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What causes unpleasant smell and taste?

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Posted on Mon, 23 May 2016
Question: I have developed a strange taste and smell problem. Certain things all have the same unpleasant smell and taste. It is difficult to describe but the best I can do is that it is a dry mouldy taste/smell. The following food items all taste the same (bad taste): Sausages, Biscuits (particularly shortcake), Beer, Cereals, Coffee, Chips, Toast, Eggs, Crisps, Dark Chocolate (less intense). The following smells have the same impact: Cigarette Smoke (Strong), Some Cooking Smells (Toast Strong), Laundry Smells (Strong), Toilet Smells (Weak).
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Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho (13 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Several possible causes, further examinations needed.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thanks for using HCM.

I have read your query and understand your concerns.

Taste and smell disorders could be related to several conditions that range from nutritional deficiencies, viral infections, side effects of drugs, nasal cavity masses to endocrine disorders and neurological conditions such Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis etc.

Taste disorders mainly are a derivative of smell disorders, so, the first thing that needs to be evaluated is the smell condition and its possible causes such rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps.

It is necessary to be evaluated by an ENT Doctor and probably imaging studies such CT scan of sinuses and, if in doubt after the medical evaluation, MRI of brain to evaluate any neurological disorder.

Hope you found the answer helpful.

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Greetings.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Deepak
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Follow up: Dr. Erion Spaho (1 hour later)
Thanks for your reply.

Is it strange that it is only some foods that taste bad?
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Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho (30 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Further medical evaluation is indispensable.

Detailed Answer:
Welcome back.

Taste buds dysfunction also can be related to only certain foods that taste bad.

As I mentioned before. the primary cause of both taste and smell distortion is related to smell apparatus dysfunction.

Getting evaluated further is necessary to name the correct cause of your concerns.

Wishing you good health.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 4327 Questions

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What causes unpleasant smell and taste?

Brief Answer: Several possible causes, further examinations needed. Detailed Answer: Hello and thanks for using HCM. I have read your query and understand your concerns. Taste and smell disorders could be related to several conditions that range from nutritional deficiencies, viral infections, side effects of drugs, nasal cavity masses to endocrine disorders and neurological conditions such Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis etc. Taste disorders mainly are a derivative of smell disorders, so, the first thing that needs to be evaluated is the smell condition and its possible causes such rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps. It is necessary to be evaluated by an ENT Doctor and probably imaging studies such CT scan of sinuses and, if in doubt after the medical evaluation, MRI of brain to evaluate any neurological disorder. Hope you found the answer helpful. Let me know if I can assist you further. Greetings.