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So...when did you get taste buds back?

Posts: 56
Joined: Apr 2010

Sort of just a poll here. When did you begin to get taste buds back after treatment ended?
Just thought the scope of answers here might be helpful for those anxious about tasting food again.

SIRENAF42's picture
Posts: 203
Joined: Oct 2008

I started getting mine back slowly around 4 monts or so after my last Radiation treatment. Still not the same as before though.

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1576
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm ten weeks past end of radiation and chemotherapy. Still can't taste sweets very well. Soft fruits and vegetables started tasting really good between two and four weeks past treatment. Also - yogurt, cheeses, scrambled eggs, and smoothies. I enjoy the taste of meats, I just can't chew and swallow them very well, owing to lack of saliva. Pepper is still too spicy, I can taste it in a lot of foods. Most of my tasting/eating/swallowing issues are now more directly related to a complete lack of saliva, rather than a lack of taste buds. Tongue quit hurting somewhere in the two to four weeks post treatment interval.


rush1958's picture
Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2010

I'm about five weeks out from the last radiation treatment and seven weeks out from the last chemo treatment.

I started getting a taste for fresh veggies after about two weeks out from the last radiation treatment. Dairy products started tasting pretty good too.

About four weeks out the fruits started tasting pretty good also. That's when I first got the sense of "sweet" back. The sense of sweet is not very intense or long lasting, but it is getting better.

Oddly enough, I've developed a real passion for spicy pickles, hot pickled peppers and hot pickled polish sausges. I'm making them homemade and I can't seem to get enough of them. Before this happened I rarely touched the stuff.........

I'm luckier than many in that I have never had any problem swallowing throughout this whole ordeal. Everything just tasted horrible.... including water. Water tasted like dirty sweat to me....

Taste gets better all the time, but it has a long ways to go. Mexican dishes and Italian dishes still don't taste right. Bread products and salty snacks are getting their flavor back, but are hard to eat becasue my saliva function is not as good as it once was.


davidgskinner's picture
Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2009

This was my number one question when I finished radiation and chemo in March 2010. After about two months I could taste some things, like radishes. Weird, but that got me trying different things and now I can taste most all fruits and vegetables. Love them, but didn't before. Strangely, I still can't taste sweets like cakes, cookies or candies but love strawberries and bananas. Go figure. Saliva is the biggest problem for me; I need to take little bites and have water with me all the time.
Keep trying different things and try not to get discouraged. Oh, another thing I did was take zinc supplements and brush my tongue regularly. Not sure if it made a difference, but I figured both things were worth trying since others had suggested them.

Greg53's picture
Posts: 848
Joined: Apr 2010

I wasn't able to eat until about week 10. At first nothing tasted too good, but every week something new would taste "more normal". I'm about 15 weeks out now and the only thing that tastes bad is sweets (which I'm trying to avoid). Also I used to love hot and spicey food. Not anymore, for the present time it's just way too much. Hopefully my taste for hot peppers will come back though (great antioxidents in them, don'cha know).


Posts: 88
Joined: Aug 2009

I started getting some back at 4 months. I'm coming up on a year in August and still making some gains. Sweets taste pretty bad.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Pretty much the same with me...

If it doesn't taste good, I try again in a few months.


chris731's picture
Posts: 24
Joined: Jul 2010

Like most, about 4 months out I got it back. Sweetness isn't as sweet, pop, any, still taste like crap. Root Beer isn't bad. For the most part it's back to normal. I had a beer this past weekend and that tasted like it used to.

survivor31's picture
Posts: 72
Joined: Apr 2010

well im six months outta treament and can taste just a little not quite back yet.

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2196
Joined: Nov 2009

Started getting taste back very quickly. Progress has stalled, but I'm still doing well - nothing to complain of in the taste department. I'm four months out, and haven't made progress in over a month. I can taste almost everything "accurately". Unlike most, chocolate tastes good to me; but it tastes like "super chocolate", so I can only eat a very small amount (this is a good thing). I have noticed that when I eat ice cream, I only gave taste for a few bites. It's the same for some other things, from time to time, but it's consistent with ice cream.

Taste does not hinder my eating. Like many, it's the damages/saliva/swallowing thing. Can't eat spicy - I do eat pizza (with pain meds) sometimes. Normally, spicy or acidic foods are not possible or not worth it without pain medicine. I got my throat dilated yesterday, so I'm thinking the swallowing will be easier soon.

I do, however, clearly recall the intense disappointment caused by smelling something wonderful, and tasting nothing or something other than what I expected. Do well.

debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

I am 10 months post trmnt and mine are still not back. I can eat bbq flavored meats and chix nuggets. Most other foods taste awful. I just keep hoping and trying new things to see if anything has changed. Hang in there, it could take some time.
God Bless,

staceya's picture
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2010

Most taste is back at 5 months out. There was more improvement in the last 2- 3 weeks than any time before. It was not a even process, there would be periods of no improvement, then sudden improvement.
Sometimes, taste changes while you are eating, like your tastebuds get tired or something. Certain textures remain horribly problematic, chicken, meat. I tried bacon (which I used to love)today and it was awful, tasted like salty bark. oh well I keep experimenting...

Tricia02's picture
Posts: 130
Joined: Mar 2009

Almost 5 years since treatment, no smell and very little taste!

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