Post viral loss or disruption of taste and smell has been a little ( a lot) more common than it used to be over the last two years! I have seen many of our patients at Desert Valley Chiropractic struggling with this. For anyone who has experienced this it is a really miserable and upsetting thing to deal with. Most people have been told to “give it time” many of which have given it months with very little improvement. However there ARE some proactive things you can do if you are struggling with the loss of your taste and smell! So this months biohack is: biohacking your smell and taste, recovery and healing from viral loss of taste and smell! You are not at the mercy of time and no answers, I am going to share with you what I have done myself as well as shared with my friends, family and our moon valley and Desert Valley Chiropractic community, to heal taste and smell issues.
- Physical Therapy for your Nose
Yes, it is true we can do P.T. for the nose! Or at least the nerves that are in charge of taste and smell. Smell comes largely from the nervous system via the olfactory nerve, taste has a strong link to smell. This strong nervous system connection is part of what ties scents so strongly to memories and that is what we are going to work with to rehab your poor nose and sense of smell!
Pick four scents that have different scent profiles and that you KNOW you could recognize
I used cloves, coffee, lemon essential oil, and ylang ylang essential oil. I will provide a link to some good essential oils to choose from in our Fullscript dispensary.
Gently smell each one and even if you get ZERO scent, which is how I was at first, imagine the scent, pretend you can smell it. Then move on to the next one until you have done this with all four scents. Keep practicing. I recommend not sniffing too deeply but more just gently smell like you would a flower or a perfume. Repeat this 3-4 times a day for 2-3 months or until your sense of smell and taste seems restored. You may notice your ability to smell certain scents comes in soon than the others. I could smell the cloves and coffee first. It also may come and go for a bit but gradually you should notice an overall improvement in being able to smell the four scents you have chosen as well as others.
A personal recommendation of mine would be to begin this when you are first diagnosed rather than to wait for the smell loss to occur. However even if your smell has been gone or disrupted for months this can still work for you!
Getting adjusted is another great way to aid in whole body healing! By getting adjusted you are reducing inflammation around the nerve roots and restoring proper motion and function to the joints in your spine. When it comes to your taste and smell these nerve roots live in your upper spine and inside the skull. Getting specific adjustments done to the upper neck, the occiput ( back of the head) and sinuses help to reduce some of the inflammation in this area and may benefit your healing process. Our specific and gentle activator adjustments are great for this. One of my goals is to help as many families in our north Phoenix, Moon Valley and greater Phoenix area experience the difference a gentle activator adjustment can make! I found I got better results with my smell training on days when I was adjusted. Call the office at 602-439-1515 if you need to get an adjustment.
Number three on our list is zinc! Zinc is an important mineral our body’s immune system uses to fight off viruses. A zinc deficiency can present with a loss of taste and smell as well as hair loss and hair thinning. During times of elevated stress, zinc is utilized at a much more rapid rate, increasing your dietary need for zinc.
The process of fighting off a particularly nasty virus can leave your body low in this important nutrient especially if you were a bit low or deficient in the first place. The benefits of zinc are vast. Zinc is involved in so many processes from modulating the immune system to supporting healthy hormone production. This is essential for the body to repair and heal. An imbalanced immune response is one of the number one causes of chronic inflammation. By helping to balance and stabilize the immune system, zinc also helps to drastically lower inflammation for many people. Chronic inflammation is one of the concerns in COVID recovery.
How do you test your zinc levels?
One of the simple and cost effective ways is the zinc sulfate taste test. All you do purchase a bottle of zinc tally, place a capful in your mouth, and observe the sensations in your mouth.
Below are the possible outcomes and indications:
You Notice No Metallic Taste: Zinc Deficiency
You Notice A Delayed Metallic Taste: Slight Zinc Deficiency
You Notice Slight Metallic Taste: Zinc Levels Are Adequate, But Could Be Higher
You Notice Very Strong Metallic Taste: You Likely Have Optimal Zinc Levels
When it comes to improving zinc levels in the body, supplementation is very helpful
The recommended daily allowance for zinc is between eight to eleven milligrams for most adults. However, for functional health most progressive nutritionists and doctors recommend between 20–40 mg/daily. You can use your results from the zinc sulfate test to determine how much supplemental zinc to consume. If you are experiencing an extreme loss of taste I still recommend trying this to see if you get results. If you feel the tally test is not working for you I recommend seeing a functional nutritional provider and getting a micronutrient panel ran.
For example, If your results indicate a slight or complete zinc deficiency, 40 mg daily is likely more suitable for you while 20 mg daily may be more suitable for someone who is trying to maintain optimal levels. Then test zinc levels on a weekly or monthly basis to see how you are improving. Again I recommend also working with a practitioner on this.
It is best to supplement with zinc with meals.
We also carry high quality zinc supplements in the clinic.
4. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic dental treatment that apparently dates back about 3,000 years. It basically involves swishing a small amount of oil in your mouth for a short time, then spitting it out. The idea is that the oil pulls out bacteria and other toxins that hide within your mouth.
If the thought of swishing a tablespoon of oil for 20 minutes sounds difficult, take things slowly. For example, try a teaspoon instead and do it for only five minutes for the first few days. Then when you’re used to that, try a little more oil, or increase the duration. It is important to spit the oil out and not swallow it as you have used it to pull toxins from the mouth. I do this sometimes while I am putting on makeup or doing another activity where I don’t have to talk.
Oil pulling has been attributed to a number of benefits that include whiter teeth, healthier gums, clearer sinuses, stronger jaw, and a decrease in bad breath and gingivitis. I think it is helpful in the recovery of your taste and smell by reducing inflammation and toxins in the mouth and clearing the sinuses.
It’s important to keep in mind that oil pulling is not meant to replace regular dental hygiene.
5. Vitamin D
You know I LOVE vitamin D!! Test your vitamin D and work on getting your vitamin D levels to about 50. Vitamin D has shown ongoing benefits for protecting us against viruses and many other diseases.
The active form of Vitamin D plays a key role in maintaining immune balance and regulation. This is important for your body to heal. D3 is an immunomodulator targeting various immune cells. Several studies have linked inadequate vitamin D levels to a higher susceptibility of immune-mediated disorders including chronic infections and autoimmune diseases. My opinion is this will hold true for COVID healing as well so optimizing your vitamin D levels will be beneficial to post viral healing.
Getting a vitamin D test and looking at that actual number is a great place to start. Vitamin D is not part of a standard CBC but can easily be added by your doctor and often even self requested at some labs. I recommend always asking for it. You can also use an easy at home test like Omega Quant and do it yourself with a quick finger stick and mail it in with no additional lab fees. We are carrying these tests at the office, and we have all done them ourselves you can ask any of us questions about it! We also carry high quality vitamin D supplements at the clinic.
6. My favorite supplements for overall healing and repair MitoCore, Phytocore, and D Hist
Three of my favorite vitamins for general health and illness prevention as well as recovery after an illness are all by Orthomolecular. This is a high quality line of supplements only available through a doctors office. You can order them through our FullScript dispensary. They are Mitocore , phytocore and D-hist. I recommend these along with the vitamin D and zinc mentioned above.
- Recharges Cellular Energy Production
- Supports Immune Function
- Increases Antioxidant Protection
- Supports Detoxification Capacity
- Provides Key Micronutrients to Optimize Daily Nutritional Intake
Mitocore is an incredibly well rounded multi vitamin it includes:
Acetyl L-carnitine (ALC) an amino acid that is associated with increased energy production. It has been shown to increase the flow of free fatty acids, the fuel source for mitochondria, resulting in a significant boost in energy production. Studies have also shown that ALC supports the immune response by protecting CD4 and CD8 immune cells and by supporting the reproduction of lymphocytes for the identification and elimination of invading antigens.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is an antioxidant that scavenges free radicals and promotes liver detoxification. NAC has been shown to increase production of glutathione, an important antioxidant found in the body. In addition to its antioxidant activity, glutathione boosts the immune system by activating T-cells, helping to maintain immune balance.
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a potent antioxidant and also plays a synergistic role in recharging other antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, CoQ10 and glutathione. Lipoic acid also plays a key role in detoxification. Studies have shown that a combination of ALA and acetyl L-carnitine helps minimize oxidative damage. Oxidative stress causes damage to DNA, RNA, proteins, mitochondrial membranes, and lipids and contributes to the functional decline of mitochondria, cells, tissues, and eventually organs such as the brain.
To read more click here
- Boosts Liver Health
- Supports Phase I and II Liver Detoxification
- Increases the Body’s Production of Bile
- Supports Immune Balance in Hypersensitive Individuals
The human body is exposed to a wide variety of toxins on a daily basis. The liver is the body’s main detoxification organ, and provides enzyme systems that safely process and remove toxins. The specialized blend of nutrients in PhytoCore has been shown to support Phase I and II liver detoxification and boost liver health which is important in detoxification and healing.
To read more click here
- Supports Immune Balance in Hypersensitive Individuals
- Supports Sinus and Respiratory Health
- Promotes Normal Viscosity of Mucus
- Clears Nasal Passages
Natural D-Hist® is a targeted blend of flavonoids, antioxidants, proteolytic enzymes and botanicals designed to provide comprehensive support for seasonal challenges caused by common environmental allergens. The formula includes quercetin, bromelain, stinging nettles leaf, and N-acetyl cysteine. The powerful combination actively promotes healthy nasal and sinus passages for individuals with elevated histamine and respiratory irritation.
Dr. Katherine practices and co owns Desert Valley Chiropractic in the beautiful North Phoenix neighborhood of Moon Valley with her husband Dr. David Iacuone. Desert Valley is an award-winning practice with multiyear “Best of The Valley” awards. Dr. Katherine Iacuone has won the “Three Best” award multiple times and Dr. David Iacuone is listed as a Who’s Who “Top Doctor”. The practice is accepting new patients. To make an appointment call us at 602-439-1515 or reach out through the contact submission on our website at Desert Valley Chiropractic
Information is shared for educational purposes only. The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition they may have, and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions. The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease.
You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.