COVID-19 was diagnosed in a 20-year old woman. She said that it left her with an uncommon condition which makes food taste like garbage and sewage, almost one year after first being tested positive.

Natalia Cano from Mendham in New Jersey contracted coronavirus while working at a grocery store. She said that it changed her taste and smell completely.

She noticed after a couple of weeks that some things used to taste great suddenly tasted like ‘garbage’, ‘gasoline’, or’mold. This is parosmia. 

Natalia became disgusted by food and developed an eating disorder. 

After more than 10 years of recovery, she admitted that her condition is still affecting her and she does not know when it will improve.  

The video went viral quickly and gained millions of views within days. She was so emotional that she broke down on TikTok. 

COVID-19 was diagnosed in a 20-year old woman. She said that it left her with an uncommon condition which makes food taste like garbage and sewage, almost one year after first being tested positive.

Natalia Cano, from New Jersey, caught coronavirus in January 2021 while working in a food store

And she said it completely changed her sense of taste and smell

Natalia Cano (New Jersey) contracted the coronavirus during January 2021 work in a food shop. This virus completely affected her sense of smell and taste.

A few weeks after she recovered, she noticed that things that used to taste good started to taste like 'garbage,' 'gasoline,' or 'mold' - a condition called parosmia

After she had recovered for a few weeks, she began to notice that the things she used to enjoy tasted like garbage, gasoline, or mold. This is parosmia.

“I don’t think anybody understands the impact this has on your everyday life. She said that it wasn’t just the fact that food tastes bad, she also stated that it was sewage. 

‘It’s gasoline. It’s ammonia. It’s bitter. It’s mold. Think about what it would be like if your favorite foods were made into mold. This is even more. This is garbage and sewerage.

“Imagine that the worst smell you have ever smelled in all of your life. It’s everything.’

Natalia refers to a Healthline article on parosmia. It states that 50% of those suffering from the condition said their symptoms improved in three months.

‘[It can last]Between nine and six months. She stated, “I’m on month 10”.

Website states, “Parosmia is a condition that makes things we encounter everyday to smell strong and disagreeable.” 

‘People who have it can detect an odor that’s present – but the scent smells “wrong” to them. The pleasant smell of fresh baked bread may be overpowering, rotten or subtle.

Natalia stated in video that she has been to numerous doctors, had many tests performed and still doesn’t have a cure. 

Food became so disgusting to Natalia, that she said she developed an eating disorder and would throw up any time she tried to eat

Natalia found food so unpleasant that she began to throw up whenever she attempted eating.

She said she tries to eat two protein bars a day because 'sometimes it's the only things she can get down'

She explained that a few random foods still taste normal, like Arizona ice tea, Chai tea lattes, pulled pork sandwiches, strawberry yogurt, most dairy, Dr. Pepper, and candy

According to her, protein bars may be her only option. A few food items, such as Arizona ice-tea lattes, Chai tea lattes and Dr. Pepper still taste good, she explained.

She continued, “It was so bad that it was affecting my life, and I had gastritis. I could not eat for very long because of the vomiting, which was making me sick.”

I’m able to, yes, but it is severe. The ED doesn’t taste bad; it tastes like sewage.

It’s been ten months. [one]My doctor said that it was possible that it wouldn’t get better within one year. It’s still there, it just has to improve.

One-tenth of the respondents to our survey reported COVID. The cure isn’t available, and there is no research. All you can do is hope. “I’m eating every bite.

More than 10-months after she had COVID-19, she said she is still suffering from the condition, and she doesn't know if it's ever going to get better

She said that she still suffers from COVID-19 ten months after her surgery.

She told Buzzfeed that she will be undergoing repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), which is a noninvasive therapy that has been shown to help people with parosmia

Buzzfeed reported that she would be receiving repetitive transcranial magnet stimulation (rTMS) which is noninvasive therapy proven to aid parosmia patients.

People who undergo the therapy report recovering 80 per cent of their taste, according to Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed reports that people who go through the therapy experience a recovery of 80 percent in their taste.

Parosmia is a rare condition which affects the senses of smell and taste. How can it be treated? 

  • Parosmia can make things every day that are near you smell strongly and unpleasant.
  • People who have it can detect an odor that’s present – but the scent smells ‘wrong’ to them. The pleasant smell of fresh baked bread may be overpowering or rotten, instead of being subtle and sweet.
  • If your brain perceives strongly unpleasant smells, you may feel sick.
  • When your scent-detecting neurons, or olfactory sensors, have been affected by a virus or some other condition, parosmia can occur. These nerves line your nose, and teach your brain how smells are interpreted by your brain. The way your brain interprets smells is affected if these neurons are damaged 
  • Parasmia is treated by zinc, vitamin A, as well as antibiotics. It is possible for your neurons to heal themselves. As high as 60% of cases caused by infection of parosmia, the olfactory functions were restored after several years. 
  • Source: Healthline 

 

Natalia also gave viewers a glimpse into different food types and how they taste to her in another video. Natalia said that she consumes two protein bars per day as it is the only thing she has access to.

She said, “It doesn’t take many bites, but it has a lot protein so it is hard for me to stop eating it.”

She explained that a few random foods still taste normal, like Arizona ice tea, Chai tea lattes, pulled pork sandwiches, strawberry yogurt, most dairy, Dr. Pepper, and candy.

“In general, sweets taste less terrible to me. Still not great, but not actively gagging,” she said.

It is completely random. It’s impossible to follow any rules.

She said toothpaste tasted bitter and sour and that water was bad. 

Natalia revealed to Buzzfeed in an interview that her parosmia developed a few days after having recovered from COVID. But she was not the only one. 

A lot of people commented on her video, sharing their stories. And she found that many were also dealing with similar issues. 

She explained to the outlet that it was common for her to experience intense parosmia symptoms a few months or more after getting COVID.

“I didn’t know that!” [parosmia]I was experiencing an after-COVID syndrome until it became a symptom.

She told the magazine that she will be speaking with her doctor about undergoing repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in the next few weeks, which is normally a noninvasive therapy used to treat depression but has been shown to really help people with parosmia.

Buzzfeed reports that people who go through the therapy experience a return of 80 percent taste.

One final video was her conclusion:[My original video]It paid off tremendously. I was able to create and find a group of people with the same experience.