Changes in Taste, Smell, and Hormones After Brain Injury

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I had an accident October 12th, and from in between the skull fracture, 2 brain bleeds, brain shift and swell, my smell/ taste went away on November 11th. I was able to get out of the hospital October 21st. Now I’m going through a phase where a smell hits me now. When the smell time hits me, it’s one smell so I can’t just pick something up and it smell differently, it’s one constant smell for a few hours and then it will go away? Has anyone had this also? Or know what it could mean?

I'm suffering a really nasty unexplainable burning smell after a severe head injury 8 weeks ago loss of taste also

I fell on some ice and hit my head in February. I was in the hospital for over two months. I have not been able to taste or smell anything since my fall. I have a lingering smell and taste that smells like cigarettes. None of my friends smoke, and no one has ever smoked in my house. I also have balance issues. There is one thing that has provided relief and was prescribed by my doctor. It is only available in Canada and some US states. I will let you figure out what I am talking about.

I had a TBI 9/2017 and smell something burning off and on through out the week. Almost like something plastic was melting in the dish washer. I smell it often and not just in my house.

I had a fall, TBI and a craniotomy as part of my life saving trip to hospital. Subdural haemorrhage, brain off centre and alot of concussion damage. I have been blessed that the recovery was quick, but I have remaining minor speech issues which few hear or notice, but the loss of smell and taste was significant. Not complete loss, could still get salt, pepper, chilli and sugar, but none of the herbs, spices, meat/veg differences.

Of the last few days, I am now experiencing the "something burning off and on through out the week". Exactly like burning plastic/wood mixture. I am hoping this is a sign of healing to the effected brain area (left frontal lobe) and/or my olfactory nerve which might see further improvement in my smell and taste in the future!

Nicola, I am also going through the same ordeal. I had a hermatoma on the frontal lobe after a mountain bike accident. I’ve lost all sense of smell and taste the chemical in my mouth constantly. I suggest like I have go and get blood and allergy tested for everything. Look at all your chemical levels and also a MRI. I’m waiting on results and hoping for the best.

Me too and i a
Hate it..i camt even eat cuz food taste like fabric

I lost my sense of smell in January due to a head trauma, for the last week or so I started smelling what seems to a chemical smell but it never goes away

Did you find out the cure?

I blacked out due to a ventricular heart arrhythmia and hit my left side of my head. I can’t taste or smell for last 2 months everything tastes and smells like a burnt plastic. I’m also very depressed and suicidal a lot. It’s scary and I’ve tried to get help but supposed to get an ablation of heart arrhythmia soon. I hope at least that helps my chest pain and palpitations. I lost my new job as a nurse because I think my memory was affected also it changed me and I really feel trapped. Will I ever be the same person??

I see you posted this in March.. are you still smelling that smell?

I have the same thing. I hit the back of my head on July 30th. Lost my taste and smell. My taste isn’t totally gone but I can’t tell the difference between things like two different flavors of yogurt, and can’t really taste spices. My sense of smell is completely gone but within the last weekend two, I too have this chemical, maybe metal smell that won’t go away.. gives me a headache. Hoping that don’t smell this forever!

I hit the back of my head 5 weeks ago ,,,,really awful not smelling and tasting,don’t feel optimistic reading this .....

Same here, I smell like electrical wire surgeon told me my brain is sending a wrong signal. I lost my sense of taste & taste 3 days after the vehicular accident, and I regain my sense of taste after 3 weeks but more on salty and sweet taste no distinct taste of the food im eating, I don't know if it's a chocolate,apple,chicken, grilled meat or the spolied food because I dont have the sense of smell.It's already 4 years and 6 months now since the accident.

I fell backwards on a sidewalk on Dec. 23 rd of last year. I got a concussion and now have zero sense of smell. I also have this background “smell” that is unpleasant, like chemicalish. When I eat I taste the chemical flavor, and hardly any real flavor. When I sit down to eat, I still hope and expect to taste, but every time it is a disappointment.
Has anyone heard of stem cell treatments for this?

Hey mate I recently went through same thing blacked out and woke up no knowing where I was or anything but lost my smell and taste about 4 weeks ago now.

I was in a car accident couple years back hit my head pretty with the airbag but didn't lose smell or taste but now I can not smell perfume food, cleaning supplies nothing and the only thing I taste slightly is salt this started three days ago just frustrated and annoyed at this point don't know what to do.

On December 30th I got hit by car and I was rushed to the hospital and I had a brain bleed. After 2 days I was released and they had me on anti seizure medication and I went through all my proper tests like ct scans, mri’s eeg/emg. And now I lost my sense of smell at the end of January and I’m afraid it’s going to be permanent is there anything I can do or is there hope for me.

Has anyone had their sense of smell heighten after concussion? Usually I’m stuffy all the time. Now I smell too much and it’s making me so sick!

Yes...vehicle crash 3.5 years ago, and I suffered a concussion at base of skull with 2 hemorrhagic strokes (brain bleeds) in both sense of smell was very intense for the first couple years and most smells triggered severe nausea...sense of smell has since returned to "normal", but I continue to suffer numerous lingering issues from the TBI...for me the initial impact was left side of skull above ear with a secondary impact at base of skull (fracture) with the most severe bleeding in right hemisphere of brain

I do.. I knocked my forehead pretty bad (the left side of the head just on the hair line ). two years later i can smell every thing.I can even tell who has been in the room with out even asking, so long as i know your smell. Funny thing i have started remembering all the faces i have even seen.. the bad thing is my personality is really changing.

Yes. I got a massive concussion in October 2019 and had 3.5 months of concussion and speech therapy. I've had a heightened sense of smell and just recently a non-stop smell of cigarette smoke that makes me feel sick.

I had 2 accidents weeks from eachother which included a til over where I got knocked out for a good amount of time. At least 10 min. (A year ago now) and I too smell smoke all the time. Did you find anything out

Trying to get a diagnosis for tbi after an accident 7 years ago. Symptoms have slightly worsened over the past years but have gotten drastically worse. I’d have an over heightened sense of smell a majority of the time, smelling my friends perfume before I saw her outside with her standing by a fire.
Anyone else struggling to get diagnosed?

In February 2016 I got hurt at work falling on wet floor had a massive tear of rotator cuffs in shoulder was in physiotherapy then surgery in may then physiotherapy for months was back to work and doing work hardening for shoulder still. My family dr sent me to a neurologist because went for something and he said you are on phenobarbital and dilentin and you haven't had a seizure for forty years maybe you dont need medication my neurologist sent me for an MRI EKG and blood work then I was to slowly wean off my medication and start taking keppra at same time now maybe a week into doing this had a fall hitting my head on a desk falling on water in the next few weeks got worse but thought it was new medication combined with old medication giving me horrible side effects was not saying much in physio as I assumed it was medication finally looked up concussion. It fit what I was going through but said will diminish so thought I could work through it big mistake exhaustion emotions bright lights off balance memory crashing overwhelmed me brain shuts you down. Couldn't remember or figure out my medication so my neurologist said just go back to your original meds that you take then we will do the keppra when your better. You even cry for no reason my neck was In big pain also then they realized i had a bad whiplash also thank heavens for acupuncture helps alot my wife was cleaning the sink with bleach and couldn't smell it she grabbed the bottle because i kept trying to smell it. Three years later I have decreased sense of taste everything tastes bland. Oh yea I dont drink hardly at all not ever been into drugs but smoke a half a pack of cigarettes a day for some reason lost all craving for over thirty days for cigarettes but as I got better cravings came back. What was weird was for months had what I called alzheimers symptoms brain fog did things out of order then one morning felt better than good realized haven't paid any bills for over two three months went on my desk top to pay some got out my debit card which I dreaded doing my son always told me never save it to your desktop but when I'd go to enter it would always have to enter it three times and make mistakes and then leave it on my desk and go to work without it in the past anyways I looked at the card signed on and it went right in first time thought I got lucky afterwards realized card was still in my head looked at all my cards and they stuck also. Felt exhausted went back to sleep. A week later they were still there in my head as I got better my head felt like it was racing inside I had a compulsion to know things medical and scientific couldn't stop I would lay in bed thinking fifteen minutes went by and five hours had gone by doing research solving things putting puzzles of information together.Finally after three years it's not racing twenty four seven but have amassed a huge amount of information and solved so many things people look at me weird when I say things it's like I swallowed a dictionary so now I dont say much to avoid the looks. It turns off like a switch in my head on and off. I do suffer severe neck problems and ringing in my right ear decreased taste and sometimes smell weird odours you think brush my teeth maybe that will help. I do have a personality change not bad but understand so many things now very clearly and take fir granted that people know what I know but then I think before this happened I knew very little. Still experience a lot of daydreaming your mind wanders spelling is off now . But this overactive neurol pathway in my head gets bad at times. My head would always operate say driving on side roads but now it races at times on a highway I'm happy its diminishing it seems quieter inside my head. My balance is good but you feel a little off centre. For two months couldn't deal with movement no tv or cell phone would make me nauseous would lay still In bed in dark room glad that went away you recover from concussion but with weird side effects. Just wish the sternocleidomastoid would stop going into spasm with the upper trapeze muscles effecting the trigger points below the occipital muscle at the base of the back of the skull. See sounds like a dictionary. Remember were not back to normal but were alive in pain but alive.

I fell off from bike coz of accident 5 days ago I'm feeling OK got slight injuries slight pain in head that's OK but I'm not able to taste anything I can't smell anything is that alright I'm irritated but also scared I'm l fine can I get back my senses I'm afraid please guide me

Hit the back of my head last week lost taste &smell.......My dr didn’t even know this could happen ......

I have the same problem caused by the same accident. Did you get your smell and taste back?? I’m so worried...

I suffered TMI from car wreck in 1976! Concussion didn't even merit special attention in those days. I was unconscious for 10 days and while I was in hospital afterwards I can remember putting salt on my ice cream then eating it. Taste and smell never came back, and phantom smells (glue used in model aircraft kits most recently) have become more frequent. Sorry to say that, but of course everybody is different. At least we're not alone - don't know why that should help but it does.

Has anyone heard of loss of smell and taste after having heat stroke. It happened 8 months ago and after the heat stroke two weeks later my smell was gone.. I would love to hear if this is possible. I have seen a ENT and was told I have a small retention cyst in my maxillary sinus but was told there is no way this could cause my loss of smell. so any one out there please let me know.

I understand the reason of loss of taste & smell after a skull fracture. But, how is it that a person can now eat spicy food when they could not before TBI?

Hi! I just recently passed out and had a skull fracture on the back of my skull down towards my neck. I now have no taste or smell for about a month 1/2 now and was wondering why?

They say people that can't eat spicy food is because they have heightened taste buds they are very sensitive to spices. So it's possible you have taste buds now but are not as heightened diminished a bit so spices dont effect them now after the concussion.

I have had three MTBIs: One in 2003, falling backward out of the bathtub, one in 2014, after tripping and falling backward in the driveway, and the worst one in 2016, when I tripped over some uneven pavement at work and fell flat on my face. That incident got me a broken nose (two places), gash across my nose, "road rash," a busted lip, black eyes, and a concussion with vestibular complications (like being unable to walk across a patterned carpet or turn my head without needing to throw up). They say that cumulative traumatic brain injuries, no matter how mild, are not good. I can vouch for that. My latest issue is smelling things that aren't there (phantosmia), that no one else can smell. This could be garbage, sewage, smoke, an electronic burning smell, hydraulic fluid, fresh paint, or just about anything. This is beyond frustrating and can be frightening. There is probably nothing that can be done about it. Learning to live with this new normal...

I totally feel for you, understand and identify.
I had a large brain menginoma resection, 3 months ago.
I can only smell someone’s
cigarette smoke. ( I don’t smoke)
I have a horrible taste in my mouth, all of the time.
I taste and smell plastic/ chemical.
My ENT and Brain surgeon said I have phantom smells.
I’m praying my senses come back.
You’re definitely not alone in this.

What does the smell, smell like? I smell a chlorine smell which was after i got chronic sinutisis.

I have had multiple TBI’s and am dealing with the same issues as you as well as vertigo, headaches, nausea, memory loss slurred/stuttered speech, brain fog, sensory overload. I can’t walk on or look at patterns or stripes without losing my balance and feeling sick. I just started vision therapy and the therapist said she can help me get back to normal. They specialize in treatIng TBI patients I’m hoping. I’ve tried everything else. I’ve been going for 2 months now and notice my eyes are getting stronger but they definitely don’t work together and I still have no peripheral vision. I’m starting peripheral exercises this week. My right eye has a slightly better peripheral than my left. My left eye focuses on near objects better than my right. They don’t track object together very well which causes nausea and pain. I’ve learned a lot about how my eyes have been affected since the TBI. Vision therapy is supposed to help regrow the neurons that have been broken.
its worth a try. Good luck.

I had all the vision therapy and it does help with balance nauseous tracking its brutal doing it makes you feel so lousy doing it you get better as you progress but I have found after two years out of physio I'm regressing with symptoms returning. So I'm thinking like all exercise you have to maintain visual exercises or you tend to regress. Would be curious if its happening to other people. You know they work hard to get you back to work then it's like you set it then forget it they go your capable of working now so your dismissed but your struggleing but working but you find your on this slow down hill me I took early retirement. Three hours of work exhaustion sets in then you struggle through rest of your day then go home to start it again the next day. Days off are to try to reenergize but your battery doesnt seem to have a full charge capacity it's like an old cell phone that needs to be charged constantly or it drains fast. But at least we function but like that old phone you get frustrated with I get frustrated at my life now but stay positive. Life is to short.

I hope you can improve that and feel much better with more energy, good vibes for you my dear.

A year ago woke up in a hospital the not knowing what had happened. A car accident apparently..the night before.
I hear a lot about losing sense of smell and taste a lot here.
I have exactly the opposite. It's like I've gone back to basics when your life would depend on your senses. I smell everything 1000 times more. Drives me crazy. I smell every plant, people, their hopefully good smells, but mostly the the bad ones. Can't be around of some my friends I used to hang out with..simply because they smell bad now. So bad, I'm about to puke.
I loved cooking and all the garlicky foods. If I have a tiny piece of garlic for example, I'll be smelling it on my skin and in my breath for 3 days after.
A lot of habits have changed. Heat drives me nuts. I turn into an animal again..with even more strong sense of smells and very primate urges. Weird weird weird...Tbi.
I don't remember a single episode from the accident, but whenever I'm in a situation with too many impulses around (sudden sound, movement etc), my whole buddy freezes.
And all that causes such a heavy fatigue.
I hope this ever stops and I can be a normal 36 years old woman again and have enough patience for my kiddies and friends.
And people around don't get that. I still have a big scar on my forehead from the accident. But people think that's about it.

Have them run blood tests for hormone levels. Your pituitary gland and your thalamus secrete a lot of hormones. It really sounds like they are not functioning properly in your brain they are almost side by side do some reading about them. If it's that they can balance your levels in your blood . Here's hoping.

My daughter had a concussion can't work allergic to all scents and lots of food allergies. She is on permanent disability now. She was becoming a veterinarian now will never work but she copes with it and is alive real tough kid dont know how she deals with it.

My boyfriend has had multiple concussions, the last of which was due to football. He hasn’t been the same since. His sense of smell and taste is at the point where he can really only identify things with a rich scent or smell. He takes longer to process things said than the average person does. It’s heartbreaking seeing someone change like that. His heart is set on football, it’s his passion. He loves it. But it doesn’t love him back.

What is his sleeping pattern.

Ten years ago a car ran a red stoplight and hit my SUV on the passenger side. The low hit flipped my SUV several times, spinning it like a toy top before it landed on all 4 wheels facing the opposite direction of where I was going. That was the day I should have died. Sometimes you get lucky. I walked away without a single cut or bruise. It never occurred to me that I had anything more than sore muscles. I was more concerned about picking up my daughter from school (I didn't know her name). A co-worker came to take me home,we stopped to get food and I noticed that it had no taste or smell. I got a call from the chiropractor office asking if I was bringing the kids in for their appointment. I explained about the accident & that I couldn't get there. Two minutes later the Chiropractor calls back, he is sending someone to get me. He does x-rays & compares with ones he took 2 months ago. Damage to C-1, C-2(Atlas,Axis. Brain stem), L-5,S-1 & tailbone.
He has known me for several years & said that I was behaving differently. I was stubborn & just wanted to go home,not to the ER.
Four months later I was still in constant back pain, not sleeping & assumed that was the reason why I couldn't remember things. I couldn't count, struggled with reading ,typing & writing. My taste in music used to be 80's pop or New Age meditation but now I was listening to hard-core rap & swearing constantly.
All emotional control was gone. It took 5 years of various doctors to piece together what was going on with me. I never thought that I was unconscious after the crash. Looking at 911 calls,police record,ambulance records shows 7-14 minutes that I can't recall. I never heard sirens.
Life is different now. The force of impact combined with the spinning caused many neurotransmitters to snap, others shifted so I get the wrong information. I drink a liquid but my brain tells me that it is "sawdust". I know that I have 2 younger siblings but have no memories of growing up with them. I can't identify female faces( including my daughter or my Mom). My quality of life will never be much more than what it is now. I require some adult supervision because I don't think to eat or drink. All parts of my brain were affected in some way but my family still loveds & supports me, even when I don't succeed. I'm 54 yrs old but behave like I am 20 sometimes. Just keep taking one day at a time. :)

I recently had a TBI from a fall on a segway reading this was like I wrote it I have had such a terrible time explaining to anyone what's going on 55 as well and feel like I have turned back to the 70's I am stimulated by bright colors I started creating art, had a change in music taste as well ..... my smell is 99.9% gone and taste is so cross-wired eating has become a chore, hearing is about 80% gone this is my 10 months since my accident. and it appears the old me is gone forever and I am really struggling. ON a good note my work an attention to detail and ability to learn and understand have increased two fold ..... I really miss the old me wished there was hope out there so I got hearing aids and everyday I struggle to find just a glimmer of the old me.

I feellike I am the odd ball out. Sense I hit my head I am the opposite of most of the people here and would give anything to have the lack of smell. Instead I got increased sense of smell to the point it is a point of annoying. I smell food three rooms over. My migraine triggers are often so easily triggered. My sense of hearing ..yeup that too.
My sense of taste is unaffected. My family cant cook foods half the time without windows open an me throwing up.

Hi I haven't felt like I wanted to end it all but I know how you feel. I had a series of TBI with severe bleeds resulting in total loss of smell and taste. I have continual dry eye and running nose.
I have had CT and MRIs which revealed nothing only the bleeds. This was 5yrs ago so I doubt it will come back now. It really gets me down but I have to make the best of it. Please ask for help nothing like this worth taking your life for. The fact you are talking about this shows you want and need some support. Speak to your partner or close friend and know that your not suffering alone. It's little consolation I know but we understand.

Let me say that I understand your displeasure. I feel down the stairs going to do laundry. I was life flighted and do not remember 6 days of my life. Two fractures to my skull. I had always had super smell and taste before. It will be two years that I have nothing in smell and taste other than the metallic taste they talk about (crap). I don't want to die but I miss me so much that each day is harder and harder to choke down food that I loved so much. I pray that they will find a way to help us. My anger has taken all the people that I had in my life out. It hurts me they do not understand I am not here anymore. Please know that you are not alone and that we will find away to excel in something new. I swim a lot it helps me forget and feels great. 100% pain free. I send you all my kindness and prayers.

I had a brain injury for 5 years cannabis pure indica is the life saver. It helps with the big 4 - pain, insomnia, loss of appetite and depression I feel like I have been granted a second chance or a second life.