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Dr. Gott: Several possible causes for loss of sense of taste

DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a senior citizen and always read your column. My problem is that I’ve lost my taste buds. Nothing I drink or eat has any taste to me. What can I do to get my sense of taste back?

DEAR READER: Some loss of taste (and smell) is common with aging. Other than that, there are several possibilities, including poor dental hygiene, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, a smoking habit, allergies, sinus problems and medications.

Make an appointment with your primary-care physician. If he or she determines the problem is age-related, there may not be a way to reverse it. If, however, your physician has you on a specific medication with even a minor side effect of loss of taste, a simple switch to another drug might be all that is necessary. If you smoke, quitting will make a big difference. If you need dental work, that option might provide the relief you are seeking. Work with your doctor to get to the root of the problem. Only then can you take steps to be able to stop and smell the roses once again. In the interim, prepare meals that are pleasing to look at. Vary the colors, and make an attractive plate presentation. You don’t need weight loss added to your loss of smell.

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