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Very bad change/loss in sense of smell & taste
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Very bad change/loss in sense of smell & taste

I  am 40 years old and suffered a stroke a little about a year & 1/2 ago. About a year after my stroke I was in a severe car accident where it did not appear that I had any major injuries other than some whiplash & base of the neck sharp pains. A couple months later (I can remember the moment it happened) I seemed to have a short (about 2 minutes maybe) blackout while making dinner, I did not faint, but things were accomplished when I turned around from washing my hands that I have NO RECOLLECTION of doing. (I do not drink AT ALL, btw). Immediately everything smelled & tasted horribly different. As others described, all clean or good smells (perfumes, cleaners, airfresheners etc.) smelled the same as human waste, meanwhile almost ALL foods did as well, if they didn't smell/taste like waste, they tasted like chemicals (though I don't really SMELL the chemical part). Just as Richard mentioned above Chocolate is PARTICULARLY horrible, actually anything with refined sugar is DISGUSTING. Meanwhile the few foods that don't seem to be as effected are many drinks (especially milk taste good) & most tomato products taste pretty close to the same. However, cucumbers, bananas, oranges...ALL kinds of foods are nearly unedible & while I have now suffered with this for over 6months, I am beginning to adapt. It *****!! Literally using the bathroom & cooking dinner smell identical. The back of my teeth & gums feel like they are "peeling" is the best I can describe it. Does this add up to anything? Is there anything that I MYSELF can do? Could this be a sign that I had another stroke or mini-stroke during that blackout moment?

For a year & a 1/2 I have tried to see a neuorologist (and accomplished seeing 2) but our health insurance has continously been cancelled & changed ever since & each time I get to actually see a neurologist, it takes months to get in & I have no insurance again by the time of the follow up. So, while I NEED a neurologist to look at a lot of things, I struggle desperately and have yet to get ANY results past the MRI's or EEG testing, no insurance, no answers.

I am DESPERATED for any ideas or info, please help if you can.



This discussion is related to HELP!! change in sense of smell.
Avatar dr f tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

It could be petit mal epilepsy, which is otherwise called as absence seizures. And temporal lobe seizures are known to cause altered sense of smell or taste. For seizure activity, only an EEG (electroencephalogram) can help confirm this. This is done under the guidance of a neurologist. Without a diagnosis therapy cannot be initiated. You can discuss your symptoms with your primary care physician, who may then refer you to a neurologist.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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