Corona Leaves A Bad Aftertaste
Posted on April 28, 2021 Posted by Athena Scalzi 60 Comments
You may remember I had corona back in December. In the post over it, I told you all I was totally fine other than losing my taste and smell for a couple days. I was so happy it was a mild case and that nothing else was wrong with me. Surely, I was, and am, one of the lucky ones.
Fast forward to now, four months after I had corona. Sure, my taste and smell came back within the week of testing positive. But they came back wrong.
It’s hard to explain, but basically there’s a lot of foods that I loved that now all taste the same as each other. And that taste is awful.
Interestingly enough, it’s the same with smell. And the smell of these things that no longer smell good to me smell exactly the same as the things that taste bad. Like, there’s no difference between the smell of the bad stuff and the taste of the bad food. It all basically smells completely rotten.
The taste I noticed it first with was mint. Obviously, this was because I was brushing my teeth with mint toothpaste every day. I mean, no one exactly loves the taste of toothpaste, but I was confused why it tasted practically rancid. It was supposed to taste clean! I switched toothpaste brands twice, only to have the same disgusting taste fill my mouth every time I brushed. I started not wanting to brush because I despised the taste so much.
Also, I have always been a huge fan of mint gum, especially Spearmint. I always have a pack in my car. They are few flavors I chew, but Spearmint just hits different. Suddenly, it was hitting very different, but not in a good way. Still, I couldn’t figure out why mint was tasting so bad to me out of nowhere.
Next, coffee. I used to always get an iced white mocha from Starbucks, and it was my favorite drink. I was never particularly fond of coffee, unless it had copious amounts of milk and sugar in it. So, when the delicious sugar filled drink tasted off, I figured maybe it was just the coffee flavor being too strong, or maybe it was old coffee, which tastes substantially worse than already-gross regular coffee.
But then it kept happening, again and again. So I stopped drinking coffee all together.
Then, it was peanut butter. Specifically Reese’s, actually. Reese’s has always been one of my favorite candies ever. Chocolate and peanut butter? There’s few better combos than that. So I ate a Reese’s cup, as one does, and it tasted disgusting. I couldn’t figure out why. It wasn’t an old one or anything, so why’d it taste so off?
Similarly, I had Buckeye ice cream (chocolate ice cream with gobs of peanut butter throughout), and it tasted terrible. It was then that I noticed it only tasted terrible if the bite of ice cream contained peanut butter. The chocolate ice cream itself was completely fine.
I then recalled the Reese’s incident, and figured out that peanut butter was the thing that was tasting bad, so I went to the kitchen and got a spoonful of peanut butter. It smelled totally off, and tasted even worse. Suddenly, one of my favorite foods in the world tasted like total shit.
I wondered if this was related to coffee tasting bad, as well as the mint.
The last item on my ever-growing list of foods that suddenly taste bad after regaining my taste and smell, is meat. Honestly, this one is super inconvenient because it isn’t just one type of meat. It’s pretty much every kind of meat. Well, land meat, anyways, seafood is still normal. So far.
Anyways, it’s really only those foods so far, so nothing I can’t live without (though peanut butter is honestly a HUGE bummer), but it’s not like that’s the complete list. It’s just what I’ve figured out so far. I’m sure there’s still a lot of food I just haven’t gotten around to eating yet that tastes the same as what I’ve mentioned.
Side note, I know the difference between when something is actually bad, and when something only tastes bad to me, because there’s a specific flavor that all of these items have. Like I said, they all taste the same. So if I were to taste a new food not on the list, but it tasted exactly like them, I would know that it’s not actually disgusting, it’s only gross to me. Plus, any time I walk by a coffee shop with someone, they mention how good it smells (which, of course it does, coffee houses are an exquisite, delightful scent), but all I smell is literal shit. So, I have clues to know whether something is actually bad or if it’s just me.
Fun fact, I’m not the only one experiencing this! I’ve done a bit of research (aka I found people on the internet also dealing with this) and it’s called parosmia. An article by BBC I came across said that common descriptors of what things smell and taste like when you have parosmia is death, rotten meat, and shit. Bingo! That’s exactly what’s happening to me!
Also, I found people on Tik Tok describing the same thing! This Tik Tok below is actually what made me realize that COVID is the cause of this. I wouldn’t have known what was wrong with me if it weren’t for this girl.
I feel for anyone experiencing parosmia #covid19 #parosmia #sideeffects #taste #smell #gross #garbage #nasty #unpleasent #fyp #foryou
There’s others, too! These Tik Toks make me feel so much better to know there’s others out there with the same problem. I mean, it sucks that people are suffering from this, but it’s also nice to know I’m not the only one.
#covid19 #covid #symptomsofcoronavirus #lossofsmell #coronavirus #WeWinTogether #tiktokdoc
I feel really overwhelmed learning about this. It’s like, hard news to hear, you know? I feel kind of bad about being upset that my taste and smell are messed up because, like, a lot of people died from COVID and the worst thing that’s happening to me is that peanut butter tastes bad. So, I feel a little selfish for being sad that I have parosmia now.
Is anyone else experiencing this? If you have it, do you smell rotten meat, too? I saw that some people smell plastic or burning, so I’m curious as to what you smell or taste if you have it, too. Let me know in the comments, and have a great day.
You might be interested in this article about Covid ‘long-haulers’, and how Covid affects taste/smell (among other things):
“We found that exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein alone was enough to change baseline gene expression in airway cells…”
Short article, not much detail, but popped up after I read your post.
I know death is much worse as well respiratory problems and lingering health issues but I do admit if that had happened to me depression would ensue.
If there is one thing in live I love is food, I’m a foodie and one of my favorite things is trying regional dishes of every single region/country I visit.
Also living in a country where food is part of our culture and lunch is a minimum of one hour and can extend to a whole afternoon with friends, not being able to enjoy food would be dramatic.
Good luck, hope you find other foods which will compensate the ones you are loosing.
Out of curiosity, what about drinks?
You’re not being selfish. The loss of your taste for certain things is a loss nonetheless. Having something that used to comfort you and no longer does it’s a hard thing.
Taste is mostly smell, what isn’t strictly sweet, sour, salty, bitter or umami (and maaaaybe some sensors for calcium and potassium). We get odors by breathing in (orthonasal odors) and by eating and breathing out (retronasal) — Humans have worse orthonasal capabilities than many animals, but are better at retronasal than dogs, pigs, etc. So stuff tastes more vivid to us.
I highly recommend the book Delicious by Dunn and Sanchez https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691199474/delicious
It’s a fascinating and occasionally very funny serious (but high school bio is probably enough) science book on the reasons why things are tasty, how it helps us survive and evolve, and how it works (to the best of our knowledge). It’s pre-‘rona, and I’m betting these folks are having a (literal) field day researching how taste and smell changes.
I’m sorry. As someone who enjoys food & drink the prospect of favourite foods now tasting disgusting is scary.
I don’t know if it’s applicable, but smell training according to this can help with recovery of loss of smell. It doesn’t say anything about recovery from distorted smells though.
(Though I can imagine if a suite of smell sensors are required to identify one smell, e.g. coffee which is complex, and not all the smell sensors in your nose is working, that could result in distorted smell perception. And if smell training can help get the non-working sensor working, it might work?)
I lost my sense of taste after suffering a very serious head trauma some three years ago and still have times that certain foods are lab king in their proper tastes. For a while, dark chocolate was the only reliable thing I could properly taste. And salty prods as well.
I hope you get over this, that it is temporary. About a year ago, I lost my sense of taste and had the typical long Covid symptoms. Taste came back by itself. I recently got the Covid-19 vaccinations and most of the symptoms went away.
Food doesn’t taste bad, but it is not as enjoyable. I sometimes smell bad things (rancid, burning plastic) that I don’t think are there. I expect things will eventually get back to normal. I hope they do for you, it’s a bummer to not enjoy things that you used to love.
I heard some vaccines can help bring back the good smells.
It wasn’t the Corona virus specifically, but decades ago my mother had this condition and the doctors said it was most likely caused by a viral infection. It took a while, but she eventually fully recovered her senses. Hopefully it will be the same with you.
Just to offer you a bit of hope: I probably (but no tests were available so can’t confirm) had Covid last March. Like you I lost my senses of taste and smell for a few days, then they more or less came back, and I noticed some differences. I’m not sure they were quite as dramatic as yours, and honestly I’m your Dad’s age so I chalked it up to being old and more or less got used to it. And then in the Fall, shortly before Thanksgiving I think, a lot of it came back. Things started tasting like themselves again, and I was surprised and as you might imagine pretty happy about it.
I don’t think it’s selfish at all to want to experience the world as you did before. I hope you get to do that someday!
Oh and an odd little addendum to that — I got my first vaccine shot on Sunday, and Monday my chocolate ice cream tasted like stale cigarette smoke. Same ice cream tasted just fine today.
Smell is complex, the smell and taste of any of those things is produced by the combination of hundreds of compounds, and there is probably a whole list of compounds that are in common in all the things that are tasting/smelling bad.
If one or more of these compounds isn’t being detected, or is being overdetected, that could be the cause.
Some of the same compounds detected in things like rotten meat are normally also present in things that are not rotten, just in different proportions.
I don’t know that doctors actually treat things like this though, so it may just take time to get back to normal.
You probably don’t want to go near a perfume counter for a while though, could smell far worse than the foods.
So, um, have you tried the other way around?
I mean, have you tried food or drink that you previously didn’t like to see if that tastes better now?
Back in January I attended a scientific presentation by an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Stanford on this exact subject: abnormalities of taste and smell following COVID-19. There are things that can be done that help many people who have this issue.
Here is a link to patient information from the clinic where Dr. Patel practices:
Unfortunately, she is in California, which is inconveniently far from Ohio! But maybe you can find somebody closer to you who can help.
Not sure if there’s a correlation but I’ve had similar reaction from 5 full anesthetic surgeries and a lot of Fentanyl/Endone in the last 18 months. The common factor is morphine. Maybe Covid accesses a similar mechanism. Not much publicly available research on the morphine link but the whole thing sucks. My sense of taste has ‘soured’ is the best description I can think of. Good luck finding a new normal.
I feel your pain. This happened to me years ago when, as an adult, I had my tonsils out. I couldn’t eat chocolate, any red sauce, orange juice, and I forget what else. It lasted for a good six months after the surgery. My ENT said it was an unusual side effect coupled with thrush (very gross) due to extreme dehydration after the surgery. Everything is back to normal now, but I will never forget biting into a donut and it tasting like vomit.
Good luck, it should come back. It just may take a while.
Thanks Kelly, I needed a little encouragement.
hope you keep getting better. Really enjoy reading your posts.
You might find the transcript of a podcast episode, “A Food Critic Loses Her Sense of Smell: A Times restaurant critic is on a quest to regain a crucial ability after Covid-19” interesting:
TL;DR. Olfactory receptor neurons are constantly regenerating. So if they were damaged by COVID-19, they can “grow back”, and then it’s a matter of the brain learning how to associate various odors with the “right” smells.
That sounds really unpleasant – I’m sorry!
(And as others have said – that other folks have gotten much worse… while it hopefully inspires thankfulness at what one has been spared, it doesn’t diminish the actual unpleasantness of the experience at all. I mean, if I get a splinter, I don’t think, “well, other people lose their arms to injury, so I shouldn’t care that this hurts”.)
I recently read a really interesting NYT article about the science of smell, Covid-19, and more; in addition to some fascinating science, it includes mention of several support groups. If you (or others) are curious, it’s at https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/magazine/covid-smell-science.html
Oh! Every Little Thing did a great episode this not long ago, and interviewed a rhinologist about it:
Google “covid smell training”. You’ll find a bunch of articles about how to retrain your brain to start smelling properly again.
It’s okay to be sad about your own experience and recognize the massive scale of pandemic losses too– we are all complex and thoughtful enough to keep both things in our minds.
Like a lot of people commenting here, I too have had a weird smell experience. Twenty- five years ago I had rhinoplasty (aka a nose job) and list my sense of smell for several weeks. I don’t remember about my sense of taste though. When my sense of smell came back, WHOA. I had one episode of a smell so terrible, so rancid and strong, I doubled over in the middle of the sidewalk but my mother didn’t notice it. I was staggering from the vile smell. That’s how it came back, out of nowhere.
For about a decade I had two phantom smells, hyacinths and dog poop. Of course mostly the latter. Can’t tell you how many times I’d pull everything out of my car looking for wherever the poopy shoe must be hidden, how many fall days I’d be standing on the porch scenting elusive spring hyacinths. The smells were as often as a couple times a day for years, now only once or twice a year (and I’m convinced that’s real dog poop bc I live in a city and people don’t pick up).
So… I wish you can find your hyacinths, if they exist for covid. And I hope the dead smell fades. There are so many of us who understand how frustrating and bizarre this symptom can feel, you’ll never be alone with it!
One of the things Zach says to me all the time is “Your worst problem is still YOUR worst problem”
And then I remembered the opposite version: Don’t get mad that I had a donut because YOU’RE on a diet.
Ultimately it’s the same concept: Just because others have it worse, doesn’t mean that the things that make you unhappy are invalid. They’re still valid problems and there should be no guilt in feeling bad about them or grieving a loss. Just like you should enjoy your donut even if I can’t.
As someone who loves food and flavors, what you describe would be hugely depressing to me. Peanut butter? Coffee? Chocolate? A really good steak? I would mourn that loss! Don’t feel bad for doing so.
One thing that immediately sprung to mind as I was reading this, is that I saw an article a short while ago about how people who lost their sense of taste or whose sense of taste was altered have been able to “retrain” themselves. I don’t have the article at my fingertips, but I suspect you could Google it and find more info.
But regardless, you have my complete and utter sympathy! I hope this is a temporary thing for you and it goes back to normal soon!
Athena, parosmia absolutely sucks donkey balls. I had it too several decades ago, after nasal surgery that damaged my smell receptors and nerves. Many foods and drinks’ taste changed radically, and for a good long time too (measure it in years). The one I regretted most was finding that Dr Pepper, which I’d previously been fond of, turned into something acridly WRONG. I couldn’t stomach it for nearly a decade.
HOWEVER! The redeeming part of it all was that eventually it got better . Nerves regenerated, new receptors grew, and things mostly went back to the way they were supposed to smell and taste (although Dr Pepper still isn’t quite the same as I remember it at age 12). I know it’s cold comfort for you now, but it’s all I have to offer: it gets better .
A British fellow who works in a perfume laboratory told me that when fancy coffee came to Britain he didn’t understand the fuss, although he himself drank it too, through a hole in the cup lid… Then when he tried drinking with no lid he could really taste it, because now his nose was involved.
So maybe stuff won’t taste as bad if you have a lid.
Speaking of coffee, as regards sugar, when I first moved out of home as a starving minor I went from “two and a bit” teaspoons to only a bit of a teaspoon. I forget when I learned to drink coffee with only cream or powder, no sugar.
I say this because, secondly, not drinking coffee can be a blessing in disguise, if it means going sugar-free.
And firstly, to prove that going sugarless can be done. Given my abnormal love of coffee, I might well be very overweight and diabetic by now if I hadn’t stopped the sugar.
Coffee, like tobacco, is not naturally likeable, meaning I like what I’m used to. (Which is why a certain popular Canadian franchise coffeeshop is having a tough time breaking into the U.S. market) I am now genuinely used to cream-only coffee.
I’m not trying to be pedantic.
But calling it Corona perpetuates a mislabeling that is going to lead to confusion in the future.
Coronaviruses are a class of virus, of which Covid-19 is just one example. And Covid-19 will not be the only one to hit humanity. There will be more of them, and some of them will lead to the possibility of pandemics too.
But if people say “I’ve got Corona vaccine” they may be lured into a false sense of security that they are safe/immune when they will not. And it will also feed into all the asshats that have politicized a pandemic as well.
I realize, that at least at this time, people know what you mean. But using the right language might reduce the possibility of future confusion, when something new comes along. And I cringe whenever I hear media using the very unspecific shortcut in reports.
20+ years ago my father caught Guillain-Barre as a side effect of a seasonal flu vaccine. At least in that case, it causes the whole nervous system to shit the bed, and I remember him saying that food of all sorts, even plain water, tasted off and unpalatable. I’m curious if there is any connection between that syndrome, and Covid, or if it’s more coincidental.
I know your dad posted about being vaccinated but I don’t recall seeing you post about it. I know that I saw a preliminary study of long covid sufferers that showed about 40% of them had their long term symptoms greatly improved by vaccination. If you have not yet been vaccinated, it might be worth it to get it done. Not a sure thing by any means, but regaining the taste of peanut butter alone would be worth it.
I am doubly fortunate in that I haven’t had covid and am due to receive the first dose of vaccine next week. So, I don’t have experience of the aftereffect you describe.
This article talks about the condition, and at the end discusses the idea of “retraining” the sense of smell as a way of addressing the problem. Interesting perhaps?
Hi, I had C-19 in March last year (physically very mild) but taste and smell disappeared for a couple of days and then returned slowly but all over the place. I’ve never really like raw onions, but for about 8 months my wife was sneaking them into salads until one day I woke up re-sensitised to them. I was totally against garlic (!) unless well cooked. Anyway, 14 months on and most of it’s back to normal other than that onions cooking, coffee and shit all smell the same, but (thankfully) not at all like what they smelled like before – i.e. not like shit. Slowly getting better …
Hi, I had a not-so-mild case in July and, yes, my taste and smell are still all over the place. Some foods taste and smell awful, others are odd. Sometimes I feel a horrible sweetish-rottish smell and sometimes the smell of burning – tired of running around the house and checking where is the fire or did a mouse get inside and die.
Plenty of information in this article.
I’ll just re-print the final paragraph –
“There’s no treatment for parosmia that happens because of a viral infection like COVID-19 or a head injury. Damaged nerves in your nose and nasal cavity can grow back, so your sense of smell may partially or fully return without treatment.”
I once worked with someone who had parosmia. She had had surgery on her nose for some unrelated reason, and the surgeon damaged the nerves. Everything she ate tasted terrible to her. About the only thing she could tolerate was boiled potatoes. She looked pale and was losing weight.
I ran into her a few years later and she looked much different. Healthier. I asked her about her sense of taste and smell. She said it came back fine after a while. I hope that’s the case with you.
I’m sorry you’re having to deal with lingering symptoms. I can’t recall if you’ve mentioned being able to get a vaccine or not. I saw some preliminary reports that some with months long chronic symptoms had those resolve and improve after being vaccinated.
And the others are right. There’s no way to compare struggles and suffering even though we do it all the time. Brene Brown talks about that tendency. It brought back to my mind a short piece from Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell. I saw the book in a bookstore, opened it and the first page on which it landed was this one. I knew immediately I was going to buy it.
Let’s be frank–there are times it feels the whole world is falling apart. You cannot compare your pain to others’ so why respond with “Someone else has it worse?”
Pain is immeasurable when it’s felt because in that moment it feels like the worst pain on earth.
Take care! And I hope things improve. It’s also possible to be simultaneously grateful your experience wasn’t worse than it was while legitimately suffering from it. We human beings can contain multitudes that way.
I’ve developed this recently too! I had Covid in January and have since gotten both of my vaccination shots. A week after the second shot I was rinsing with Listerine and it tasted like I had cigarette smoke in my mouth. Then it was my lavender scented shaving cream. Next it was the smell of Pine Sol. Sometimes soda gets the same reaction.
I’ve noticed it’s only when certain tastes hit the back of my tongue, like when I’m rinsing with Listerine. Soda is the weird one where it depends on where it’s coming from, fountain vs can/bottle and when it’s from the fountain how the mix is done.
Yikes! Don’t feel like you have to apologize, Athena. That sucks! Peanut butter? I could deal with the meat easier than that. Thankfully, my Covid (if I actually had it – I tested positive but had zero symptoms, and my wife never got it, so…who knows for sure?) left me pretty much untouched. I do know people who lost their sense of taste and smell but haven’t heard of them having your problem when they got it back, though clearly you are not alone.
What do the doctors say?
My brother-in-law had COVID last fall, and lost his sense of taste and smell. The one thing he can still taste is chocolate. Everything else either doesn’t taste to anything or tastes bad. It really sucks. Both taste and smell started slowly coming back a few weeks ago. He’s looking into smell retraining to accelerate the process.
Although I don’t have personal experience due to needing special toothpaste for sensitive teeth, I know that unflavored toothpaste exists. Look for some with fluoride in it though. Your middle aged self will thank you.
Don’t feel too selfish. You’re doing it right. Be aware of the world. Help where you can. But your problems are yours.
O I hope you get your peanut butter yummies back! That one would devastate me too. I wonder if you could swap in Almond butter for your PB&chocolate fix or if it is all nut butters. And I wonder if it’s a specific ingredient in PB, like maybe try an all natural PB to see if it’s the peanuts or some other ingredient? Anyway, I will cross my fingers for you that your taste for peanut butter and other things comes back into the yummy spectrum.
WAIT feel free to delete this comment as it is maybe tangential to the COVID specificness–it just has a thing about Parosimia?
Anyways–I didn’t get Covid, thankfully (I have a fairly garbage immune system and severe asthama/related lung shit so I’ve been desperately nervous) but I think….that apparently I’ve had this other condition my whole life and never knew it was a REAL THING?!!?!?!?!?!? Like, holy shit!!! Thank you for introducing this to me???
Hey I got the Covid vaccine and while I was suffering the worst effects (muscle aches and fever), I had my morning coffee and it tasted bad. I thought, hey I’m only producing spike proteins tight now, not the virus itself, what’s wrong. Apparently, the spike protein itself can alter the sense of smell.
Now the fever’s gone and my coffee tastes good again. Wow I’m releived!
Here’s hoping your tastebuds straighten out soon, Athena. A lot of people don’t realize that the virus also has major neurological hits, also.
If you want to try an experiment, during or after your parosmia, there’s something available on Amazon called Miracleberries. They do strange things with taste, after taking one you can bite into a lemon and it tastes sweet instead of sour. I’ve been curious how it changes things for a person with parosmia.
I have hyperosmia at times, not the same thing but it does cause problems. Best of luck to you and hoping for your swift return to whatever counts as normalcy!
Athena, a lot of people are saying not to downplay your situation merely because others have it worse. I agree. And the reverse applies too.
In a year when racism is important, especially to your idealistic generation, I can’t help but remember the reactionaries being against anti-racism back in the early 1960’s. They would say, “Oh ya? What about the (hill/coal regions) having it worse than Blacks?” I still read such arguments against similar efforts, including the efforts by your father, even today.
My answer comes from Senator Rob Kennedy, shortly before his assassination: (from memory) “The fact that (X) has it worse does not console me, and should not console anyone.”
As you know, he meant don’t stop your efforts.
I’m so sorry you are experiencing taste this way. I hope it eventually goes away and you can once again enjoy peanut butter.
Athena, I’m so sorry – it must be like your senses have turned on you! And the comments reveal how important smell and taste are in our lives. Imagine thinking there is always something burning somewhere or not being able to tell if the milk has turned.
Any loss of sense (hearing, sight, etc.) can lead to insidious depression. Take care of yourself!
I’m sorry to read of your troubles and hope the situation improves. I just wanted to say that it is 100% alright to feel bad/upset about the situation. The fact that others have suffered more from COVID than you does not decrease the amount of suffering that you have been subject to. There will ALWAYS be someone who is worse off than you, whether from COVID or life in general. It speaks well of you that you’re aware that you got off easier than a bunch of people, but the correct response is a degree of compassion for those others who have suffered, not to downplay your own real problems.
You’ve expressed your awareness of your relative luck in not suffering (more) major lasting effects from COVID. I personally believe that compassion is real, although my opinion in that matter so no actual moral authority. But if me giving “permission” to feel bad about something that’s causing you real problems helps, then it’s there.
For me, it’s Mango. Suddenly mango, which I have in like everything, tastes horrible. I really hope this goes away.
Holy crap! This could have been written by me. Especially the meat and peanut butter thing. You are most definitely not alone in it.
My daughter-in-law had Covid, and now has this problem, at least with respect to meat and coffee; she didn’t mention anything about peanut butter, but otherwise, she could have written this.
Apart from some things smelling/tasting putrid, there are other things that smell/taste like bleach.
I’ve read that you can “re-train” your sense of smell with essential oils (I guess to try to over-ride the bad smell).
And peanut butter and chocolate are, in fact, one of the Ultimate Taste Combos.
“Unflavored toothpaste” has been around from long before mint-flavored versions. They taste awful, but I know people who use that stuff regularly. (Like the people who hate Listerine, twice a day, as the old commercials had it.)
Also search for “flavored toothpaste”. Non-mint flavors have long been the standard in some countries, and recently they’ve been made available in the US. Just buy one of each and maybe some of them will not be repulsive.
If you haven’t already, I suggest trying one of the cinnamon or fruit flavored tooth pastes that are available through online stores. My husband has always hated most mint, though he’s ok with the Tom’s of Maine Winter mint flavor.
I’m sorry you can’t enjoy several favorite foods any more, and I hope that even if it lasts you will be able to adjust and still enjoy your meals and snacks!
For what it’s worth, but it seems like it might be worthwhile.
Considering the amount of weight I gained during Covid shutdowns, losing my appetite for my favorite foods might be good for me. That stupid joke aside, I have heard that some long-haulers see lessening of their symptoms after getting vaccinated. Have you had your shots yet?
Just a thought. It sounds like you may be having an adverse reaction to a specific protein contained in all those foods/products. Not sure how that might help you but if there are any people who know about biochemistry they might be able to tell you if there is a link between all those things?
I know everyone’s bodies are different, but in case it’s any consolation: I had what sounds like the exactly same reaction, and it was meat and peanut butter that just all smelled rancid. And peanut butter is 100% my favorite treat. I never even lost my sense of smell – the brain-supplied stink was the only symptom of COVID I ever had. I only learned I had ever had it when I donated blood and tested positive for antibodies.
All that said, I enjoy peanut butter and meat again, so I have high hopes that it can return for you as well.
Athena, thank you for sharing this. It may not be life-threatening, but it sounds like parosmia has had a noticeable negative impact on your day-to-day life. Being unhappy about it is not selfish: why wouldn’t you be sad/annoyed/frustrated?
Hang in there. I hope things will improve.
Have you tried brushing your teeth with baking soda, or does that also taste bad?
Good luck, I hope it clears up soon!
There was a free cookbook written specifically to try and help people with these issues. The recipes try to stimulate nerves to help healing, while avoiding flavors that are now unpleasant. Hope it might help!
Nalo Hopkinson has a terrible case of parosmia last year, one she described with the same type of words you’re using for the smells. I think for her, it affected a substantial portion the foods she ate. It sounded like a nightmare. The good news is that she has gradually recovered her sense of smell. That seems to be consistent with what others are posting. It sounds like you have a good chance of having it improve for you. I hope it does soon!
I hope it eventually goes away! I would be so sad if Reeses were on my ‘no thank you’ list forever.
I did want to mention, I have a couple friends who never had covid, but actually had the smell/tastes-off thing happen after the vaccine. So, that’s a thing, too.