Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
Loss or absence of the sense of taste.
Our ability to taste occurs when tiny molecules released by chewing, drinking, or digesting our food stimulates special sensory cells in the mouth and throat. These taste cells, or gustatory cells, are clustered within the taste buds of the tongue and roof of the mouth, and along the lining of the throat. Many of the small bumps on the tip of your tongue contain taste buds. At birth, we have about 10,000 taste buds, but after age 50, we may start to lose them.
Local damage and inflammation that interferes with the taste buds or local nervous system such as that stemming from radiation therapy, glossitis, tobacco use, and denture use also cause ageusia. Other known causes include loss of taste sensitivity from aging, anxiety disorder, cancer, renal failure and liver failure.
A distorted sense of taste can be a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other illnesses that require sticking to a specific diet. When taste is impaired, a person may change his or her eating habits. Some people may eat too little and lose weight, while others may eat too much and gain weight.
Other risk factors:
An infection of the tongue.
Abnormal upper respiratory problems.
Sinus and nose nasal polyps lead to a loss of taste.
If your daily diet is deficient in some essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, folic acid and zinc, you may experience a loss of taste. So, include fish, meat and brown rice in your diet. These foods are rich in vitamin B12. Nuts contain large amounts of zinc. Spinach is a rich source of folic acid.
Diseases of the gums and teeth.
Scientists are gaining a better understanding of why the same receptor that helps our tongue detect sweet taste can also be found in the human gut. Recent research has shown that the sweet receptor helps the intestine to sense and absorb sugar and turn up the production of blood sugar-regulation hormones, including the hormone that regulates insulin release. Further research may help scientists develop drugs targeting the gut taste receptors to treat obesity and diabetes.
Most patients with ageusiacomplain of not enjoying food, they cannotable to discriminate salt, sweet, sour, and bitter taste.
To diagnose ageusia, a physician usually performs a taste test, determining which tastes people can detect, and at which concentrations. Taste testing kits are available for this purpose, allowing doctors to use carefully calibrated tastes to test their patients. The doctor may also review the patient's history to get at the underlying cause of the problem, and to determine a course of treatment.
If you lose some or all of your sense of taste, there are things you can do to make your food taste better:
Use aromatic herbs and hot spices to add more flavor; however, avoid adding more sugar or salt to foods.
If your diet permits, add small amounts of cheese, bacon bits, butter, olive oil, or toasted nuts on vegetables.
Avoid combination dishes, such as casseroles, that can hide individual flavors and dilute taste.
Prepare foods with a variety of colors and textures.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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