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British Heart Foundation
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Loss of taste

Since my husband had his HA in October 2016 he has had problems with his sense of taste. He had 4 stents fitted and we thought all would be well. Now over a year later he is very depressed, still losing weight as he has no appetite. Our GP doesn’t seem to understand why he should still be losing weight. Recently he had a colonoscopy, endoscopy and CT scan. Also blood test on a regular basis as his electrolytes go up and down. Does anybody else still feel very low after such a long time?

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Hi Bazmack, the depression is a familiar theme here. I would suggest you speak to your GP and get a referral for some counselling for him. It's a struggle for many of us, me included, but professional help is available.

The taste thing, well I had a heart attack and a quad bypass and still have some issues with taste, not sure if it's the surgery or something else and mine was a little over a year ago

Good luck Mark

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Thank you Mark we are able to self refer for counselling in this area so will start the ball rolling tomorrow.

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Good, first steps and all that. Last Christmas I threw away two very decent bottles of red and nearly a third as they tasted off to me, my wife saved the third. I also dislike most red meat now, I used to like a good steak but now find the taste too bad.

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Sounds very similar to hubby. He finds curries and highly spiced food suit him now. Although he has been eating lots of fresh fruit and nuts the last few days. I buy food because he fancies it and end up throwing loads away as he no longer fancies it. He has diverticulitis, gastritis , duodenitis and a hiatus hernia to top it off. I just wish he would get his sparkle back again. I have read lots of posts on here whereby people’s characters have changed so feel we are not alone.

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I agree with Skid and suggest you need to get some support to really get to the bottom of what is causing his lack of appetite.

I found I lost interest in food when in hospital post my CABG. My tastebuds were kickstarted again at home with strong flavours - chilli, curry etc. worked a treat so I can understand your husband's position absolutely. I try and eat a very balanced diet - a lot of fruit, loads of veg, breakfast every day without fail - but still need the strong flavours to really get my interest. I still have the odd day when I don't feel like eating, but eat anyway. Mercifully these days are rare. I think you just have to persevere, buy small and often to avoid waste, but get some help as well.

Good luck

Steve

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Thank you Steve. I think we stay indoors too much so starting tomorrow we will drive down to the sea and have a walk along the front. Although the sea is near the walk is boring as you cannot change the route. Hope this might help blow away some cobwebs.

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I had 6 stents over March/Sept 16 and I found the drug Bisoprolol very hard to get on with over my period, and it caused effects that I had never experienced before, so glad I have now stopped taking it and drug free with a clearer head and feelings starting to come back to normal, however the one thing I would state that hit me and even now was my confidence was shot and that I believe is a long healer that takes time to build up, so I hope once you draw a line on what's happened you plan out your monthly tasks and build that way as I did, hard work but it does help to achieve goals and get the confidence back, best of luck.

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Thank you Ken65.

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I suppose I am one of the lucky ones, haven't had any depressive issues, sure I can get a bad day, but that is when SOB is the main issue. I never thought about the taste bit but I do now like to add chilli to dishes. Yesterday we had Chicken with Pasta then we add Tomato Sauce then I put a teaspoon of chilli sauce to give it a kick.

I also find I now look out for a stronger flavour beer, hoppy IPA tends to fit the bill !!!

Now I need to get my wife to read this post regarding taste bubs being affected so she understands why I now look for stronger beers. anything approaching 5% ABV I am told to put it back on the shelf.

Best Regards

Frank W

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Thanks Frank. We have a garage full of White Shield now but find it very hard to source in this area. It is amazing how hubbys taste has changed since HA. Just need to sort out loss of appetite and depression. Have docs visit next week, hoping he will have some answers.

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Bazmack48 - I have SO much sympathy for you both. My husband's situation is very similar, except that he hasn't lost his appetite, and he gets very depressed that he CAN'T lose weight. One of your later replies mentions "sparkle" - I know precisely what you mean. All I want is to have my cheeky, irascible Scotsman back again. He has mobility issues, due to arthritis, which doesn't help his situation, of course, and a trip out that used to be simple is now a matter of planning well in advance - an impromptu visit somewhere is no longer easy! Meals are a nightmare because of his taste problems - things that he used to love are no longer on his menu. He has, thus far, rejected most forms of "help" - I think his pride is still getting in the way, but I'm persevering.

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Hi Hollysmum, thank you for taking the time to reply. I am finding it very difficult but it is a comfort to read the replies to my post. I thought I was the only partner that felt this way. Bought some very expensive Manuka honey last week to see if it would help, there are different opinions about using it. I will persevere and try to get hubby better. I have looked to see if any members live in this area but cannot find anybody. I thought if we could meet up with fellow posters it might help.

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Hi Baz in the North East of Scotland there is Grampian Cardiac Rehab sessions in lots of Areas, there are lots of people all in the same situation. In England I know Bournemouth has a Heart Club and I believe Poole also. Maybe you could phone NHS Rehab and ask for local contacts ??

Best Regards

Frank W

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Thank you Frank, will have a look. We did the cardiac rehab at the hospital and then went on to a special class in a local hall. We were allowed to both join in as I also have health issues but not in the heart department. We had to stop going during the children’s summer holidays as we have two of our grandchildren to look after. Sadly hubby does not want to go back. He needs to start enjoying life again and it is very hard to get him motivated.

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Hi, after my husband had a major heart attack & cardiac arrest he was seriously depressed. He had no interest in food or anything, it was really distressing as I'd never seen him like this. Then we were offered cardiac rehabilitation & it was a god send. It took a while, as he kept having to be re-admitted to hospital, but at the end it worked for him. Not quite the same man I married but certainly not depressed. & definately more positive.Ask your GP/cardiologist/hospital for a referral.

Hope things are better for you both soon xx

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Thank you Lezzers, we both attended cardiac rehab classes and the team were superb. We went on to pay for classes run by the same team but had to stop during grandchildren’s summer holidays. I cannot get him to go back, he has been readmitted to hospital several times for other things and the girls have made an effort to visit him. They are a credit to the NHS. Just wish I could get through to hubby that he needs help now.

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Hi, I know how hard & frustrating that is, do you have a heart nurse who can talk to him? Do you have any support groups near you that you can attend. Being able to talk to people who know what you are both going through definitely help xx

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Not sure if still able to contact the cardiac team as have been signed offfrom hospital. Will try tomorrow. Thank you.

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