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Dietitian Q/A

Because of the contents of some questions and the large number we receive, the MUSC Dietitians only answer selected questions. Although we discourage questions regarding personal health problems, scheduling an appointment with the outpatient dietitian to address these concerns is encouraged. Appointments can be made after a physician referral is received.

Enter a keyword or phrase:
 Question:  My dad has been hospitalized for the past month in Columbia, SC and has been unable to eat. Before being admitted to the hospital he complain about drinking a cup of coffee that was given to him that had a nasty taste to it that has left a "wild" taste in his mouth which is preventing him from eating. What could be the cause of this?


Taste changes can have a variety of causes. The vast majority are not diet related, but instead are caused by disease, conditions or medications. Taste changes are often common side effects of medications. If your father was recently started on a new medication or combination of medications, then this could possibly be the cause. If not, he may have an underlying condition causing it. Either way, it’s best to let the doctors at the hospital know that he is having taste changes so they can determine the cause and correct it.


Diseases and conditions that can cause taste changes include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Salivary gland infection
  • Sinusitis
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Bronchiectasis – lung disease where bronchial tube are blocked with thick mucus
  • Cancer
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Chronic Gastritis – irritation of the lining of the stomach
  • Gum inflammation
  • Respiratory infections/Flu
  • Sjogren’s syndrome – autoimmune disease that causes destruction of salivary glands and tear glands
  • Tongue sores or glossitis
  • Toothaches or Abscesses

Answered: 02/19/2012

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