I can still smell or taste things days after eating them, which is very unpleasant. Both my GP and dentist are baffled and I really don’t know who to turn to. What could be causing this?
Many people will love being able to smell or taste something they have eaten recently, or even after a few hours. But being able to do it for the next few days is quite unusual.
Phantasmia is the term for smelling something that is not really there, and there can be several reasons behind this. First, check with your pharmacist to see if any medications you are taking could be causing it. Alternatively, lingering odors and tastes could also be due to cavities, so another visit to the dentist may be necessary.
Smell and taste are closely related. Having indigestion or acid reflux can cause you to burp a lot, and this can cause the smell and taste of food to return to your nose and mouth. If you have any symptoms of heartburn, then a short course of medication, called proton pump inhibitors, may be helpful.
Similarly, rumination syndrome is a condition in which recently eaten food rises to the throat, which may cause a lingering taste or odor, or food may become stuck in a pouch in the throat, known as pharyngeal or esophageal pouch. instead of going to the stomach.
Dr Kaye is the Mail On Sunday’s guest GP columnist.
There could be other reasons for the lingering odor. Soft, painless growths in the nose called nasal polyps can cause an unpleasant odor. Even having a cold or allergies can cause changes in your sense of smell, as can smoking.
Changes in smell can also be caused by serious neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or a stroke, so it is important to consult your GP.
I took statins for 15 years, but I stopped five years ago because I read they can cause dementia. My cholesterol has been slowly going up and I have type 2 diabetes so I was thinking about starting over but I don’t want to lose my memory. That I have to do?
Statins are prescribed to help lower cholesterol and, with it, the chance of having a heart attack or stroke. There was concern that memory loss was related to taking statins, but research appears to have debunked this.
However, it is not clear whether it is cholesterol itself that increases the risk of dementia or whether it is other factors that are more common in people who have high cholesterol, such as high blood pressure, or a combination of these.
In fact, research has shown that taking a statin to prevent cardiovascular disease could reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, which is the most common type of dementia, by almost a third.
When prescribing statins, your GP will consider many factors that could increase your chances of having a heart attack or stroke, as well as cholesterol levels. These include age, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and whether or not you have conditions such as type 2 diabetes or chronic kidney disease. Someone with high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes will likely benefit from taking statins.
It would also be a good idea to talk about any other concerns you have about memory loss.
Whether or not you decide that statins are for you, lifestyle factors, such as quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption, can help prevent dementia.
I have had severe tinnitus for two years that just won’t go away. The noise is worse at night, which prevents me from sleeping. I was prescribed benzodiazepines to help me sleep, although I know not to take sedatives for too long. Would anything else help?
Tinnitus can make life miserable. The constant ringing, ringing or whistling can affect one or both ears, but there are several treatments that can help reduce its effect.
Sound therapy, which involves apps or machines that emit white noise (the sound of rain, running water, or similar constant soft sounds) is one option. It doesn’t eliminate tinnitus, but it distracts the brain, especially at night.
Tinnitus is also linked to anxiety and depression, which can be relieved through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a talk therapy that can help you deal with symptoms.
Although the cause of tinnitus is unknown, it is associated with hearing loss, so getting hearing aids can help some people. It is also linked to diabetes and thyroid conditions, so it is worth getting tested for these.
Medications, such as certain antibiotics and anti-inflammatory pain relievers like ibuprofen, can also trigger tinnitus.
Taking sedatives such as benzodiazepines is unlikely to help in the long term. Over time they become less effective and it is necessary to start taking a higher dose to have the same effect. They can also cause side effects such as confusion, slurred speech, and problems concentrating.
It is best to avoid stopping them suddenly, as this can lead to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and panic attacks.
Skipping the health MOT is not good for your health
New figures show only four in ten adults attend their NHS health check appointment
Have you found it difficult to find time for your NHS health check? If the answer is yes, you are not alone, as new figures show that only four in ten adults keep their appointment.
These free health screenings, like a technical body inspection, are offered to everyone between 40 and 74 years old and are a vital way to detect high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol, problems that may not cause symptoms but dramatically increase the risk. of a heart attack or stroke.
Doctors know that prevention is better than cure, and if we detect these conditions early, we can treat them and reduce the risks. But I also understand that taking time to visit your GP when you feel perfectly well can feel like an unnecessary burden.
Haven’t bothered to charge for your NHS Health Check invitation? And, if so, why? What would help you attend? Write and share your thoughts.
When the evaluation comes too late
Should we screen for bowel cancer earlier? A study I read last week suggests that deaths from this disease in women ages 25 to 49 are expected to be 40 percent higher this year than six years ago.
In a paper published in the Annals of Oncology, researchers blamed poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption and lack of exercise. But bowel cancer can affect anyone.
I’m not a smoker, I don’t drink alcohol, I exercise regularly and eat a lot of fiber, but I was still diagnosed at 39 years old.
The Government is lowering the standard screening age to 50 for people in England, but it would still have been too late for me.
In the U.S., screening is offered starting at age 45, as research suggests doing so catches more cases early.
Is the NHS screening age too high? Write to us and tell us.