Why Stress Can Sometimes Cause Metallic Taste In Mouth


Stress can affect anyone. It is the body’s natural response to challenging situations, which can manifest in the form of physical and emotional symptoms. While some people may experience headaches, heart palpitations, sweaty palms, and chills, others may experience nervousness, feelings of dread, or restlessness. A more unusual sign could be a change in the taste in your mouth, more specifically a metallic taste in your mouth, he says. Dr. Shashikiran Umakanth, Medical Superintendent, Professor and Head, Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. TMA Hospital, Udupi. Read on to find out why it happens and how you can control it.

Also read: Bitter taste in the mouth? Possible causes to take into account

Why stress causes a metallic taste in your mouth

Stress is popularly recognized as a “fight or flight” response, characterized by a surge of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.

When your body is stressed, it prepares for action, causing your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure to increase. It can also affect your digestion, causing symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea, and even vomiting.

Additionally, stress can cause a metallic taste in the mouth, along with many other vague taste abnormalities, says Dr. Umakanth.

“This occurs because stress can alter the way our body processes certain chemicals, including those that create the perception of taste. When stressed, the body can produce more cortisol, which can influence the composition of saliva and cause an alteration of taste,” he explains. .

Many studies have suggested that stress and anxiety can alter the taste in your mouth.

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In fact, a study published in chemical senses He found that stressed people became less sensitive to salty and sweet. Interestingly, people with a higher baseline level anxiety and those who were heavier were more likely to have a greater decline in their ability to taste sweet and salty after stress.

Other factors to consider

However, a metallic taste in your mouth doesn’t necessarily mean you’re stressed. While stress may be a possible cause, symptoms may be due to other factors, including:

  • Infections (viral and bacterial)
  • Certain medications (such as some antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs)
  • Dental problems (such as infections or gum disease)
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Certain medical conditions (such as diabetes or kidney disease)
  • Nutritional deficiencies

To know if metallic taste is related to stress, Dr. Umakanth recommends taking note of other accompanying indicators, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Difficult to focus
  • Muscle tension
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns.

How stress affects your body

It’s also important to consider other ways stress can affect your health.

According to Dr. Umakanth, stress triggers the release of several hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and energy supply.

He says: “These changes saved lives in the dangerous situations our ancestors often faced when they were hunter-gatherers. However, chronic stress in modern times can lead to prolonged exposure to these hormones, causing problems such as headaches, digestive problems, sleep disturbances, and weakened immune function. “Prolonged stress can also increase the risk of heart disease, depression and anxiety disorders.”

How to manage stress effectively

Here are some steps to manage stress effectively and faster:

  • Try to recognize what is causing your stress and see if you can reduce or eliminate these stress triggers.
  • Practice techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga that help reduce stress.
  • Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can improve your body’s resistance to stress.
  • Managing your time effectively and setting realistic goals reduces stress.
  • Talk to friends, family, a psychologist or psychiatrist for support and guidance.
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[Disclaimer: This article contains information for informational purposes only, hence, we advise you to consult your expert if you are dealing with any mental health issues to get the necessary treatment.]



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