Changes in the nature of the body cannot be avoided when one turns pregnant. Some lucky ones sail through the nine months with ease but most women have had to adjust to the changes be it big or small. This one to be discussed is associated with taste. Women experience a change in taste, sometimes even without having any food. Metallic, salty, burnt, rancid, and foul are the tastes reported over time out of which the metallic is the most happening one. So, experts decided to term it medically and it is called dysgeusia. Sounds strange, right? This happens to most women during the first trimester of pregnancy and settles down with time. The explanation given for how it feels like is - having a penny in the mouth or chewing on an aluminum foil. What makes this happen? Let's find out.
The levels of hormones in the body of a pregnant woman rise and fall quickly, especially during the first trimester, to make the body ready enough to accommodate the growing baby. There are many hormones associated but estrogen is the one blamed for the change in taste. Due to this, the preferences for foods are affected. A sweet tooth might not like to have anything sweet and might always go for something spicy. Such bizarre changes take place.
Link between taste and smell
For a normal human being, in reality, the taste that is perceived by the tongue is the smell of the dish. The olfactory nerves help the numerous taste buds to detect the taste. The sense of smell is very much high for a carrying woman and so this affects the taste in an adverse manner. If a smell feels disgusting, the chances are higher for that person to have a metallic taste in the tongue.
Retention of water
The intake of water by a pregnant woman is almost double than a normal person to keep the body hydrated. This most probably can lead to water retention in the tongue. Water might taste metallic due to various reasons. The common one is the presence of water contaminants like iron, manganese, zinc, and copper. Another can be due to the low level of pH.
Intake of supplements
Women are always suggested by doctors to have supplements during the course of pregnancy to compensate for the deficient nutrients in the body. Prenatal vitamins might contain copper, zinc, or chromium leading to the metallic taste. Iron and calcium supplements are also responsible for this. It depends from person to person. The taste must fade away as the body process the supplements but if it lingers on for long, just check back with your doctor about the dosage.
Poor oral hygiene
Brushing and flossing twice a day is a must. Avoiding this can lead to problems such as gingivitis, periodontitis and tooth infection. It can affect the gums too. These infections tend to generate the metallic taste and can be cleared up with a visit to the doctor.
Other speculated reasons
People feel that dysgeusia prevents a woman from eating unwanted stuff, thus protecting the baby from potential harm. Some others consider it a good sign that the mother is having enough intake of iron, sodium, and calcium. A natural cause that is usually talked about is that the production of toxins by the lymph glands to protect the fetus.
Whatever the cause may be, the metallic taste one experiences during pregnancy is nothing much to be worried about unless it affects the intake of food largely. Just consult your doctor in such a situation, otherwise, just let that go and enjoy your pregnancy phase.