cooked or Leftovers. Meats (and fish), Vegetables, Fruits, and even my biggie — Dairy. i have always been a milk baby, and that was a crushing loss — along with, of course, ice cream !!! i can still taste (or FEEL ?) the vinegar in catsup and mustard — but they have no difference to each other.
Cardboard; i eat sometimes sweet or salty “cardboard”, (CaramelCorn) but all food tastes like cardboard.
Probably not considered “food”, but i can still taste a few pretend flavors — like some of the crystal light water flavors. So that is very helpful – for as long as it lasts. Update Apr2022: Crystal Light Lemonaid flavor is now distorted and yucky, but Sunrise Orange still tastes good, and can be used in cooking also. Update Monday morning 06Jun2022: i had an event this morning and now Sunrise Orange flavor is also distorted and yucky — i taste something, but it certainly is not good. However, have discovered “Black cherry herbal tea” still tastes good. Funny that in each of these cases, the actual fresh fruit taste was distorted BEFORE the pretend flavor for that fruit. i wonder if that is consistent among folks who lose taste sensation ?????
This is a big loss, and i am allowing myself to grieve. Mostly, no; i dont even remember the tastes, but i remember the feelings that accompany eating these foods. The wonder of a doughnut, and the exotic notes of pineapple. Unfortunately eating is much more WORK now that there is no taste,
Also, each bite is a fresh, brand-new disappointment, because
even though i rationally know that i will not taste anything,
i am still Looking for a taste with each bite, and there is
… But now, as always, i need to re-focus on what remains, instead of what is lost.
Since taste is no longer an issue, most of my foods can go in my fingers or a mug.
… and no need for variety, because i have no memory of what i ate on previous days (or even today, LOL).
i am drinking more of my protein drink, but still sitting at table with husband.
The mouth-feel of chocolate, and
the feeling of milk coating my throat and stomach.
These are things that remain, and still bring comfort.
Borscht is a banquet of textures, and Broccoli Bisque is ever-so-smooth with creamy green thickness. Both are brightly colored, and easily eaten from a mug. So these vegetable soups are my main foods, other than my protein drink mixture.
“Smell and taste are often reduced in dementia.” — Psych Today 07Mar2021 by neurologist Andrew Budson MD at >> https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/managing-your-memory/202103/when-dementia-diminishes-smell-and-taste ;
Also see Nov2021 >> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549775/ ;
Taste part 1: Loss of Smells and Taste at https://truthfulkindness.com/2021/08/08/re-heated-taste/ ;
Taste part 2: Re-Heated Taste at https://truthfulkindness.com/2021/08/08/re-heated-taste/ ;
Taste part 3: Taste Almost Gone at https://truthfulkindness.com/2022/03/27/food-taste/ .
… and you might want to check out the “FOOD” Links gathered for Dementia Symptoms and Strategies (alphabetized) at https://truthfulkindness.com/about/d-info/links-sx-strategies/. This includes my past entries on this topic, along with “Food” entries from Agnes Houston, Barry Pankhurst, Greg O’Brien, retired doctor Jennifer Bute, and Susan Suchan.
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Tags: ageusia, alzheimers, comfort, dementia, dysgeusia, food, person with dementia, PLwD, symptoms, taste. S&S categ: food.