Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility 2017 02 01() doi 10.5056/jnm16132
Patients with gastroparesis and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) often report decreased enjoyment when eating. Some patients remark that food does not smell or taste the same. To determine if taste and/or smell disturbances are present in patients with gastroparesis and/or GERD and relate these to gastrointestinal symptom severity.
Patients with gastroparesis and/or GERD completed questionnaires evaluating taste and smell (Taste and Smell Survey [TSS]), Patient Assessment of Upper Gastrointestinal Symptom Severity Index (PAGI-SYM), and demographics. TSS questioned the nature of taste/smell changes and the impact on quality of life. PAGI-SYM was used to calculate Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index (GCSI) and heartburn and regurgitation (HB/RG) score.
Seventy-six subjects were enrolled: healthy controls (n = 13), gastroparesis alone (n = 30), GERD alone (n = 10), and both gastroparesis and GERD (n = 23). Taste and smell disturbances were higher in patients with gastroparesis, GERD and both gastroparesis and GERD compared to healthy controls. Taste and smell abnormalities were significantly correlated (r = 0.530, P < 0.001). Taste score was strongly correlated with HB/RG score (r = 0.637, P < 0.001) and with GCSI (r = 0.536, P < 0.001). Smell score was also strongly correlated to HB/RG score (r = 0.513, P < 0.001), and GCSI (r = 0.495, P < 0.001). Conclusions
Taste and smell abnormalities are prominent in gastroparesis and GERD patients. Abnormalities in taste and smell are significantly correlated with both gastroparesis and GERD symptom severity. Awareness of this high prevalence of taste and smell dysfunction among patients with gastroparesis and GERD may help to better understand the food intolerances these patients often have.