Some women complain that they have lost their sense of taste with the arrival of the climacteric. But is it only a psychological relationship or is it possible that this happens? How can this be remedied?
In this post we will talk about:
- Change in the sense of taste: is there a link with menopause?
- If the taste changes: pay a lot of attention to this!
- Why can menopause affect the sense of taste?
- How the sense of taste works and why it can change in menopause
- Useful tips to regain the taste in menopause
There is a correlation between hormones and the five senses, particularly between estrogen and the sense of taste . It is yet another demonstration of the fact that your hormonal balance, physiologically destined to change in menopause, affects many and different functions of the organism, not only those that affect the modifications of the genital system .
For example, in the slow and progressive phase changes leading to the end of childbearing age , you might have noticed that the signs of menopause can also be seen on the skin , the hair , or the views or eyes, they may have a tendency to dryness, or – again – on the health of the mouth .
Therefore , female hormones act in a myriad of areas of your body and can affect their functioning in some way . This does not necessarily mean that this worsens its yield, but maybe it can change significantly, as can also happen to the sense of taste .
Change in the sense of taste: is there a link with menopause?
It may have already happened to you during pregnancy: suddenly some things you didn’t like anymore, others had taken on a “strange” taste. Even in that case, hormones played a decisive role on this front.
Is there a link between menopause and possible alteration or loss of taste? Yes, therefore, even if we say “possible” because each menopause is different and each woman experiences this completely physiological phase with its own characteristics. For this reason, a change in the sense of taste could be the “fault” of the hormonal fluctuations typical of menopause but also of other alterations that have nothing to do with hormones, nor with menopause.
If the taste changes: pay a lot of attention to this!
If it came naturally to you, as a result of a change in your sense of taste , to think about increasing the doses of salt or sugar , be very careful. You have to focus on these episodes: do not underestimate what could become a dangerous habit to “compensate” for the reduced ability to perceive flavors with more toppings.
Salt and sugar can worsen water retention and swelling (which may increase spontaneously already in menopause) and are a factor to be carefully monitored in cases of hypertension and diabetes.
Why can menopause affect the sense of taste?
Estrogen, which is the female fertile life hormone, plays an important role in the health of the mouth because it protects the teeth and keeps salivary secretion constant . When their production decreases until it completely ceases with the definitive end of menstruation , the taste buds can suffer from the reduced salivary secretion which keeps them “active” and slows down aging.
This changed condition could lead to a “lightening” of the sense of taste , or to a reduced sensitivity to salty or sweet. The natural consequence could be a reduction in the ability to feel and appreciate flavors . This explains why you have to pay close attention to the toppings, even more than usual.
How the sense of taste works and why it can change in menopause
The 5 senses are the tools through which we perceive reality and “savor” all its stimuli, even if they are of a different nature. For this it is important to take care of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing .
Taste , in particular, is a particularly important sense because it allows you to feel many more “flavors” than we are traditionally led to believe: just think that in addition to making the experience of savoring a tasty dish possible, this sense, together with smell also plays an important role in couple intimacy because it is able to activate the brain’s responses to arousal and desire .
How does it work? Taste is perceived through chemical signals that bring back to our brain the gustatory sensation that we associate with a known flavor. If the gustatory stimulus is altered, as it can be due to a reduced functionality of the taste buds (which can derive from less salivation due to changed hormonal levels), it may happen that an alteration or even a loss of the sense of taste can be felt.
Thus it could happen that the threshold of “sensitivity” to sweet or salty taste is raised : it means that it could happen, for example, that you may not be able to satisfactorily perceive the sweet taste associated with a cake or a piece of chocolate. The result could be to “look for” sweeter foods or to sweeten the coffee with excessive abundance. Similarly, some salty dishes may be perceived as insipid, with the result of resorting to the use of salt in an excessive way.
If you have noticed that among the older women in your family it is customary to abound with salt, you know what we are talking about.
Useful tips to regain the taste in menopause
Although abounding with sugar and salt might seem the best solution to remedy a certain alteration in taste, the advice of the experts is just the opposite: to better perceive those flavors that you seem to feel too little, reduce the use of salt and sugar in food. In fact, these condiments only have the effect of “covering” the flavors rather than enhancing them.
Also pay attention to external factors that could alter the perception of taste :
- Do not underestimate colds and coughs : they can reduce your ability to “feel” the flavors but it is clear that in the presence of flu it is a temporary phenomenon.
- Avoid smoking : cigarette smoke is not only harmful to your health and that of those around you, but also one of the causes of alteration or loss of taste . If you’ve never been able to quit smoking, doing it in menopause would be the best gift you could give to your new life as a woman.
- Take care of oral hygiene : clean mouth and teeth and free from plaque and tartar are important to better perceive the flavors.
- Via free to herbs, spices and seeds to flavor dishes : thyme, oregano and basil; ginger, turmeric and curry; oil seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds; and then chopped nuts such as walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts. It will be enough for you to indulge yourself with combinations to find from time to time a myriad of healthy and tasty solutions to give more flavor to your dishes without exceeding with the use of salt and sugar.
In any case, remember to report any changes in taste that you may notice for an extended time to your doctor . You can also talk about it with your gynecologist : the specialist will be able to accurately trace your taste discomfort to hormonal variations (and therefore reassure you) and thus exclude other possible causes.