Ask Leah! The Ingles Dietitian

Sponsored: Loss of Smell (and taste)

Sponsored: Loss of Smell (and taste)

These days we are aware that one of the symptoms of Covid19 for many people is a loss of smell which affects our ability to taste foods.  This is known as anosmia. 

The medical community is also finding that many who recover from Covid19 are experiencing  parosmia:  a "distorted sense of smell" which affects many people post-Covid19 for weeks or months. This is considered one of the "long hauler" or "long Covid-19"  issues. Some people report certain foods tasting "burnt" or " like cigarettes" or "like garbage". Some individuals are disappointed that favorite foods and beverages like coffee are now unpalatable. Others find that they have to use more salt to make foods palatable. For most, parosmia will gradually resolve on its own. Some are trying olfactory (smell) retraining therapy to help their sense of smell return. 

Why is parosmia a concern? Altered smell, and therefore taste, can result in a loss of appetite, undesirable changes in food intake, unintentional weight loss and potentially, nutrient deficiencies.

For more information on parosmia and smell therapy: 

https://pmj.bmj.com/content/early/2021/03/31/postgradmedj-2021-139855https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2021/09/parosmia.php

Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

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