Loss of smell/taste -symptom of hypothyroidism? - Thyroid UK

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Loss of smell/taste -symptom of hypothyroidism?

Blue_feather
Blue_feather

Hi all,

I was diagnosed about 9 weeks ago (thought my symptoms were just the menopause so requested an M.O.T from my GP) and it turned out not to be that. Currently on 50 mg Levothyroxine. I haven't yet mentioned it to my GP, but my sense of taste and smell has almost gone completely (been this way for about 3 months), and wondering if anyone else has experienced this as a symptom of an under-active thyroid.

25 Replies
oldestnewest

Hi Blue_feather

I was diagnosed with underactive thyroid last summer but think I probably went undiagnosed for over ten years. My health declined around that time and loss of sense of smell and taste were investigated along with tremor, bone pain and itchy/crawly skin, all of which have only improved since I started taking levothyroxine last autumn.

Loss of sense of smell and taste can also be caused by a viral infection, but I have seen it on the list of hypo symptoms. I have not totally recovered my sense of taste/smell yet but am really hopeful for the future. I am again experiencing the wonderful smells of coffee and cut flowers and I am really appreciating that.

I hope you too find your sense of taste improves now you have started treatment. It might take a while but don't give up hope. A lot of my hypo symptoms have gone completely. Hopefully yours will too.

All the best

Caroline

Many thanks for your swift and comprehensive reply - and also providing me with something positive to consider (its return) - I am feeling a little bit sorry for myself at the moment and still quite overwhelmed by this recent diagnosis.

I know. It is overwhelming. But finding out what you need to do to help yourself makes you feel more in control and this site is a brilliant starting point! Any problems you have, any queries, just post here and there are lovely knowledgeable people always willing to help. You are not alone.

Take care.

Best wishes

Caroline

Kipsy
Kipsy
in reply to Caroline888

Caroline- crawly skin (e.g. Sensation of insects under it) can be low B12. Have you tested yours?

Caroline888
Caroline888
in reply to Kipsy

Hi Kipsy

Thanks for your interest. Yes actually my B12 is slightly above range and has been good for years thanks to supplementation.

The crawly sensation (I understand it's called formication!) started over twenty years ago and I put it down to menopause at that time, but it persisted until I started levo last autumn when, miraculously, it went away and has not come back😊

Hope you are doing well and enjoying the lovely weather.

Best wishes

Caroline

Kipsy
Kipsy
in reply to Caroline888

Hi Caroline- I'm so glad you've sorted it! I dosed my 81 year old mum up with B12 & it got rid of her creepy scalp but it sounds like there are other causes. Thanks for your reply & all the best.

Jnetti
Jnetti
in reply to Caroline888

Just out of interest, "formication" comes from the scientific word for "Ant", because it feels like ants crawling over you!

Doesn't help your condition of course but thought you might be interested ;-)

All the very best, hope you improve soon. It can be frightening to have so many strange symptoms and not know the cause. That's another reassuring thing about a forum like this.

greygoose
greygoose
in reply to Jnetti

It's from the latin : formica. :)

Jnetti
Jnetti
in reply to greygoose

I know hardly any Latin but learned a poem in school. It goes like this:

"Caesar eterat forte,

Brutus et sumjam,

Caesar sic omnibus

Brutus sic ontram"

Try saying it aloud :-D

greygoose
greygoose
in reply to Jnetti

lol

Jnetti
Jnetti
in reply to greygoose

We need some comic relief occasionally :-)

greygoose
greygoose
in reply to Jnetti

We certainly do! Want a sick joke that has nothing to do with thyroid and make me laugh for ages?

"I found my German Shepherd, Hondo, with the neighbor's pet rabbit in its mouth. The rabbit was dead, and I panicked.. I took the dirty, chewed-up rabbit into the house. I gave it a bath, blew dried its fur, and put it back into the cage at the neighbor's house, hoping they would think it died of natural causes.

A few days later, the neighbor asked me, "Don, did you hear that Fluffy died?"

I said, "Um... no... what happened?"

The neighbor replied, "We found him dead in his cage one day, but the weird thing is that the day after we buried him, someone had dug him up, gave him a bath, and put him back into the cage. There are some real sick people out there!"

I'm still laughing! Sorry, Blue_feather.

Jnetti
Jnetti
in reply to greygoose

Where is the ROFL smiley when you need one!!!!

greygoose
greygoose
in reply to Jnetti

:D

That is so funny! Thanks😂

Caroline

Glad you enjoyed it. :D

Caroline888
Caroline888
in reply to Jnetti

Yes, you are quite right! That is exactly how it felt: ants crawling about under the skin. It was a very weird feeling. Thank goodness that, after experiencing it every single night for over twenty years, it has now completely gone away!! Levo seems to have been a miracle cure for me😊.

Hope you are doing ok. As you say this forum is great. What would we do without it?

Best wishes

Caroline

I have been hypothyroid for 12 plus years. Nearly two yeas ago I had loss of smell( thus affected taste) for 5 months, and after some wait to see both an ENT consultant, and a rheumatologist, happened to get appointments for same week- find it unlikely to be a coincidence got smell problem and what became a diagnosis for fibromyalgia ( undertreated hypothyroidism) together! Used to get lots of hoarse voice/ lingering coughs/ blocked nose etc too.

I thought my gradually increasing hoarseness over the last several years was due to acid reflux, but since starting levo I can sometimes sing again without being in the basement! Although it has only happened a few times, it suggests it was thyroid all along

I'd had no sense of smell for over thirty years before I started Levo. I blamed it on my constant sinus infections during that time. Now, bingo! haven't had a sinus infection since I started Levo and my sense of smell is back.

Could be you are zinc deficient. Most hypos have low zinc. :)

Zinc and alpha lipoid acid and mometasone were my first port of call after word of mouth recommendation from local ENT registrar...might have worked but was 2 plus months without sense of smell, and another 3 months difficult to tell if it was getting better by itself or from interventions. Time can be a great healer!

Absolutely! I truly believe in time. :)

It could be related to the menopause. Pregnant women have a heightened sense of smell caused by increased estrogen. So it makes sense that when estrogen declines that smell is affected. I think our sense of smell also affects sense of taste.

Many thanks for everyone's very helpful and informative replies in relation to this symptom; I have some other possible 'off the grid' symptoms, but didn't want to overwhelm myself or anyone else with too many questions, too soon!

I'll create a new thread for the next one.

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