Author Topic: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma  (Read 4544 times)

Offline Chip (OP)

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loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« on: April 03, 2016, 09:28:57 PM »
one day, a few years ago, I lost the ability to smell and taste flavours and aromas.

so I reduced my consumption of drugs like Tobacco, Methadone and Methamphetamine but to no avail.

what on earth could have caused this ?

this has reduced my quality of life as eating was kind of fun once.

your thoughts ?
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Offline Illadelph215

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2016, 09:36:23 PM »
That sounds like my nightmare! Sorry to hear that chipper. Can't even imagine. Do you have any idea of whah led up to that? Or what you were doing when it happened? Or was it just randomly waking up not tasting your coffee. Also it may be a stupid question but I'm curious if you've ever asked a doctor or anything. What do you miss the most?! I hope for your sake that your taste buds will come back though.
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Offline Chip (OP)

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2016, 09:47:53 PM »
I noticed it one day, it is a nightmare.

I miss the smell of coffee, everything is bland.

I thought it was the meth at first ... maybe I had a mini-stroke or something ? something went very wrong and it's two senses knocked out, not just the one.

no doctor has been able to help ... I never realized just how much I miss those senses :(
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Offline DreamerOnTheRun

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2016, 10:00:48 PM »
I never realize how much opiates with benzos on top dull my sense of smell until I'm detoxing, then holy shit does it come back hard.  Usually so much so that it's overwhelming, nauseating.  If yours are still dull off all the drugs I'm at a loss, aside from drugs the only other cause I know someone having was actual brain damage in the sensory part of it. Weird.
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Offline Jethro

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2016, 10:37:30 PM »
     I once had a friend that lost her sense of smell, and it also affected taste.
She can "smell" things, but it is "different". It never got better.
    It was determined that it was known "at that time" side-effect of
some antibiotic she was prescribed. She is a RN.

Offline Poppycop

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2016, 11:04:36 PM »
Hey Chipper, this happened to me and I associate it now with drug use. I didn't become dependent on opiates until my late 30's, about 5 years ago. A few months after I became dependent I completely lost my ability to smell, which also affected my ability to taste. Before that I had a very robust sense of smell and taste, especially since I had quit smoking cigarettes a few months prior.

At first, I thought it may have been related to a minor cold I had at the time. But 2 weeks later and still no sense of smell or taste and I started to get worried. I was devastated actually. After another couple weeks I started getting phantom smells...like strange smells that don't exist. They were usually foul, like smelled like dogshit, or something rotting. When it first happened, I actually thought I had somehow got dogshit on my nose. I had recently went through an 8 day detox so I assumed that may have had something to do with it. Also after the detox, I regained about 10% of my ability to smell in one nostril, and about 30% in the other. Unfortunately my detox only lasted 8 days before I became dependent on opiates again, and have been to this day.

After a few more months I decided to make a doctor appointment about it, and scheduled one with an ENT specialist. He checked me out by shoving this camera thing up my nose and down my throat to thoroughly look at everything. He said everything looked normal, and that I most likely suffered a damaged olfactory nerve during my cold that I had when I first noticed it. He said there was no cure, and that otherwise everything looked normal for my age.

Ironically, that thing he shoved up my nose helped improve my sense of smell, by about another 20%. So now almost 5 years later I have no more phantom smells, which I think was caused by the detox, and my sense of smell is at approximately 20% to 30% in my one nostril, and maybe 30% to 40% in my other.

So going from having an extremely good functioning sense of smell, to having a majorly dulled one sucks, BUT I am extremely grateful that I gained some function back. I'll never forget those first couple weeks where it was completely gone. I didn't want to eat, didn't get any enjoyment from new strains of weed, or different craft brews, or gourmet foods, all of which I liked to partake in prior to this happening. Even things like smelling my wife's hair, or flowers or the smell of a hike through the woods...all gone.

I had read that another famous guy had the same problem,  I think one of the guys from the Moody Blues. He had lost his sense of smell for years. He found a doctor in the UK who cured him of it. I had actually thought of trying to figure out a way to go see that doctor, but I have learned to live with what limited smell I have regained. I haven't regained anymore since the ENT visit 4 years ago, but I hope that when I finally kick and get clean that I will gain some more of it back.

 I have a cousin who worked as a chef and became an opiate addict for about 5 years, and he significantly lost his sense of smell and taste during his addiction. To the point that it affected his job. But after kicking a few years ago, he has gained almost all of it back, and he got it back quickly after kicking, like within a few weeks. So I hope that's what happens to me, because I sure do miss my sense of smell. Mine is especially bad with room smells...like if there is a gas leak, I can't smell it, but I can smell something I hold close to my nose, just blunted. I guess the flip side is not having to smell farts, and nasty shit like I used to, but I would give that all up in a heartbeat to get my sense of smell back completely.

Sorry to hear you are experiencing that Chipper, is it gone 100%? If so, that is really tough man. Maybe if you kick some day, some or all of it may come back. I hope so anyway. Cheers.

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2016, 11:09:55 PM »
one day, a few years ago, I lost the ability to smell and taste flavours and aromas.

so I reduced my consumption of drugs like Tobacco, Methadone and Methamphetamine but to no avail.

what on earth could have caused this ?

this has reduced my quality of life as eating was kind of fun once.

your thoughts ?


I once met a guy who said he lost his sense of smell and consequently taste from doing too much coke. This was a long time ago and I thought he must have sone so much that he had burned out the sensory part of his nose and sinuses and it would take huge piles of coke to do.

Then I went to South America for a couple months and there snorted several grams of pure almost every single day. When I got back all my familiar food was tasted impossibly bland. I remembered that guy and was worried I had burnt out my sense of smell (taste is dependent on smell). I went to the doctor hoping they could help. They gave me a 35 panel scratch and sniff card test of all sorts of common scents. I was able to identify all of them but it wasn't easy.

It took a few weeks but it all came back. I wish the doctor had told me it would but I realize now that it wasn't something they were familiar with, it wan't the 1980's and this isn't LA or Miami.


Offline Chip (OP)

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2016, 01:59:06 AM »
yes, I get phantom smells and they are downright weird; bizarre imaginary aromas that are out of place.

only once did I have a couple of points of strong meth (never again, it was not pleasant) and I thought that might be the cause but it's only a guess.

Thanks, I might have to see a specialist ... I have some sense left but it's very slight ... I can't tell good pot from bad pot etc.

folks, I'd rather lose my libido than this !
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Offline Guts

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2016, 02:51:18 AM »
I really like scratch and sniff stuff

Offline Poppycop

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2016, 03:11:25 AM »
Damn Chipper, you still have a libido? Ha...what are you bitching about then?...jk buddy. Another loss of a sense caused by opiate use can be your sense of hearing. Rush Limbaugh almost completely lost his sense of hearing from opiate use. He had a cochlear implant to get some of it back, but it's apparently still majorly damaged. There are other cases too. Some studies have pointed to specific use of Vicodin or pills with acetominophen in them as being the cause, but I don't think it's been proven.

 I remember in the beginning of my habit being really worried about that and telling my friends who heavily abused percs and vics about it. I have also noticed a definite loss of some of my hearing over the last 5 years of my addiction, not nearly as bad as my sense of smell, but enough that it's noticeable and my wife gets tired of repeating things to me. It's similar to my loss of smell, if I have headphones on, or something is loud I am fine, but if someone is talking to me from across the room, or has a soft voice, I have to ask them to repeat themselves.

Now this could also be caused by my age, since once you hit 40 you start experiencing weakened senses, or also could be from me being a musician and playing in full bands for years with no ear protection. Or even some jobs I have had in the past like landscaping where I used weedwhackers, mowers, chainsaws with no ear protection. I haven't visited a doctor about it or had a hearing test, but I have been thinking about it. I did notice fairly quickly a blunted affect in my hearing shortly after becoming opiate dependent though and always wonder if I kick, if it will get better.

Offline Chip (OP)

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2016, 04:03:18 AM »
I have heard (pardon, speak up ;)) that codeine can also cause deafness but thankfully, I have my hearing and sense of touch still intact.

you forget how important one's senses really are because without them I'd rather be dead.

my very old parents can't taste and smell much either but that's understandable.

my vision is extremely compromised too ... but that's a whole another story.

fuck it, I want my senses back in full working order.

anybody else have olfactory issues ?
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Offline Reezy

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2016, 01:14:10 PM »
Have you came down with a cold/allergies? Maybe the drugs are masking the bad feeling of being sick....

I loose taste and smell when my allegies are bad or i'm getting/am sick. Not dopesick but sick sick. It can happen sober or on drugs. But I probably notice it more sober. I just had this happen a few weeks back I had a fever of 101 and it went down quickly, but I randomly noticed the next day when I started to have an appetite again, I couldn't taste the pizza or coca-cola i was drinking at work.

I would monitor it if you are getting phantom smells, and additional weird side affects, but i was just telling my experience with loosing taste.

Offline Chip (OP)

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2016, 03:40:56 PM »
no cold or flu, Unfortunately.

the next time you smell and taste something nice then spare a thought for me and waste no time appreciating the finer things in life.

yep, it's time for specialist care on this one ... I smell expensive but it's doing my head in not knowing the why and the possible fix for this.

I used to have a really sharp sense of smell too ... there goes that coveted wine tasting job :(

@Reezy, pizza and coca-cola ? ahh ... the meal of champions ! enjoy.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 03:43:00 PM by chipper »
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Offline Wildcat

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2016, 04:51:19 PM »
@chipper -
You should be checked for an endocrine disorder, firstly-sometimes replacing the deficient hormone will help- typically24% of males starting age 53 will experience olfactory disturbances, ever increasingly-according JAMA-ENT.  Anyone, however, at any age can be effected.

Other things-remove glutens/dairy from cows from your diet-you'd be surprised by how much your diet can hurt you.....what's going on in the gut does affect one's health.
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Offline Chip (OP)

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Re: loss of taste and smell of flavour and aroma
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2016, 04:57:28 PM »
very interesting - I am in that age bracket and average 1.5 litres of milk a day.

I will cut out the dairy in the interim.

thanks HEAPS for those facts ... let me explore your advice, Wildcat.
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