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“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.))
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/ ;
… 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.