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Metallic taste in mouth - Ketosis?

by (1229)
Updated about 21 hours ago
Created July 02, 2010 at 7:00 PM

I have been following a Paleo diet for 5 months now, and in the last week I have had an awful, metallic taste in my mouth, accompanied by hypersensitive taste in general. I have been pretty low carb the whole time, so I can't imagine that I am going into ketosis for the first time now (and I even had root vegetables for the first time right before this started, and rice noodles yesterday, so not so low carb this week). It happens all throughout the day, sometimes hitting in the middle of a meal, but it's always there when I wake in the morning.

I have also had waves of nausea, and (most disturbing) a complete aversion to meat and green veggies (pretty much all I eat). I thought that I must be pregnant, but every test, including the most sensitive blood test, have come back negative. It is starting to be a big deal; I ate rice noodles yesterday and felt awful afterwards, only because I am having such a hard time finding things to eat that don't taste gross/make me nauseas.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!

8f87879387f2a357db7c33008ff9a04a
887 · November 11, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Bet it is that!

D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd
823 · May 16, 2012 at 4:29 AM

I had pine mouth. I thought it was a brain tumor (but I think everything that goes wonky with my taste buds or my nose is a brain tumor) until I looked it up. I've never had trouble with pine nuts. I was using them in something, but I saw them at Trader Joe's and just got 'em. So ate a handful. I think it was the next day when I got the awful metallic taste. Mine lasted about a week. :P

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1665 · March 04, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Sounds like pine-mouth

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18671 · July 05, 2010 at 10:03 PM

I don't understand what these suggestions have to do with the question. Are you suggesting fruit or flax for nausea? These aren't particularly healthy choices, and I've never heard that they help nausea or a metallic taste.

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 05, 2010 at 5:28 AM

Tracked today at just over 1900 calories. 93g protein, 29g carbs, 132g fat. I'd say today was definitely a high-intake day. How can I find out a good caloric goal? I am 29 yrs old, female, 5'10", 160lbs. I am on my feet/on the move all day long (chasing toddlers :)

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 05, 2010 at 4:30 AM

Hmm...I am taking a thyroid supplement that I get through my naturopath, and that does have iodine in it. I have been taking it for months, though, with no effect (other than improving thyroid funcion), so I doubt that is it. Thanks though, I hadn't thought of that!

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 05, 2010 at 4:20 AM

I actually don't do well with nuts, so eat very few (maybe several macadamias once or twice a week). They just don't sit well in my stomach.

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 05, 2010 at 4:19 AM

Hmmm... No supplemental calcium here. I have been thinking of trying Natural Calm (a mag supp); maybe that could help?

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668 · July 03, 2010 at 2:19 PM

I was originally undereating on the diet myself. I have since gotten used to very large meals :)

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145 · July 03, 2010 at 4:20 AM

I'm having the same problem, I was pretty surprised to see your post. I haven't been able to give up my glass or 2 of wine at night, and I suspect it might be related but I'm not sure why. I think the wine provides enough energy to prevent full-on ketosis, but the combination of ketones and alcohol as fuel minus the glucose creates this weird taste effect. Anyway, that's my theory.

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56616 · July 03, 2010 at 12:39 AM

I use cron o meter. I find it's fairly easy to undereat on paleo and resolving that got rid of some weird problems I had.

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1229 · July 02, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Oh boy. I have absolutely no idea. I will look at one of those online calculators and get back to you (was anorexic in my teenage years, pretty much refused to count calories since). Is there a program you recommend?

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 02, 2010 at 10:05 PM

Dang iPhone auto-correct... I meant "a lot" of fruit.

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1229 · July 02, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I really don't do well with Amit of fruit, unfortunately, and baked goods don't sound good at all. 5 months of paleo has memconverted, I guess. Also, I believe that bad things happen to flax oil when subjected to heat. We are trying salmon tonight though, so I'll see how that goes!

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 02, 2010 at 10:01 PM

I usually have a glass or two of wine every night. Now it just tastes awful, so no. Why do you ask?

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12 Answers

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad
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56616 · July 02, 2010 at 10:46 PM

How many calories are you getting?

42321851a87415b340d215f629e574dc
668 · July 03, 2010 at 2:19 PM

I was originally undereating on the diet myself. I have since gotten used to very large meals :)

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 05, 2010 at 5:28 AM

Tracked today at just over 1900 calories. 93g protein, 29g carbs, 132g fat. I'd say today was definitely a high-intake day. How can I find out a good caloric goal? I am 29 yrs old, female, 5'10", 160lbs. I am on my feet/on the move all day long (chasing toddlers :)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad
56616 · July 03, 2010 at 12:39 AM

I use cron o meter. I find it's fairly easy to undereat on paleo and resolving that got rid of some weird problems I had.

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 02, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Oh boy. I have absolutely no idea. I will look at one of those online calculators and get back to you (was anorexic in my teenage years, pretty much refused to count calories since). Is there a program you recommend?

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10 · March 07, 2011 at 5:34 AM

Ketosis is characterized by a fruity quality to the breath, not a metallic flavor in your mouth. Ketosis is very easy to recognize, if you've ever been around a diabetic OR someone on Atkins/other low-carb diet. I think you would be wise to explore some other suggestions listed here.

Personally, I'm new to Paleo, and love it. I find that I am rarely hungry, and that it is easy to under-eat. I never thought I'd ever say "I under-eat quite often." Anyway, I totally follow how I feel regarding food consumption: some days I feel the need for more, but usually less.

Thanks for all your info & insights, fellow cave people :)

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10 · July 07, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Metallic taste in the back of the mouth can also be due to bad pine nuts, heard about something known as "Pine Mouth" yesterday on NPR. http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/blogs/editor/2009/05/got-pine-mouth.html

D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd
823 · May 16, 2012 at 4:29 AM

I had pine mouth. I thought it was a brain tumor (but I think everything that goes wonky with my taste buds or my nose is a brain tumor) until I looked it up. I've never had trouble with pine nuts. I was using them in something, but I saw them at Trader Joe's and just got 'em. So ate a handful. I think it was the next day when I got the awful metallic taste. Mine lasted about a week. :P

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1973 · July 03, 2010 at 1:06 AM

In my family, and this is the only place I have observed this, we have a nasty taste on the back of our mouth when we are deficient in zinc.

My mom displays this most prominently, and when she takes high dose zinc for a while it goes away. I should mention she also drank mostly tap water for years in our copper piped house, so I suspect it may be a zinc/copper interaction.

Anyways, if you're curious there is a simple field test for zinc deficiency which is to put 'Zinc Tally' on your tongue and see if you taste the metal. If it tastes like plain water, you are likely deficient in zinc.

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60 · March 04, 2011 at 11:39 AM

There are several possibilities.

The most likely is hypersensitivity. I found that the more I restricted my diet, the more occasional indulgences in previously tolerable foods hit me hard.

I would suggest trying an all meat restriction diet. Naturally this will create a serious cravings problem.

The solution, I find, is to eat a daily meal of ground beef with eggs in a ratio of 250 g beef to 1 egg.

Here's the link: http://www.blog.sethroberts.net/2011/02/20/meat-only-diet-crave-carbs-meat-egg-no-craving/

I eat this with no salt or seasonings, keeping the eggs to a reasonable minimum, and it's the only thing that's cured my health problems (IBS and chronic fatigue complex).

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22913 · July 27, 2010 at 4:38 PM

It's most likely a nightshade allergy

According to Medline, common side-effects of calcitriol injections include weakness, headache, somnolence, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, constipation, muscle pain, bone pain and metallic taste.4 Note the muscle and bone pain—do these sound like nightshade problems I’ve mentioned already? The liver and gall bladder can be affected, resulting in pale or fatty stools, an indication you are not digesting your fats well. Yellowing of skin or eyes (jaundice) is another symptom, indicative of liver issues. Hallucinations can happen, and a rare side effect is overt psychosis. Remember what was said to happen when one eats eggplant every day for a month?

Weston A Price has a good writeup on it http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/1897-nightshades.html

It fits... Eliminate for a few weeks and let us know

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2520 · July 16, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Your symptoms match the experience my cousin had a while back - she was fortunate enough to have a dental appointment shortly after her symptoms started, and he diagnosed her with an uncommon infection that involved an imbalance of bacteria throughout her GI tract, impacting taste and digestion. I can't remember any more details (except that it was treated with antibiotics, to which I rolled my eyes wildly), but I would go to a GP or a dentist to see if it's an oral condition (easier to diagnose than more general GI tract problems).

If you can handle eating some fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, or even good yoghurt, that could be a good start to see if it's a bacteria issue.

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10 · July 04, 2010 at 12:36 AM

Are you supplementing with Iodine (Iodoral, etc.)? That can leave you with a metallic taste.

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 05, 2010 at 4:30 AM

Hmm...I am taking a thyroid supplement that I get through my naturopath, and that does have iodine in it. I have been taking it for months, though, with no effect (other than improving thyroid funcion), so I doubt that is it. Thanks though, I hadn't thought of that!

8f87879387f2a357db7c33008ff9a04a
887 · November 11, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Bet it is that!

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1932 · July 03, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Do you eat many nuts? I have noticed a similar bad taste when I eat anything that has almond proteins in it (I am okay with almond oil, but not roasted or raw almonds or almond milk; not even homemade almond milk). Leaves me with a burned, bitter taste on my tongue.

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 05, 2010 at 4:20 AM

I actually don't do well with nuts, so eat very few (maybe several macadamias once or twice a week). They just don't sit well in my stomach.

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2119 · July 03, 2010 at 12:39 PM

My husband develops this if he uses a lot of Tums, which are mostly calcium carbonate.

So, he stopped eating so many foods that give him heartburn, took Mg and Zinc, and it went away.

I'm suppose you're not using tums, but are you supplementing calcium?

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 05, 2010 at 4:19 AM

Hmmm... No supplemental calcium here. I have been thinking of trying Natural Calm (a mag supp); maybe that could help?

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281 · July 02, 2010 at 7:48 PM

Congrats on starting the journey! How about focusing on some in season soft skinned fruits for a while? Flax might help...try some flax/coconut baked good (lots of recipes online). How about some fish if you are struggling with the meat issue? Fish can be over fried with ground flax and spices with a bit of coconut oil on the pan. Give it a whirl...

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18671 · July 05, 2010 at 10:03 PM

I don't understand what these suggestions have to do with the question. Are you suggesting fruit or flax for nausea? These aren't particularly healthy choices, and I've never heard that they help nausea or a metallic taste.

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 02, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I really don't do well with Amit of fruit, unfortunately, and baked goods don't sound good at all. 5 months of paleo has memconverted, I guess. Also, I believe that bad things happen to flax oil when subjected to heat. We are trying salmon tonight though, so I'll see how that goes!

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 02, 2010 at 10:05 PM

Dang iPhone auto-correct... I meant "a lot" of fruit.

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145 · July 02, 2010 at 7:42 PM

Are you drinking alcohol at all?

Bcb9716d5d40965c0045c7d226cd17c2
145 · July 03, 2010 at 4:20 AM

I'm having the same problem, I was pretty surprised to see your post. I haven't been able to give up my glass or 2 of wine at night, and I suspect it might be related but I'm not sure why. I think the wine provides enough energy to prevent full-on ketosis, but the combination of ketones and alcohol as fuel minus the glucose creates this weird taste effect. Anyway, that's my theory.

9dce97b4c4762a78a577a11585eef8f2
1229 · July 02, 2010 at 10:01 PM

I usually have a glass or two of wine every night. Now it just tastes awful, so no. Why do you ask?

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