Biochemical How would I feel if I lost my sense of taste? - Dr. R.I. Henkin
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The Taste and Smell Clinic

June 2018

How would I feel if I lost my sense of taste?

First, I would not believe it. I had never heard of anything like this happening. I would try to taste whatever I had left over in the refrigerator or in the pantry to make sure that I could not taste it.

Second, when I realized that I could not taste anything I would be surprised and shocked that this has happened.

Third, I would try again to taste a variety of leftovers to make sure that this had occurred.

Fourth, I would wait to see if this were simply a passing event and that over time I would recover my taste sense.

Fifth, I would continue on with my life with the expectation that my taste would return. I would go to sleep with the expectation that when I awoke my taste would return.

Sixth, I would wait some more time with the expectation that my taste would return. I begin to wonder how this happened since I have no idea what happened to cause this.

Seventh, I would go in either of two directions. First, I would eat different foods, nibble on food items I usually do not eat in the hope and expectation that the next bite of food might have some taste. I might try to eat more spicy foods or different foods than I would not eat before. I gain weight.

Eighth, then I get discouraged since foods I eat have no taste. I lose interest in eating since there is no pleasure in eating anything. I lose weight.

Ninth, when I became convinced that I had lost my taste I not only lose interest in food but also my interest all events associated with eating. I lose interest in cooking, lose interest in going out to a restaurant to eat, lose interest in socializing with friends since I was embarrassed about my taste loss and I did not want to subject myself to see others eating yet I had no interest in joining them. I get depressed. I get anxious and worried about this loss. I get angry with more depression.

Tenth, I wanted to do something to find out what I could do to get better. I used the internet to find out what to do. I would enter “taste loss” into the search engine to learn about this problem. I saw that this problem affected many others. It has a name — hypogeusia — and I learn that there were clinical programs devoted to help people like me who had lost their taste.

This scenario is a hypothetical one about what might happen when someone loses their taste. It is a story I have heard many times. I wished to share it with the viewer of this website so that you would not feel alone in your loss and know that there is help for this problem.

There are many answers to help people who lose their taste. At The Taste and Smell Clinic in Washington, DC we evaluate and treat people who have lost their taste to help them recover their ability to taste. We have been successful in restoring taste function in most patients who come to The Clinic for help in recovery of their taste function.

You can call us at (202) 364-4180 for help or e-mail us at

For more information about The Clinic’s evaluation of taste dysfunction, please see: