As we have seen in previous blog articles regarding menopause, every woman ages 45-55 faces the most critical change in her hormonal cycle. Menopause involves reducing hormone production and, therefore, a severe deficiency of estrogen and progesterone. Interruption of the menstrual cycle has consequences and symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, palpitations, weight gain, mood disturbances, and vaginal dryness. In addition to these symptoms, many women often report the alteration or loss of taste. But is it true that there is a link between menopause and a change in the sense of taste? Continue reading this article to find out more.
How Does Menopause Affect The Sense Of Taste?
Some women may have already happened during pregnancy. Suddenly, the foods we ate with pleasure now seem even disgusting, and other dishes we never cooked before are almost always on the agenda. Hormones play a decisive role in this extraordinary change. There is a correlation between hormonal fluctuations and the five senses, particularly between estrogen and the sense of taste. The hormonal balance is physiologically destined to change with menopause, affecting many different functions of the organism, not only those that affect the modifications of the genital system.
For example, in the slow and progressive phase of change leading to the end of the fertile age, menopause can be seen on the skin, hair, eyes, and even sight. Therefore, female hormones act in a myriad of parts of the body. This does not necessarily mean that this worsens its yield, but it can change significantly, as can the sense of taste. But how exactly does the loss or alteration of the sense of taste occur? Taste is perceived through chemical signals that bring back to our brain the gustatory sensation we associate with a known flavor. If the gustatory stimulus is altered, an alteration or even a loss of the sense of taste may be felt.
Estrogen is essential to the mouth’s health because it protects the teeth and keeps salivary secretion constant. As we have seen, with menopause, the production of estrogen decreases considerably until it stops altogether. This way, the taste buds can suffer from the reduced salivary secretion that keeps them active. Their new condition involves a reduction in sensitivity to salty or sweet; as a natural consequence, the ability to feel and appreciate flavors decreases. This is why with menopause, we have to pay attention to how much seasoning we put in food. Due to this disorder, many women add more salt or sugar to increase their chances of tasting. But this, as you can imagine, would negatively affect the rest of the organism.
Useful Tips To Find The Taste In Menopause
This new condition of women, however, is not immutable. In these cases, it is essential to consult a professional so that he can provide us with advice and indications to compensate for the sudden transformation of taste and, above all, help us pay attention to all those external factors that can further alter the perception of taste. In the meantime, here is a list of helpful first tips that can help you in case loss of taste is one of the symptoms of your menopause:
- Abounding with sugar or salt is not the solution: As mentioned in the previous paragraph, several women increase the doses of salt and sugar to achieve the dish’s flavor. But these types of condiments only have the effect of covering the flavors, not enhancing them. As strange as it may seem, the best advice to perceive the flavors more is to decrease the amount of salt and sugar: this is what increases the chances of perceiving the taste. Instead, replace these toppings with spices;
- Thyme, oregano, basil, ginger, turmeric, curry, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, and chopped nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. Each of these spices or their combination, are an opportunity to try new and tastier flavors without exaggerating with salt or sugar;
- Take care of colds and coughs, as these can reduce your ability to perceive flavors;
- Avoid smoking: in addition to being harmful to health, cigarette smoking is one of the causes of alteration or loss of taste;
- Take care of oral hygiene: mouth and teeth clean and free from plaque and tartar are essential to perceive flavors better.