Mysterious bitter taste in my mouth turns out to have simple solution

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When in practice, I get to see a fair number of individuals who have traditionally perplexing health issues. Over the past couple of weeks I experienced a mysterious issue of my own. And I had no idea what was causing it. The symptoms? A bitter, metallic-like taste in my mouth, but only when I ate. Pretty much everything I ate would bring on this symptom, though it would fade quite quickly after eating.

When I have experiences such as this, it’s not my way generally to panic or over-analyse (as perhaps evidenced by the fact that I have had only one doctor’s consultation in the last 20-odd years). I am agreat believer in the self-healing powers of the body, and that most things are self-righting. Sometimes, the best thing to do about an illness or symptom is nothing at all.

Sure enough, after about a week, the symptom disappeared. And I thought nothing more of it, until this morning, when I think I accidentally unearthed what caused my taste-related symptoms. I came across this in a US on-line newspaper. It seems that the cause of my symptoms was pine nuts. Apparently, I was suffering from what is being termed ‘pine mouth’. Eating pines can lead to a bitter/metallic taste in the mouth that can last for days. No-one seems to know what, precisely, is causing the problem, though.

10 days ago I ate some pine nuts as part of salad I had made to accompany some barbeque food. Now I think back, it’s after that that my symptoms developed. I can’t be 100 per cent sure when they disappeared, but think it was the following Saturday (6 days later).

It occurs to me that pine nuts are a reasonably commonly-eaten food. I imagine, therefore, that ‘pine mouth’ is reasonably common. Until this morning, I honestly had not even heard of ‘pine mouth’. I’m hoping this blog might raise some awareness about this issue, and prevent any undue anxiety or needless consultations with healthcare practitioners.

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