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His doctor told him nothing can be done - but he is a GP so I will continue to look for answers. It was hit or miss - sometimes he would be able to taste then next day, same food - but no taste. He was still able to get full taste in beets and sweet foods. Now - absolutely nothing. He is very depressed and I can't blame him. I am at a loss - I don't know what to do for him. He did have his nose cauterized because of nose bleeds and he's on cumiden. Could this have added to the problem?

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Thanks, all. He does not not have any peaks or valleys. I have read above some interesting comments, and for that, I thank you. I do try to keep up with the different textures (again, thanks for that comment), of foods at each meal as well as making them as eye-appealing as possible. I have a feeling, thought, that the nose cauterization, had quite a bit to do with it - but of course, no doctor will say that - as they won't want the liability. I'm trying to find an otolarynogist that may give him even a glimmer of hope - homeopathic or something. Again, how do you look at your dad, who has full mental capacities, and tell him he is never going to be able to taste anything again for the rest of his life? I have to keep digging, researching and trying. The taste of sweets was the last one to go, and that kills me, as that was the last things he could taste!
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I've heard that, as you age, you lose your sense of smell. Mom is 99. She is a lousy eater, and sneaks a lot of her food into a napkin and puts it in her purse. We have to clean it out so it doesn't rot. But her purse, when she opens it smells to high heaven!! Its awful. I buy her a new purse, but in a few months it smells too. And Mom cannot smell it at all! When we tell her to stop putting food in her purse because it smells, she says "I don't smell a thing!"
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I lost my sense of smell after cancer treatment when I was 26. I now can only smell a couple of things, heavy smoke, bleach that has just been poured, and burnt coffee. Nothing else has a scent.I also can't taste most foods and this has caused some weight gain for me (people who can't smell, can't taste, and the brain signals for "full" are also affected) I know that my sense was lost because of the cancer treatment, and other drugs do have this effect as well. But loss of sense of smell is also one of the very early signs of Parkinson's disease (which also runs in my family). You can do the smell test, but you may want to see a geriatric specialist to rule out Parkinsons...there are drugs that can slow the progress and lessen the symptoms and the sooner it is discovered and treated the better.

Angel
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I don't have a sense of smell. When I was in elementary, I wondered why all the other kids covered their noses when walking on the sidewalk (near the road.) Only when I'm passing by the dead decomposing dog - do I finally smell what they were smelling a while back. People rave how delicious this or that food smells. I can't smell it. It's true, I can taste sweet, sour and bitter. I don't like all 3. I use lots of black pepper and Tabasco or homemade hot sauce made of soy sauce to help me enjoy food. And it's true about the texture. I can't stand slimy food. But I sure love to hear the crunch, crunch, crunch of the onions.

My dad would put Tomato Catsup and Sour kraut on everything - before his stroke. After his stroke, everything is too sour or too salty. Currently, he's on the sweet tooth stage. But it seems to be changing because he loved to eat that buttered bread. Now, he's beginning to complain that it's too sweet. So, his taste buds are changing. You may need to keep trying until you find what would hit your dad's taste bud. Remember, this will eventually change, and you will need to go back to square one.
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Barb - you might consult a nutritionist or dietician. They might have ideas for spicing up the taste of food without overdoing it.
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Well, Countrymouse, I for one would be very interested in your findings. I've been tempted to have someone try it on me.

I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to get MIL to even accept a blindfold or even close her eyes on command. She is contrary, to put it mildly.
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Txc, that is absolutely fascinating. I feel like hurtling downstairs to the kitchen and grabbing the Sunpat now to check out my mother.

Really???? Does it only work with peanut butter, or can you use other distinctive scents too? I am doing this. I will report back. Possibly I will report back that my mother says "get away from me you are a loony" - but I am doing it.

Ref. the taste and smell connection, generally speaking, if your nose is out of action you should be able still to taste sweet, salt, sour and bitter but you won't get any actual flavours or aromas. If the basic taste groups are absent too, then that is a different problem and not very hopeful-sounding. The only thing I can think to suggest that remains is texture? If your father is able to chew and swallow well, crunchy or crisp foods, or other favourite 'mouth-feels' (as they say in food manufacturing circles), could still give him some enjoyment, perhaps? I feel for him. Miserable.
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My MIL has lost her sense of smell, it hasn't affected her appetite much that I can tell, but she does add salt and pepper to everything without even tasting it first. We haven't really discussed it with her except to change her over to substitute salt because she already had edema.

There is a peanut butter test that I found interesting. I haven't tried it, MIL's personality and dementia wouldn't give allow her to give me a straight answer anyway. It goes like this: "A sure sign of Alzheimer's is the loss of sense of smell, always more severe in the left nostril than the right one. This can be detected by the recently-proposed so-called "peanut butter" test whereby closing one nostril at a time (with the eyes closed), the test-giver brings a blob of peanut butter near right nostril first (and measures at what distant the smell is recognized by the "blinded" person), and then near the left nostril. If the smell in the left nostril (with right nostril closed) is detected at a much shorter distance than for the test with the right nostril, Alzheimer's is indicated. The physiological explanation is based on the nerve endings in the left nostril connected to the areas of the brain active in sense of smell, and damaged for the Alzheimer cases."

I don't know now where I got that, I had saved it to try it out. I just thought it was very interesting. I do remember as my dad got older, he would season the heck out of food to the point that we could hardly eat it. He loved using Lawry's Seasoned Salt, and never thought anything was too salty. Our sense of smell and taste are very closely related, they say that if you hold your nose, you can't tell the difference between pear and apple. Haven't tried that experiment, though.

Actually, Mayoclinic.com says that Coumadin can affect the way food tastes, and the nasal cauterization possibly does. Nosebleeds can be a side effect of the Coumadin. There are a number of food and drug interactions to be aware of. Maybe there is a different anti-coagulant that wouldn't cause the same problems. Good luck.
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The National Institute of Health generally has reliable information in not-too-technical terms. I suggest you look at what they have to say about loss of smell: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003052.htm

My husband lost his sense of smell completely when he developed Lewy Body Dementia. At first this really impacted his appetite as nothing tasted good. I think he gradually got used to tasting without smelling, he added a lot of "hot sauce" to nearly everything, and became less depressed about it.

I hope that your dad will also gradually be able to enjoy eating at least some foods without being able to smell them.
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