1

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metallic taste in mouth - any ideas?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 22, 2011 at 8:50 PM

I started Paleo in Feb, and one of the many reasons I started looking for alternate ways of eating was that I had a metallic taste in the mucous membranes of my mouth, especially around my gums and lips. It has the effect of almost leeching the taste out of food. Also, although the gums look OK, my lips tend to peel - it feels like I'm dehydrated, regardless of how much water I'm drinking. It's not an every day experience since Paleo, but it happens often enough to be a pain in the proverbial.

It's not gum disease, I checked with a dentist.

It doesn't seem to be associated with any particular foods. I had thought at one point that it might be related to ketosis, but I'm fairly high carb a la Perfect Health Diet

I don't take allopathic meds

I take fish oil (4 caps a day), vitamin B, and l-glutamine. These supplements haven't been constant, and are more recent than the taste, which goes back about a year now

I have IBS, but the taste doesn't seem to correlate with IBS flares

I'm confused and annoyed by this. Any ideas, Paleohackers?? I wondered if it fits the symptoms of some kind of vitamin, mineral or trace nutrient deficiency, but I don't even know how to check for it! It's quite unpleasant.

76fd821658bfeefcdd91a25eb67ec683

(65)

on September 26, 2011
at 04:59 AM

I had this too and it was definitely pine nuts. I'd bet that's what it its. Lasted 4 or 5 days then stopped. Its really annoying while it lasts.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 25, 2011
at 08:25 PM

I'm heading for the naturopathy shop today. Good to know that it's worked for you!

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on September 25, 2011
at 07:24 PM

Reading this quick answer (zinc deficiency) I realized that all of a sudden my 6-month experience with that horrible taste in my mouth - was GONE! And I have just recently been taking my Cal-Mag-Zinc supps more frequently. I can't express how awful that taste is, and you can't get away from it. I am so happy to have (apparently) found the answer to this problem.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on September 23, 2011
at 01:21 PM

Yeah, nobody can really figure out what the deal is. It's random and kind of rare but more and more cases keep popping up. Researchers think that they could just be inedible pine nuts being passed off as edible. I literally will not eat one now, all pestos are made with cashew or walnut.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 23, 2011
at 04:32 AM

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/zinc/

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 23, 2011
at 01:24 AM

Really? I thought the zinc taste thing was just a test result rather than a general symptom. That's easy to fix

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on September 23, 2011
at 01:21 AM

Zinc deficiency.....

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 22, 2011
at 11:19 PM

Thanks Happy - I read that thread and thought her issues were different (and more serious!) Didn't want to hijack her question.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 22, 2011
at 11:16 PM

No, not all that thirsty and not peeing much either. My bloods are pretty recent and I have no indicators of any problems with insulin or blood sugar. But thanks for the thought!

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 22, 2011
at 11:14 PM

I'll try tracking the carbs and fats to see if there's a connection. Some days I really chug back the coconut cream so that could put me into ketosis even if I have higher carbs according to Paul Jaminet. The kind of carbs might be another thing to track

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 22, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Yes, that's a good thought. I can't get tested easily, though - in NZ only docs can order tests and even getting Vit D checked was a mission! They won't let GPs order many tests, and endos are accessed by referral only. I could try experimenting, and zinc seems like a good place to start!

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 22, 2011
at 10:50 PM

No, pine nuts mess up my gut issues, so it's not that. Interesting, though - I didn't know they did that!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on September 22, 2011
at 09:55 PM

Holy hell I did, too. It was my entire mouth - I literally was in tears for three weeks thinking I would never be able to taste normally ever again. I have never had a pine nut since.

76c885d7d27e6c83542ea493ca866dcd

(2178)

on September 22, 2011
at 09:35 PM

I had pine mouth twice, and it is the WORST. the bad taste was not so much at the gums and lips, though, but in the back of the mouth.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 22, 2011
at 08:57 PM

There was another thread about this floating around the other day, I don't know if they've figured it out yet.

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6 Answers

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 23, 2011
at 05:19 PM

From Dysgeusia@wiki:

The alterations in the sense of taste, usually a metallic taste, and sometimes smell are the only symptoms.

Zinc Gluconate in the Treatment of Dysgeusia???a Randomized Clinical Trial

2
78d76c2dbe8f15bbadc5f8bb78546012

on September 23, 2011
at 05:29 AM

Have you any amalgam (mercury) fillings in your teeth? They can leech or offgas and will give a metallic taste. Have you possibly been or are being exposed to any fungicides, pesticides, or insecticides? I had acute fungicide poisoning once and one of the biggest symptoms was metallic taste in my mouth for several weeks.

2
Medium avatar

(19479)

on September 22, 2011
at 09:20 PM

Assuming you don't have "pine mouth" (see Simibee's post) or "ketosis breath", I would recommend that you get yourself checked for mineral deficiencies/imbalances.

When I switched from a Loren Cordain version of Paleo (High fruit & veg, lean meat, etc.) to a lower carb "Primal" type of diet I noticed a metallic taste in my mouth on and off for several weeks.

I began supplementing with ConcenTrace Ionic Zinc (also has trace minerals) and Natural Calm Magnesium Citrate and haven't experienced it since.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 22, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Yes, that's a good thought. I can't get tested easily, though - in NZ only docs can order tests and even getting Vit D checked was a mission! They won't let GPs order many tests, and endos are accessed by referral only. I could try experimenting, and zinc seems like a good place to start!

2
Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on September 22, 2011
at 09:05 PM

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 22, 2011
at 10:50 PM

No, pine nuts mess up my gut issues, so it's not that. Interesting, though - I didn't know they did that!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on September 22, 2011
at 09:55 PM

Holy hell I did, too. It was my entire mouth - I literally was in tears for three weeks thinking I would never be able to taste normally ever again. I have never had a pine nut since.

76c885d7d27e6c83542ea493ca866dcd

(2178)

on September 22, 2011
at 09:35 PM

I had pine mouth twice, and it is the WORST. the bad taste was not so much at the gums and lips, though, but in the back of the mouth.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on September 23, 2011
at 01:21 PM

Yeah, nobody can really figure out what the deal is. It's random and kind of rare but more and more cases keep popping up. Researchers think that they could just be inedible pine nuts being passed off as edible. I literally will not eat one now, all pestos are made with cashew or walnut.

76fd821658bfeefcdd91a25eb67ec683

(65)

on September 26, 2011
at 04:59 AM

I had this too and it was definitely pine nuts. I'd bet that's what it its. Lasted 4 or 5 days then stopped. Its really annoying while it lasts.

1
244e1f82efb3fd15d2da39397488fb24

(549)

on September 22, 2011
at 11:00 PM

Are you constantly thirsty? Maybe you have an electrolyte imbalance (coconut water/juice will help) and you should check yourself out for diabetes while you're at it (because of the excessive thirst). Diseases and disorders can cause it (the metallic taste), but so can the common cold.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 22, 2011
at 11:16 PM

No, not all that thirsty and not peeing much either. My bloods are pretty recent and I have no indicators of any problems with insulin or blood sugar. But thanks for the thought!

1
B0ca5de4d56dd095a08acbfb3877cf8f

(70)

on September 22, 2011
at 09:50 PM

How many g of carbs are you eating? I seem to stay in ketosis even at 50-150g, so you may not be able to rule out ketosis entirely if you're in the low-end of the carb range for your diet. Maybe add some additional starches and see if that helps alleviate it? Are you eating more dietary fat?

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 22, 2011
at 11:14 PM

I'll try tracking the carbs and fats to see if there's a connection. Some days I really chug back the coconut cream so that could put me into ketosis even if I have higher carbs according to Paul Jaminet. The kind of carbs might be another thing to track

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