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Return of taste Buds

Posts: 9
Joined: Apr 2002

I am trying to get off this feeding tube and on to real food. But everytime I put anything in my mouth, it has a horrible taste and I end up not eating. Then the depression sets in and real plays a number on my mind. Is there anyone out there that can give any helpful info? Can you eventully return to normal eating or is this taste always with you?

phattpig's picture
Posts: 29
Joined: Apr 2002

Merilyn, Although I am still on a feeding tube, my taste has returned. I know you get tired of hearing this, but it just takes time. You will be able to taste food again, one of the first things I could taste was sweet. Just hang in there, and you will be tasting food again. Good luck and God bless you.


Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2011

my taste buds are only about 25% after nearly 4 months after treatments. how much longer do I have to wait. I'm losing my marbles right about now, not being able to eat food. God bless.


sweetblood22's picture
Posts: 3228
Joined: Jan 2010

Is that you cannot eat, or is it that you can eat some, but have no taste? I (and many of us) understand the frustration. I had a PEG for
18 months and I didn't drink anything at all for about five months and had no food at all for about nine months. When I did start to eat everything tasted awful or had no taste. I have to say that this week I was sick, and since I was stuffed up, I realized that I could actually taste more than I thought I could. Losing it again for a couple days really brought that home to me.

In the beginning it takes time to figure out what you can manage and what does taste ok to you. Anything decent yet? Can you smell yet? Sometimes fragrance can help.

Also, I find using plastic cutlery better than metal. Metal has a funky taste to me. Four months isn't too far out yet. Unfortunately it does take time. Maybe 6 months to a year or more. I know a lot of us when we found something we could tolerate and swallow and sort of taste, we would eat it 24/7.

I find I even like things I didn't used to now. I also use a lot of freshly chopped herbs in my cooking. At the end of cooking for a fresh green vibrant taste. I am particulary fond of thyme now. I also like cilantro. I used to hate it. I had it today with my egg omelette filled with queso blanco, topped with avocado and chopped tomato and the cilantro.

It is pretty maddening not being able to taste. I hope that you can find some things to eat. For me, sweet things were much better than savory at first. You have to just keep trying and keep experimenting.



Hal61's picture
Posts: 655
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Mkert, I'm a little over a year from radiation and chemo, and a lot of taste is back, though some a bit different, and a lot of it fleeting. But I didn't have much at all at six, seven months out. For most of us it comes back a bit at a time, with lack of salivary function thrown in to slow in down. I could eat and swallow throughout, but had the peg, and was glad to have it. Like you, the taste and texture of food made it impossible to eat. People not affected find that hard to understand. The good news is that taste returns to a large degree for most people, just takes time. Taste will change even as it returns. What was decent one week, may go away the next. My constant was eggs. I could eat an egg even two or three months out and it tasted o.k. Salivary is a bigger issue, but you can pretty much count on taste coming back, give it time.

best, Hal

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