Are you pregnant and waking up feeling like you've been chewing on spare change overnight?
Some pregnant women experience a condition called dysguesia, or changes in the tastebuds, during pregnancy. Fortunately, this condition resolves after pregnancy and is basically harmless, but it can be annoying for a pregnant woman who is trying to eat right and maintain good dental hygiene and prevent cavities.
Dysguesia is distinct from the food cravings or food aversions that occur in pregnancy, when pregnant women seek out certain foods that they might not have liked in the past, or find that former favorite foods are unpalatable or taste strange. Most doctors and researchers believe that dysguesia in pregnancy is linked to changing hormones and water retention, which affect all the cells in the body, including the taste buds. In addition, some researchers think that there is an evolutionary element at work, and that the metal taste prompts pregnant women to seek out certain nutrients that they need to replace, such as sodium and calcium.
Women can manage dysguesia by chewing a sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless candies to mitigate the uncomfortable taste. And for those women who can tolerate spicier foods during pregnancy, the spiciness can offset the changes in taste.