Bad Metallic Taste After Bariatric Surgery

Medically Reviewed by Katelyn J. Mock, US-Registered Dietician (R.D.)

One of our clients asks: Anyone else experiencing a metallic taste in mouth after weight loss surgery?

Reasons for Metallic Taste in Mouth Post WLS

In a more general sense, there are several reasons for this metallic taste in mouth like sinus issues, pregnancy, food allergies or even poor oral health.

This is very normal and goes away in time. A lot of patients have complained about it when drinking water. It is recommended to try infusing water with lemon, limes, cucumber, strawberry, and mint, etc. – Katelyn JM (US-RD Nutritionist)

Dysgeusia or Parageusia is associated with this condition where the taste buds are distorted. It is a serious condition because an aversion to many foods can lead to malnutrition after gastric bypass or sleeve surgery.

Caution- This condition can be diagnosed only after all lab results have been thoroughly reviewed and, your Primary Care Physician (PCP) is sure that this isn’t a temporary reaction to a medicine you are taking. [1]Taste Changes after Bariatric Surgery: What to Do when Your Patients Cannot Stand the Taste of Their Food
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    • If you are less than three months out from gastric sleeve or bypass surgery, it is likely to be related to zinc deficiency.
    • It may also be related to your new vitamin/mineral routine.

You can add some fruit such as peeled bananas, peaches, nectarines to help increase your complex carbs which can put ketosis at bay.

In a study, it was reported that most of the RNY (Gastric Bypass) patients developed an aversion to meat products.[2]Taste, smell and appetite change after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery
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HealthLine[3]Kristine Vanijcharoenkarn, reviewed by Saurabh Sethi. HealthLine, “What Causes a Metallic Taste in My Mouth?” 2018
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has given the following ways to reduce the effect of this condition.

    • Sugarfree gum/mint
    • Brush your teeth
    • Stay hydrated
    • Say no to smoking
    • Try to cook in non-metallic utensils

This Post Addresses


  1. BT Online Editor, Bariatric Times. “Taste Changes after Bariatric Surgery: What to Do when Your Patients Cannot Stand the Taste of Their Food.”
  2. Graham L, Murty G, Bowrey DJ. “Taste, smell and appetite change after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgeryObesity Surgery 2014; 24(9): 1463-1468
  3. Kristine Vanijcharoenkarn, reviewed by Saurabh Sethi. HealthLine, “What Causes a Metallic Taste in My Mouth?” 2018

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  1. Hi Steve,
    Obviously, I can not speak for every patient that has had surgery, but I have not known a patient that experienced the metallic taste in their mouth years after surgery. It typically resolves within the first 6-12 months after the date of your surgery. It is good to know that a metallic taste in your mouth can also be the result of something unrelated to surgery such as not drinking enough water, certain medications, chemotherapy/radiation, sinus issues, poor oral health, and other causes. Katelyn (Registered Dietitian)

  2. Hi, my mom had gastric bypass in November and she has a bad taste in her mouth and tried putting lemon in her water and sticking on mints and brushing her teeth but nothing is helping her so is there anything you can recommend?

  3. There are likely to be one of three things that could be occurring in this situation. The first being that she is dehydrated. Not knowing your mom’s height, weight, starting weight, etc. it is difficult to give a recommended amount of fluid she should be consuming daily, but a good gauge is that urine should be light yellow in color to clear.

    The next likely cause is that she may be in ketosis from consuming few carbohydrates after surgery. If she has been avoiding all carbohydrates like oatmeal, beans/legumes, fruit, potatoes, this could lead to something called ketosis. A sign of ketosis is bad breath. Incorporating small amounts of complex carbohydrates into her diet can alleviate this. Some examples of complex carbohydrates would be 1/3 cup of fat free refried beans, 1/3 cup fresh fruit, 1/3 cup of roasted or mashed potatoes, 1/3 cup oatmeal.

    The last most likely reason she could be experiencing bad breath is related to mineral deficiencies with Zinc, Copper, or Nickel. However, if she has been taking the recommended amount of vitamins/minerals for a Roux-en-y gastric bypass, this may be less likely.

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