1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2019 »
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Altered sense of smell & taste since diagnosis.

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Alisonjane10, May 28, 2015.

  1. Alisonjane10

    Alisonjane10 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,671
    Likes Received:
    12,439
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi folks,

    This may seem an odd question, but here goes anyway. Do people with diabetes experience an altered sense of smell? I'm finding that the scent of my usual laundry liquid & fabric softener is unpleasant & makes me feel nauseous. I can't tolerate my favourite fragrances anymore either. I've noticed many aromas, that never used to bother me, now make me cringe. My sense of taste has changed too. All very weird. I haven't got a throat, sinus or respiratory infection/problem, so I'm wondering if my "symptoms" are related to my diabetes. Can anyone offer their experience or advice please?

    Ali. X
     
  2. maria111979

    maria111979 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    73
    I have had altered sense of taste..may be that is because the choice of food changed post diagnosis. But altered sense of smell is something totally unheard of unimagninable. Pretty bad state though.
     
  3. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

    Messages:
    10,752
    Likes Received:
    6,695
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Hi. If you are on Metformin this does affect your sense of taste.
     
  4. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    23,629
    Likes Received:
    19,628
    Trophy Points:
    278
    Can't honestly say I've noticed.
     
  5. maria111979

    maria111979 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Never felt that with metformin
     
  6. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

    Messages:
    10,752
    Likes Received:
    6,695
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Hi. I think it affects some and not others. It can create a metallic taste which it did for me and it lasted for 6 months then faded; a quite strange experience at first. Perhaps it's the same gene at work that makes me hate brussels sprouts!
     
  7. Alisonjane10

    Alisonjane10 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,671
    Likes Received:
    12,439
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi @maria111979, @Daibell, @noblehead,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. Yes, I am taking Metformin, but haven't experienced a metallic taste. Perhaps my altered sense of smell isn't related to my diabetes after all. It's puzzling! Guess I'll just have to put up with it. :yuck: Best wishes.

    Ali. X :)
     
  8. Pasha

    Pasha Prediabetes · Expert

    Messages:
    8,032
    Likes Received:
    12,408
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Maybe you are not getting enough ZINC, see here for side effects.

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002416.htm
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Alisonjane10

    Alisonjane10 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,671
    Likes Received:
    12,439
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi @Pasha,

    That's an interesting article. Thank you. I do take a daily Multivitamin & mineral tablet. I've checked the label, & it does include Zinc 15mg. So, I don't think I'm Zinc deficient. Guess I'm just weird! :DThanks for the interesting link though Pasha. Best wishes.

    Ali. X
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Pasha

    Pasha Prediabetes · Expert

    Messages:
    8,032
    Likes Received:
    12,408
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Re taking multivitamins..... the label only tells us how much is our intake ex 15 mg, the big unknown is how much of this does our body absorb. Especially as we get older .Only by analysis can we really know whats happening .
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Alisonjane10

    Alisonjane10 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,671
    Likes Received:
    12,439
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Aaahhhh....I didn't know that Pasha. So, it's a possibility & could explain the altered taste/smell problems I'm experiencing. Guess I'll raise it with my DNS or GP. Good call. Many thanks.

    Ali. X
     
    • Like Like x 4
  12. etmsreec

    etmsreec Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    58
    I'm not on metformin (T1 rather than T2), but I can understand that there would be an altered sense of smell as both smell and taste come from very similar nerves and senses within the body. Think about the "herbal infusions" (sometimes known as fruit teas) that one can buy. Very often they have very little taste, but they have lots of smell and the body is fooled by how it smells. Same as the colour of drinks have an impact on how they taste (a red orange drink not tasting of oranges, for example.)
    In short, the body does some screwed up things for us so I wouldn't just dismiss your symptoms out of hand.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. paulos

    paulos Type 2 · Newbie

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Yes, I have just started taking 500mg Metformin a day (starting on a low dose to avoid the well known side effects) and I noticed, within 24 hours of taking the first dose, that my sense of smell was really massively enhanced. Up to a point, I quite enjoy it as Thailand, where I live, is a pretty fragrant country. There are highly scented trees and shrubs in flower for much of the year and so just walking down the street can be a truly amazing olfactory experience. On the other hand, Thailand also hosts some pretty pungent odours of the not so pleasant kind and I noticed that a restaurant that I frequent hosts some smells that are definitely NOT of the pleasant variety but that I had never even noticed before. The open air restaurant and food market near where I live has also become difficult to tolerate.

    I'm glad to hear that I am not alone in having this slightly weird side effect. I was beginning to wonder if it was caused by some, rather more sinister, medical condition. If someone said to me that there was a medication I could take that would stop it; I wouldn't want to take it as, on balance, I enjoy this novel sensation!
     
    #13 paulos, Sep 17, 2016 at 12:50 PM
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  14. Clairebear34

    Clairebear34 Type 2 · Newbie

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    23
    I have noticed a difference in my perception of smell which ties in with my diagnosis in May. Some of the the smells I now smell I cannot identify and does drive me a little crazy as I can’t work out what it is I’m smelling!! The worst one for me though is celery. I love celery however I cannot stand the smell now - we use celery at work sometimes and it has never bothered me before - now however I have to move it as far away from me as possible (even into a fume cupboard with the fan running!!) but no-one else can smell it, not even my colleague who generally has a keener sense of smell than me!! So I sympathise with you and reading the responses on hear just goes to show how Diabetes affects different people in different ways!!
     
  15. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    935
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Major change in sense of taste, for me, since going on the low-carb diet.
    • Things that used to taste bitter now taste sweet. Unsweetened black coffee, for instance.
    • Beer, which is an occasional treat. My fave is German Hefe Weissbier (wheat beer, incredibly carb-heavy). It used to taste just like a "good beer." Nowadays it tastes just as good, but incredibly "wheaty" (and sweet, as a sort of "second wave" after the initial wheat hit).
    No sure about sense of smell. I don't think I've noticed a change in the nature of the smells, but it is possible that my sense of smell has improved: my wife has always had a better sense of smell than I have, but nowadays when she mentions a smell during our daily nature walks, I can usually smell it too, and that was not necessarily the case in the past. Whether that has any connection with low-carb, or whether it is just that I am much fitter, I have no idea. I may just be imagining it.
     
  16. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    6,059
    Likes Received:
    4,814
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I think that if you look in the PIL of your metformin pills it lists Taste Disturbance. I had to stop the Metformin because of it.
     
  17. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

    Messages:
    6,504
    Likes Received:
    4,204
    Trophy Points:
    198
    When I was taking metformin and a statin I had some dreadful side effects, amongst them memory loss - but I do seem to remember some very strange tastes - coffee was very odd, as was the tea I usually drank - which was why I swapped to herbal flavours and a couple of other things as well - that was one of the least of my worries with the tablets, but altered taste was very strange.
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook