Dysgeusia or parageusia refers to a metallic (or funny) taste even though nothing is in the mouth. It can sometimes occur with fatigue. Causes include medication use, hay fever, pregnancy, kidney failure, and more.
A metallic, or funny, taste by itself may be due to poor oral health. When a person has both a metallic taste and fatigue, the possible causes can range from medication side effects to more serious underlying medical problems, such as kidney disease.
This article lists and explains eight possible causes of metallic taste and fatigue, the treatment options, and when to see a doctor.
Taste dysgeusia is a lingering, unpleasant sensation in the mouth that causes a person to experience a metallic, foul, or rancid taste. When something alters the typical function of the taste buds and their related nerve pathways, it can result in a taste disorder and fatigue.
A person may experience a metallic taste due to inflamed nasal passages that cause a loss or changed sense of smell. Hay fever also often makes a person feel fatigued and irritable.
Sinus, upper respiratory, and ear infections
Infections of the sinuses, ears, and upper airways cause inflammation that can disturb the senses of smell and taste.
Medication side effects
Taste disorders and fatigue are among the side effects of various medications. According to
Some medications that may cause a metallic taste and fatigue include:
Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- shortness of breath
- pins-and-needles sensation in the hands and feet
- yellow-tinged skin or jaundice
- mood changes
A vitamin B-12 deficiency may cause fatigue as it can impair a person’s ability to produce red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body. Severe deficiency may begin affecting the nerves, which may result in a metallic taste in the mouth.
The hormones in the body fluctuate during pregnancy. This oscillation can affect the senses, which can cause specific cravings and make some foods or smells unappealing.
Individuals may also experience headaches, dizziness, and morning sickness during pregnancy.
- frequent urination
- dry and itchy skin
- puffiness around the eyes
- swelling in the ankles and feet
- decreased appetite
- muscle cramping
Central nervous system disorders
Additional symptoms may also be present including:
- vision problems
This change is typically temporary. Various tips are available to help people undergoing cancer treatment enjoy foods as normally as possible. These include:
- eat small frequent meals or snacks instead of big meals
- keep snacks handy, such as nuts, dried fruit, or cheese and crackers
- sip sweet or savory nourishing drinks throughout the day
Fatigue is the
In some cases, a metallic taste in the mouth may accompany nausea or the feeling of being sick. Conditions that can cause this include:
A person experiencing a metallic taste and fatigue should speak with a healthcare professional.
The doctor will ask questions about the person’s symptoms and past medical history. Depending on the answers, they will either conduct a focused exam of the head and neck or perform a full physical exam.
The doctor may also order blood tests or imaging studies, such as a CT scan. In some cases, they might refer the individual to an otolaryngologist — a healthcare professional who specializes in diseases of the ear, nose, and throat.
The treatment for metallic taste and fatigue will depend on the underlying cause.
With some causes, such as pregnancy and cancer treatment, the metallic taste and fatigue will resolve in time. Other causes may require changes to the person’s diet or medications.
A person should always consult a healthcare professional before making any changes to their prescription medications.
|Hay fever||Allergy medication and avoiding allergy triggers|
|Sinus, upper respiratory, and ear infections||Decongestants, saline rinse, and rest|
|Medication side effects||Medication adjustment or discontinuation and home remedies|
|Vitamin B-12 deficiency||Vitamin B-12 supplements or increased intake of foods high in this vitamin|
|Pregnancy||Home remedies and rest|
|Kidney damage||Dietary changes, blood pressure control, and medications|
|Central nervous system disorders||Individualized treatment plan that may include home remedies, corticosteroids, and rest|
|Cancer treatment||Home remedies and frequent rest periods|
The following home remedies may help relieve the metallic taste:
- eating citrus fruits or sipping juices, such as orange or lemon juice
- sucking on a piece of lemon candy before meals
- avoiding using metallic utensils and cookware
- drinking herbal teas
- eating yogurt
- staying well-hydrated
- brushing the teeth and tongue before meals
- rinsing with salt water, baking soda, or antibacterial mouthwash before eating
A metallic taste and fatigue may be temporary side effects of medication or symptoms of pregnancy or other conditions.
Often, treating the underlying medical problem will resolve the symptoms. Anyone experiencing a metallic taste and fatigue should speak with a healthcare professional.