Cure Taste Impairments: Q&A
Last Modified on Dec 10, 2008
Constant Metallic, Sour Taste in Mouth for 6 Months
12/10/2008: D. : "Hi Ted- I am desperate! I have this constant metallic, sour taste in my mouth. This is since June, so let's say over 6 months. I have seen an ENT, a GI specialist and my GP. I went to Turkey in June and everything started after I returned. I have taken many PPI's such as Losec, Nexium, Prevacid to help alliviate the symptoms. Initially I had horrible GI problems and heartburn. These symptoms went away and after my GP suspected giardiasis I took metronidazole: 3 courses. I had been tested for it and the stool tests came back negative. I had a gastroscopy last week and the Gi specialist thinks that I had giardiasis and prescribed again metronidazole.
I cant live with this bad taste anymore. It's affecting my quality of life and I am tired of scraping my tongue, chewing gum . It's like torture having to endure these symptoms 24/7. My tongue is like a chameleon. Whatever I eat, it takes the colour. If I drink tea, it turns brown .I have a white tongue and my tongue also shows geographical tongue. My husband refuses to kiss me ( I cant blame him). I dont have a bad breath but I need your help!!"
12/13/2008: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Usually a metallic taste tongue is high heavy metals, and sometimes the pH of the saliva is acid. Frequently taking antibiotics can cause metallic taste, as is taking any foods that causes the body to accumulate heavy metals, such as fermentative foods, as in mushrooms. A good doctor of course would have analyze the saliva for pH, enzymes, heavy metals, bicarbonates, minerals and salts (fluoride, sulfites, chlorine, etc.) as well as bacteria. Under the present medical practice this is not going to happen.
It would be nice if a pH of saliva is taken, even if a pH paper is not available, then just baking soda 1/2 teaspoon in a glass of water, taken twice a day and on the 3rd week some improvements would be noted.
It should be noted that the fact that the tongue taken on a color is an interesting one. I had a more extreme one where the tongues thin and then it gets burned badly. But between those times, a metallic taste is noted.
Ideally I prefer a more well rounded solution such as 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon of potassium bicarbonate in 1 glass of water taken twice a day, preferably 5 or 6 days out of a week and it's going to take about 3 weeks for some improvement. What happens is that metallic taste often happens when the body is too acid or accumulate too much heavy metals, a believe me most of our foods we eat today actually well exceeds safety levels, in terms of mercury, lead, copper, cadmium and zinc. One simple example how this happens is that the safety levels of lead should not exceed 2 ppm, but manufacturing safety levels make sure it doesn't exceed 10 ppm. So there is a toxic 8 ppm heavy metals. This happens because people do not know of manufacturing standards. Some people think they eat healthy vegetables, which they do not. That's because fertilizers doesn't have any safety levels during manufacturing at all on heavy metals, so the plants are free to uptake all the heavy metals it likes.
To remove heavy metals the best, if I am talking about women, might be Magnesium EDTA (and some calcium EDTA), for men might be disodium EDTA. Men seems to have higher levels of calcium and heavy metals that need reducing and disodium is more fitting. A women is unique, she has menstruation to help reduce that, but still have heavy metals from past taking of antibiotics. The dose I used is much lower, such as 25 mg as opposed to 250 mg, which I believe is too agressive.
Even if EDTA is not obtainable, cilantro also removes heavy metals, but it takes a couple of weeks. The cilantro is taken in small amounts, a couple of leaves at a time, since people with high heavy metals have low tolerance for chelation as the blood is already high anyway. So it's tkane small amounts, before increasing very slowly until the metals are removed.
Some B complex supplements such as B50 is taken twice a week also to normalize the body, but magnesium is also very helpful in reducing the metallic taste. The reason is simple: magnesium reduces toxicity of heavy metals which in turn reduces the effect of metallic taste. A good magnesium supplement is 500 mg, in form of magnesium citrate, if possible. Magnesium oxide and magnesium carbonate is useless since they are not even water soluble, which makes its bioavailability almost zero. On the other hand, magnesium gluconate, magnesium citrate and magnesium chloride are quite water soluble. Sometimes electrolytic imbalance of magnesium, potassium might be the cause too but in other instances bicarbonates are low. Drinking chlorinated tap water frequently cause metallic tastes as is drinking from ordinary tap water, which has extremely high heavy metals. If the condition is very annoying, then at least for a month, I would likely take some bottled mineral water, with no fluoride added. Now the manfacturing might be adding fluoride, so it is best to see whether there is any mentioned of existence of fluoride. I prefer none. Still free heavy metals are quite low in most bottled mineral water and this may help the body to slowly removed them, along with cilantro and maybe EDTA. Still alkalization also helps lower the bodys' free metals as metals are hydrophobic and are soluble in soap like solution. Most alkaline substances in fact are soluble and removes heavy metals by it's alkaline properties. Eating an apple may also remove certain heavy metals such as aluminum, as apple has malic acid, which are chelators of heavy metals.
P.S. One more additional information is that L carnosine helps remove some toxic free metal zinc from the neural system and this helps detox zinc from the system. L-Carnosine supplements that are often used are 500 mg taken twice a day. A green tea removes free metal iron quite good, but it takes a little time. Black tea may add more heavy metals to the system because of the way it is processed.
12/13/2008: D replies: "Hi Ted- Thank you for all your help. One clarification needed. When yuo say to have baking soda and water, do I need to drink it? Or just gargle? I never drink water from the tap as it it tastes to metallic. It's strange that rigth after I eat (anything) I do get a rush of sour taste on my tongue.
I will try what you recommended. I will also take the L-Carnosine and magnesium.
Where do I find Ph strips for the mouh? What is the normal level? How do I analyze the results?"
12/13/20008: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies, "The metallic taste after eating also comes from eating metallic spoons. Therefore, eating plastic spoons is preferable. Metallic spoons is either high in nickel or iron, depending on their age. A baking soda is taken internally so the body once alkalized can neutralize some of the acidity. It's preferable that potassium is added so that the saliva pH will go alkaline faster. pH strips are available over the internet, where it is color coded. A saliva's pH should be around 7.3 or at least above 7 and below 7.5 for all practical purposes, since pH paper isn't that accurate, so getting within a 0.5 accuracy is sufficient, such as 7.0 to 7.5."
SWEETNESS: I CAN'T TASTE IT
09/18/2007: Laura from Idaho: "My husband seemed to have lost his appetite a few months ago. Finally last week he confided in me that he can't taste sweetness anymore, which makes a lot of foods taste bad. I started him on zinc right away, but wonder if anyone on your helpful website knows of a remedy or cure. Thanks"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Laura: My own understanding with taste disorders were sometimes related to smelling disorders, such as anosmia, whenever a zinc deficiency is indicated. However the remedy of using zinc is quite well known, most of the problems concerns its use where the zinc does not get into the system, and the zinc tablets had to be chewed. In another instances too much zinc was indicated, and that lead to some loss of taste too. Other supplements that are synergistic to zinc were magnesium, and vitamin B complex, especially the B12, which have something to do with olfactory nerves also. L-Carnosine amino acid supplements 250 mg a day for example might also help indirectly the taste buds indirectly as somehow found this to help in someways in detecting smells and certain tastes of food too. The best ways I think to find out what is causing the problem might be hair mineral analysis in determining specific excess heavy metals leading to loss of taste or deficiency, it won't find detect causes relating to amino acid imbalance, or vitamin deficiency, as other possibilities."
01/20/2010: Monica from San Mateo, Ca replies: "thanks for your info i am trying some of the remedies already, and i am hoping to get better soon, i have a question; about zinc, in one hand i thought i need to clean my system from heavy metals and zinc is mentioned, and in the other hand some people take zinc as tablets so i don't know if i should take mine or not i am experiencing loss of taste, especially sweets turn into sour."