Top Tips - Managing taste changes when you have dysphagia

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18 January 2017

Some people who experience dysphagia may also experience taste changes, read more about how to manage it here

​Part of our Top Tips series for dysphagia management

Taste changes can occur as a result of some medical conditions, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and cancer, as a side effect of treatment and medications, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, or due to infections in the mouth. Some foods and drinks may start to taste metallic or bitter and some may lose their taste. This can make eating and drinking less appetising, however it is still important to meet your body’s need for good nutrition. The following tips may be useful to help overcome taste changes:

  • Ensure regular mouth hygiene
  • Drink plenty of liquids; thicken as advised
  • Sharp-tasting fruit drinks/juices may help to take away unpleasant tastes
  • Using strong flavoured sauces can help – curry sauce, chilli sauce or sweet and sour sauce. Note, strong flavours or spicy foods are not recommended if you have dry mouth
  • Enhance the flavour of foods by using more seasonings and herbs, e.g. oregano, basil, thyme, tarragon, garlic or Worcester sauce
  • If there are certain foods and drinks which taste different, try them again in a few weeks as the taste changes may have resolved

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