Dysgeusia occurs when there is a change in the sense of taste. It can be triggered by so many things. some of its causes such as common cold can be treated in their own, while others such as dementia must be treated under medical supervision because they are chronic sicknesses.
Alterations in sense of taste is very noticeable, most people with this condition describe very specific and strange tastes. In few cases, when it is unclear whether there is an alteration in the sense of taste or smell, a diagnostic test is done to confirm. Dysgeusia can be short-or long-term, depending on the cause.
A change in the sense of taste can affect the patient while eating or drinking and even when the mouth is not chewing. Most people complain of metallic taste, bitter, salty and unpleasant sweet taste. It reduces how people enjoy meals and it rarely leads to nausea. Dysgeusia causes aversion to some foods. The symptoms associated with dysgeusia are mostly related to the cause of the condition and are not caused by taste distortion. These symptoms include:
- Bad breath
- Sore throat
- Dry mouth
- Head ache
- Stomach pain
- Swelling or pain inside the mouth
There are certain complications that occur when people experience dysgeusia for a short period. They can develop reduced appetite, loss of weight irrespective how short the period dysgeusia exists for. Pregnant women lose weight when they have dysgeusia. However, in healthy people, appetite is gotten back and weight is gained when the dysgeusia is cured.
When change in taste is caused by a long-term condition like diabetes, gastrointestinal disease or a stroke, it leads to malnutrition and loss of weight.
People with dysgeusia might necessarily lose weight but they develop increased appetite for unhealthy foods, leading to malnutrition even without loss of weight.