• Does chemo really make everything taste like metal?

    Asked by HearMeRoar on Saturday, February 2, 2013

    Does chemo really make everything taste like metal?

    If so how long does that last? Not 100% sure I'll have it yet - doc says it is likely because of my age... and that I'd have it 1 day a week every 3 weeks. Thanks for your continued advice and support. XOXO!

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      For some people, some things taste like metal, some times. For me it was for a couple of days each chemo cycle and some things tasted slightly metallic, but most things just tasted like cardboard.

      over 3 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar

      The only time I have tasted anything metallic is when my port is being flushed. Due to radiation to my tongue/jaw, I can't taste much, but no metallic taste. Hopefully, it will resolve like the doc says. Best of luck to you!

      over 3 years ago
    • DorothyV's Avatar

      Everything tasted funny to me. Water tasted like salt water. Chicken tasted sour! I had to put a little juice or vitamin water in my water so I could drink it. It went away a few weeks after my last chemo treatment. I had chemo once every three weeks. You will find things that you can eat and get through it. There may be some foods that you will later associate with chemo and you won't want them ever again. For me, it's Vitamin water! Since I couldn't stand drinking water during treatment, I drank it straight or diluted with water. I drank so much of it, I can't stand to even see it on the grocery shelf!!

      over 3 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      That's a common statement a lot of people say, that things seem to taste metallic. For me I wouldn't say that, but just icky. Everything tasted weird. Some bad, a few things tasted normal.

      Here is a link to an article I wrote in our blog about 12 things to do to help with the metallic taste.


      over 3 years ago
    • Myungclas' Avatar

      Water was the thing that tasted metallic to me, so I put crystal light in it. Meat and veggies just tasted yucky...but I discovered that acidic things like tomato sauce, ketchup and pickles seemed to taste normal. I ate a lot of minestrone and doused any meat with tangy barbecue sauce. I had chemo every three weeks and the weird tastes started on day 2 after a treatment and cleared up just before the next one.

      over 3 years ago
    • Gena's Avatar

      I get a metal taste in my mouth for a day or two. Salty foods taste bad, but sweets seem to be okay. If you decide not to have the chemo, make sure you aren't looking bad one day and wishing you would have done it.

      over 3 years ago
    • CAL's Avatar
      CAL (Best Answer!)

      Metal is not what I would call the taste but nothing really would taste good starting 3 days after the chemo (I had dose dense Taxotere & Cytoxan every 3 weeks x4) and then it would start to resolve about a week before the next chemo. Most things just tasted bad. This got progressively worse with each dose and it took a full 3 weeks after my last dose for it to start to resolve. Some things like tomato based vegetable soup with a little cumin would taste
      ok and sauteed vegetables but it seemed to change after each round. I stopped drinking tea after the first round and just started drinking it again 5 weeks out. Ironically, I craved salty stuff after the last round and since my hemoglobin/hematacrit and my albumin level got pretty low, I ate raw/unsweetend peanut butter on toasted Ezekiel bread (a spouted grain/lentil bread) every day and sometimes twice a day. The integrative oncology center I go to has me on a no meat/no dairy/ no sugar/no white flour diet with fish/nuts/soy/beans/whole grains for protein and 80% of my diet is plant based. I miss the cheese and occasionally the meat but am trying to adjust to this "diet for life." It was a bit hard starting this during chemo when tastes were so messed up but it is getting better now that most things taste ok. Ironically, meats and sweet stuff doesn't really taste all that good to me anymore so I guess if that is a permanent thing, I can put in on my very short list of "good things about chemo."

      over 3 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar

      I started out with my favorite things tasting grose. I couldn't stand to eat it. Now things aren't as bad. It just isn't as good as I remember it being including coffee. I always looked forward to that first cup in the morning and now it's ok but not as good. I have been off chemo for 3 months now and haven't gotten back my taste buds. I remember my taste buds changing before I started chemo. Just not as bad as when on chemo.

      over 3 years ago
    • attypatty's Avatar

      Dear HearMeRoar:
      Your doctor said WHAT??? Because of your age?! That seems ridiculous. Of course your taste will change in weird ways. I had the same experience as others here when it came to water. Water tasted alternately like metal, like salt, like soap, you name it. Didn't matter if it was tap water, filtered water, bottled water. I finally found relief in Pellegrino water - I bought it by the case and it really tasted good to me. Ironically, St. Pellegrine is the patron saint of cancer (I know, too much Catholic school, but still, you have to wonder.....)
      I can't help but feel that it has nothing to do with your age and everything to do with your chemotherapy. Trust your instincts and consider a new doctor. The good thing is that taste does go back to normal after chemotherapy is done, and fairly quickly, too.
      Fight On,

      over 3 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I know that it sounds scary, but not everyone gets all side effects. I didn't get the metallic taste. Tastye buds really didn't change. Didn't have nausea, except the one time my IV leaked. Otherwise, the only issues I have are just like if you are ill w/something else. I have issues w/my favorite pizza now because I didn't feel well the last time I had it. The whole association thing. Good luck.

      over 3 years ago
    • GypsyJule's Avatar

      I didn't really have a problem with things tasting matallic, but things tasted different. I ended up avoiding my favorite things because they just didn't taste right, and I was always disapointed when I wanted something specific, and then it tasted bad. I ended up drinking a lot of root beer, which was something I've never really cared that much for, but for some reason, the flavor was good and it was calming to my stomach. Like so many have said, we're all different. I hope your taste buds aren't effected too badly. I just looked at it as a minor inconvenience. I'm only about a month since my last chemo and some things taste normal, while others still don't have the same flavor that I remember.

      over 3 years ago
    • cris' Avatar

      I have a metal taste & at times some of the foods and drinks taste salty, but sweets and really spicy food taste good to me.But everyone is different. I can't eat chicken soup anymore reminds me of the chemo I started out with, I believe chemo is worth doing taste buds will come back & my cancer will be gone, best of luck to you....

      over 3 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      Some of my favorite food just did not taste right to me, but only for a few days each cycle. And chocolate anything always tasted good the whole time! Whatever is your bet shot at saving your life is what you should do. Chemo is not fun, but it is doable and will end. I did chemo and radiation and it saved my life! Do whatever it takes to fight this horrid disease. We are stronger than we ever knew. Good luck to you!

      over 3 years ago
    • Laureen's Avatar

      Italian food tasted like metal during my carboplatin/taxol treatments. Spicy foods tasted "off" too.

      over 3 years ago
    • Loafer's Avatar

      The only metallic taste I had was during the infusion of chemo. i chewed gum to get through it. Afterwards, I would get a fuzzy tongue and weird taste buds which made food taste bland, not metallic for a week. Fruits and sweets tasted good to me, so I ate more of them. Good luck!!!

      over 3 years ago
    • MovingForward's Avatar

      As for my experience on chemo (5 total cycles every three weeks) my tastebuds have not been the same since chemo. The last 4-2 days before a new chemo cycle round I may be able to taste some foods. I could taste Dr. Pepper, Sprite, hot chocolate and room temperature Aquafina was the only water that tasted decent. For the most part foods tasted like cardboard with the textures of a dish sponge. I actually have lost weight since I started my chemo in October because eating just isn’t a pleasant experience. When the nurses would flush my chemo port I when I tasted rubbing alcohol but nothing metallic.

      over 3 years ago

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