Bitter Taste In Mouth

What Causes Bitter Taste Sensation?

Bitter taste sensation can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose bitter taste sensation, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "bitter taste sensation" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Malaria
  • Heartburn
  • Infectious Mononucleosis
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Jaundice
  • Liver Congestion
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Hepatitis

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
bags under eyes
onion intolerance
fatty food intolerance
frequent rotten egg burps
constant fatigue
meals worsen epigastric pain
itchy skin
regular unexplained vomiting
history of CFS diagnosis
recent onset nausea
enlarged liver
recent onset vomiting
... and more than 130 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of bitter taste sensation:
Cause Probability Status
Malaria 99% Confirm
Gallbladder Disease 28% Unlikely
Jaundice 22% Unlikely
Pancreatic Cancer 0% Ruled out
Heartburn 0% Ruled out
Liver Congestion 0% Ruled out
Hepatitis 0% Ruled out
Infectious Mononucleosis 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate mouth problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you ever have a bitter or sour taste in your mouth that is not caused by foods that you have eaten?
Possible responses:
→ No / rarely / don't know
→ Yes, sometimes a slight bitter/sour taste
→ Yes, often slightly bitter / sometimes significant
→ Yes, often a significant bitter/sour taste
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate slight bitter taste in mouth, bitter taste in mouth or significant bitter taste in mouth, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Diabetes Type II

The bitter taste experienced by a Diabetes patient may be due to diabetic damage to the tongue.  This 'phantom taste' may last until blood sugar levels have been normalized for a long time.

Heartburn / GERD / Acid Reflux

Reflux of acid, bile and/or gastric juices into the esophagus may cause a sour or bitter taste.

Hepatitis

Symptoms may include bad breath and bitter taste in the mouth.

Jaundice

Jaundice also suggests the following possibilities:

Cirrhosis of the Liver

Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and eyes that occurs when the diseased liver does not process enough bilirubin.

Malaria

Malaria can cause jaundice through the loss of red blood cells.

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