Taste buds and mood

Remember when the classic doctor's visit began with "stick out your tongue?"

"A Taste of Depression" describes research that may reveal underlying mechanisms of depression and help determine what medicines may work better for each individual.

This has obvious implications for eating disorder research. Could the loss or overactivity of the sense of taste be a contributing factor, a result, or could they feed one another? Could this test help diagnose EDs? Could the better understanding of serotonin and norepinephrine function in depression lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of more mental illnesses? Could better depression treatment lead to underemployed clinicians who would then take on eating disorders?

Your thoughts?


  1. What they already know and whether the folks treating ED's are sharing may be 2 different topics. One book,Stop Gaining Weight by Dr. Laura Pawlak, offers the explanations for gain which in turn explains how the opposite can affect us. It walks us through what our brain responds to and why deprivation or too much of a certain food doesn't work. She addresses depression and mood swings.
    When I read about what research has found, from simple stuff like taking zinc to restore the health of taste buds, to the more individual treatments which would respect a persons different body chemistry, I feel that we have a mish mosh of treatment. The treatment center my d attended for one week as an OP never told her to take a vitamin or that food could restore her health! This is their specialty yet they failed to give her the basic info. Why must we all be treated in such a condescending way, as if we won't get it? Maybe they don't know, a very real but scary possibilty. My own endocrinologist did NOT knpow what dose of iron I need to take to restore my iron. I TOLD him what works and how it's important to take with OJ so it's better absorbed. Duh? My issue is that he should have known this stuff and it angers me that he didn't because this is what he's paid for! Or is for writing prescriptions, I forget?

    Many of the parents who are merely lay people have more information about ED's due to their passion to stop this disease. They know about connections to different diseases such as Panda's/strep and autism. Heck, anytime a parent has a question it's often brainstormed with others. We certainly SEE the connections. I feel we offer valid research just by experience. MY daughter's depression healed! She has 'normal' days where she might feel down but she's now in charge.

    What would happen if we USED what we knew? What would happen if everyone understood what was essential for our brain to be healthy and used that info on a recovery path. One young woman who was struggling shared with me that her magnesium was so low that she needed a shot. Afterwards she no longer felt compelled to cut! To me this is big and I share it when I can. We need to continue to network so that this kind of info can be shared. I made it a point to insist my child eat a banana or potato, for potassium and KEEP it down. No, not rocket science, just common sense when one is fighting a disease that has deprived them of nutrients. We NEED more to replace them and to heal. I was straightforward with my child regarding her very real NEED for certain fats in order to heal.Your flippin brain NEEDS it. She heard. I insisted on vitamins to help her during recovery. There was trial and error along the way while she learned what worked for her. We have to listen and feel our own inner changes and modify it for ourselves. She knew I wasn't trying to own her but that I was going to guide her back if she'd allow me to. Now she guides herself.
    I really hadn't concerned myself enough when she was a runner and needed an excellent diet in order to put such physical stress on her body. The H/S did empathize carbs and pasta dinners the night before a race. Still, our growing and learning kids really need to have well nourished brains in order to think and stay well. Allowing for a small amount to get out of whack can set the ball rolling in the wrong direction. Re-balancing takes time. It requires inner work using affirmations or meditation to weed out the negative and false messages that have a strange ability to hide or hang in there waiting for a slip. Is this the brains strength or weakness? If the message is good it's clearly a strength!
    Now, aren't you so glad you asked for my thoughts?

  2. "Now, aren't you so glad you asked for my thoughts?"


  3. Hmmm...

    When I was severely depressed and in the hospital because of it, I noticed that foods had no taste. I didn't want to eat because it felt like I was eating kindergarten paste (and yes, I can really make that comparison).

    The first food I remember eating and tasting in the hospital- that is now one of my favorites- was pineapple. I want to look that up, see the nutrient composition, see what enzymes and minerals, etc, it may have.

    I think you're onto something. As usual. ;)

  4. I was considering reading the "taste buds" article when I wandered over to the comments page and something flipped me out--PINEAPPLE.

    When I was deep into my ED & even moreso, SERIOUSLY depressed, pineapple became one of my absolute favorite foods; not only because it was "safe," but also because it tasted INCREDIBLE when even my favorite foods didn't really hold that much interest.

    Hmmm...very very interesting...I would never have thought of this as meaning anything at all (other than loving pineapple) except that, apparently, my experience is not unique!

    I think I'll go read that article now!


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