8 reasons that cause a metallic taste in the mouth

Metallic taste in the mouth, also called dysgeusia or paresis, is a taste disorder in which a person feels a taste of metal when there is nothing in their mouth. It can sometimes occur along with fatigue, a constant feeling of fatigue and lack of energy.

The metallic taste on its own may be due to poor oral health. When a person experiences a feeling of tiredness and a metallic taste, potential causes can range from medication side effects to more serious underlying medical problems, such as kidney disease.

In this article, we discuss eight possible causes of metallic taste and fatigue, treatment options, and when to see a doctor.

the reasons

Dysgeusia is a persistent, unpleasant sensation in the mouth that causes a person to have a metallic, foul, or rancid taste. When something interferes with the normal functioning of the taste buds and the nerve pathways associated with them, it can lead to taste disturbance and fatigue.

Many other disorders and factors can cause these symptoms, including the following:

hay fever

Common symptoms of hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, include sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and a stuffy or runny nose. A person may have a metallic taste due to inflammation of the nasal passages and difficulty smelling food. Hay fever often causes you to feel tired and irritable.

Sinus, upper respiratory, and ear infections

Sinus, ear, and upper respiratory infections cause inflammation that can affect your sense of smell and taste. Other symptoms of sinus, upper respiratory tract and ear infections include headache, fever, nasal congestion, cough, sinus pressure, and ear pain.

Medication side effects

Some medications that can cause a metallic taste and fatigue include:

some antibiotics,
Iron supplements for iron deficiency anemia

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency can produce a variety of symptoms, including shortness of breath, tingling sensations in the hands and feet, yellowing of the skin, and mood swings. A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to fatigue because it can impair a person’s ability to produce red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. A severe deficiency can begin to affect the nerves, which can lead to a metallic taste in the mouth.


A metallic taste in the mouth is a common complaint during the first trimester of pregnancy. Many pregnant women also experience fatigue. The body’s hormones fluctuate during pregnancy. This fluctuation can affect the senses, which can cause certain foods to be craved and cause certain foods or smells to appear disgusting. Women can also experience headaches, dizziness, and morning sickness during pregnancy.

Kidney failure

When the kidneys are not working properly, waste products can build up in the blood. This buildup can cause fatigue and a metallic taste in your mouth.
Besides a metallic taste and fatigue, common symptoms of kidney failure can include body aches, swelling, and difficulty breathing. In some cases, a person may experience these symptoms due to kidney damage from poisoning. For example, lead poisoning damages the kidneys and can cause indigestion and fatigue.

Central nervous system disorders

Taste buds send signals to the brain via cranial nerves. Injury to the central nervous system, such as stroke, head trauma, or Bell’s palsy, can cause taste disturbances accompanied by fatigue. Other symptoms, such as confusion, vision problems, headache, and drooling, may also appear.

Cancer treatment

Up to 86% of people undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy (particularly in the head and neck area) or both for cancer treatment reported changes in taste. These changes are temporary, and your sense of taste should eventually return to normal. A variety of expert advice is available to help people undergoing cancer treatment enjoy food as naturally as possible. Fatigue is the most common side effect of cancer treatments that include chemotherapy, radiotherapy or biological therapy.

home remedies

The following home remedies may help relieve a metallic taste:

Eat citrus fruits or drink juices such as orange or lemon juice
Sucking lemon candy before meals
Avoid using metal kitchen utensils
Drink herbal tea
eat yogurt
stay well hydrated
Cleaning the teeth and tongue before meals
Rinse your mouth with salt water, baking soda, or an antibacterial mouthwash before eating.

When do you consult a doctor?

Taste disturbances can cause a person to eat more or less or consume too much sugar or salt in their diet. These changes in diet can cause or exacerbate other health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Anyone with a metallic taste and fatigue should see a doctor to determine the underlying cause and the best treatment.


A metallic taste and fatigue can be temporary side effects of medication or pregnancy symptoms. It can also be the result of a more serious medical condition. Often, treating the underlying medical problem can resolve the symptoms. Anyone with a metallic taste and fatigue should see a doctor for a diagnosis.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In any case, the information provided cannot replace the advice of a health professional.

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