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Old 05-30-2015, 10:53 PM
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Why have I never had an ice cream headache?


So I'm listening to a comic go on about "brain freeze," and I don't really get it, because I've never had an ice cream headache. It's not for lack of eating ice cream. I love the stuff, plus frozen drinks, including virgin daiquiris being my drink of choice when I'm the designated driver (or pregnant). I also like fluffy, 500 calorie ice cream coffee drinks, and Popsicles, and various other kid-type "frozen confections."

It's also not for being resistant to headaches. My migraines are the stuff of legend. Eating cold things is just not a trigger.

Why is that? Anyone else never (literally NEVER) get them? is it something about the way we eat ice cream?
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
So I'm listening to a comic go on about "brain freeze," and I don't really get it, because I've never had an ice cream headache. It's not for lack of eating ice cream. I love the stuff, plus frozen drinks, including virgin daiquiris being my drink of choice when I'm the designated driver (or pregnant). I also like fluffy, 500 calorie ice cream coffee drinks, and Popsicles, and various other kid-type "frozen confections."

It's also not for being resistant to headaches. My migraines are the stuff of legend. Eating cold things is just not a trigger.

Why is that? Anyone else never (literally NEVER) get them? is it something about the way we eat ice cream?
My Ex-FIL has also never head one*.

Speaking of migraines, I get awful, debilitating ones as well. Sometimes if I'm really caught in a cycle and my meds aren't doing the trick, a big bowl of ice cream helps. I figure the brain freeze is helping to knock down the swelling from the inside. I'm not sure if it makes a difference, but ice packs don't help at all with my migraines. Really, when they're that bad, Imitrex is my go to.


*I also have a friend who's never had deja-vu.
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:05 PM
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I suspect that an experiment could be put together to test this...but there are certain moral qualms...

(Although we should always remember with astonished respect the Doper who submitted himself to waterboarding...)

I think it is unlikely that you don't have the same set of nerves in the pleura (?) surrounding your brain that most of the rest of us have. Have you ever had a solid knock on the head? Hitting the side of the head against the floor can produce the most astonishing pain. This is approximately the same deal: the inside lining of the skull is really rich in sensory nerves.

Anyway, rejoice! It's like someone who's never had a toothache or an ingrown toenail. Most of the rest of us have, but jolly nice for those who haven't! We can only envy!
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:54 PM
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I think it is unlikely that you don't have the same set of nerves in the pleura (?) surrounding your brain that most of the rest of us have.
Pleura is around your lungs, meninges is the area around your brain (hence meningitis). But an ice cream headache from what I can tell is constriction of blood vessels in your mouth, referring pain up to the top of your head. Migraines some how play into it, but I'm not sure how.
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:58 PM
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I never get brain freeze. I do get horrible migraines. I don't have a cite, but I read somewhere years ago that people who get migraines tend to not be as supseptible to brain freeze/ice cream headaches.
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:24 PM
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I too have never had an ice cream headache. I actually never get headaches either. When I'm tense I get a sore stomach. If I get bad news I lose my appetite in an instant, even mid-mouthful.

I imagine an ice cream headache is something like eating something cold when you've got an exposed nerve in your tooth - now that I can relate to.

Oh, edited to add, I wolf down ice cream pretty quick, so I don't think it's the way we eat it.

Last edited by Cara mel; 05-30-2015 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:04 AM
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Hold something cold (ice cube, popcicle) to the top of your mouth as long as you can stand it. See if it happens. Remedy by warming up the area again.
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:11 AM
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I've never gotten brain freeze. I have a very high, narrow upper palette, so maybe the ice cream doesn't really hit it. I don't get migraines.
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:17 AM
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I've also never had an ice cream headache.

I usually have a tension headache, and have a history of intense migraines, though recently I've been experiencing auras instead. And I love eating/drinking anything ice-cold.
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Why is that? Anyone else never (literally NEVER) get them? is it something about the way we eat ice cream?
Not only have I never had one, it is something I've only read about and only in English. "Damn that's too cold!" for a moment, yes... but "my head hurts cos I ate ice cream" is in the realm of what are you talking about.

I'm not sure if it's something lost in translation in the descriptions, or as you say, it's got to do with how we eat it. Perhaps it's the difference between "eating" and "snorting", or perhaps people are drawing correlations between two unrelated things. It could be your version of "don't sleep in an air current"
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:33 AM
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I don't have a cite, but I read somewhere years ago that people who get migraines tend to not be as supseptible to brain freeze/ice cream headaches.
I've never had a migraine or brain freeze.

Any loss of control with brain freeze? What if you're driving while having an iced drink and it hits?
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:01 AM
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"I don't get headaches. I'm a carrier."
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:27 AM
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Brain freeze is brief and not really painful like a headache, it's more like a prolonged shiver that feels kind of sharp and cold.
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:09 PM
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Brain freeze is brief and not really painful like a headache, it's more like a prolonged shiver that feels kind of sharp and cold.
That's not how mine feels. It's intense stab of pain, right in the middle of the forehead. It last for about 5 seconds.
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:03 PM
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That's not how mine feels. It's intense stab of pain, right in the middle of the forehead. It last for about 5 seconds.
Mine is similar, except it's usually on the right side of my head, just above my ear. Fie seconds is about right, though. It's not incapacitating, but it sure is freaking annoying.

Very much preferable to migraines, though.
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:10 PM
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That's not how mine feels. It's intense stab of pain, right in the middle of the forehead. It last for about 5 seconds.
Mine is similar, except it's usually on the right side of my head, just above my ear. Fie seconds is about right, though. It's not incapacitating, but it sure is freaking annoying.

Very much preferable to migraines, though.
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Old 05-31-2015, 02:22 PM
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Wow, all of you are lucky -- the never experienced it people and the five seconds of pain people. I get a severe ice cream headache every time I drink a frozen drink, and frequently when I eat ice cream. It is extremely painful, and lasts much longer than five seconds. It feels like I'm being stabbed in the head. I just had one of my favorites, a frozen iced mango, yesterday, and the experience was not pleasant (but still worth it). It usually comes on after the first few sips, lasts a minute or two, and only happens once. After I let it subside, I'm able to continue drinking or eating with only minor discomfort.

If you figure out why you don't get them, let me know. I'm hoping we can come up with a cure.

Last edited by SpoilerVirgin; 05-31-2015 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 05-31-2015, 02:43 PM
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I should have added that it only happens to me if I consume the cold drink/ice cream too quickly.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:01 PM
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That's not how mine feels. It's intense stab of pain, right in the middle of the forehead. It last for about 5 seconds.
Hmm, I would call it discomfort rather than pain. I guess if everyone is feeling something different it may be that some people don't even realise they're experiencing it.
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:01 PM
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Heh! What I'm describing, at least, is PAIN!

On the scale of one frowny face to ten frowny faces...five or six. Very, very similar to the sharp pain you can get when you fall and bang the side of your skull against a hard floor.

(These two kinds of pain are so similar, this is what leads me to think it's a similar disturbance of the nerve-heavy lining of the brain. Meninges.)
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:17 AM
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Why is that? Anyone else never (literally NEVER) get them? is it something about the way we eat ice cream?
I didn't even know that such a thing as "ice cream headache" existed
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:36 AM
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I've never had it either. For the longest time, I thought people were using it to exaggeratedly say, "Wow, my mouth is cold!"

Last edited by MoonMoon; 05-31-2015 at 07:36 AM. Reason: missed a word, whoopsie
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:55 AM
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I get it when I bite directly into something cold with my front teeth. It sends a chill bordering on pain through my whole head. It's not quite like an actual headache - more like hitting a nerve.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:03 AM
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I've never had an icecream headache. I've assumed it's because even if I consider a quart a single serving, I consume it piecemeal.
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Old 05-31-2015, 05:43 PM
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Never had ice-cream headache, get occasional migraines.

I assumed it was because of how I eat ice cream: slowly, in small licks, savouring it. I don't think I've ever taken a big bite of ice cream, so no big lump of freezing stuff is hitting the roof of my mouth. The one time my kid got brain freeze, she'd just taken a huge bite.
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:04 PM
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I've never had this and it doesn't seem to be a thing in Britain. I am wondering if US freezers are habitually kept at a lower temperature.
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:27 PM
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That wouldn't explain slurpees and freezees: the freezing temperature of water is the same pretty much everywhere.
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:30 PM
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That wouldn't explain slurpees and freezees: the freezing temperature of water is the same pretty much everywhere.
True nuff.
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:32 PM
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Yeah, "headache" is a misnomer because it's not really like your traditional headache. You may have had a mild one and never known it. For me, it's experienced in the top, back of my head as a sharp pressure that seems to last longer than it does-- 5 to 10 seconds, max. You can tell it's related to whatever cold substance was in your mouth, and you definitely know not to eat/drink any more of it until the pain is gone.
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:01 PM
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Never had one either, I was always smart enough to eat it slowly.
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:07 PM
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My wife, who has never gotten brain freeze, attributes it to being the next evolutionary step on the road to Homo Superior.
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:50 PM
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I also have never had a brain-freeze headache.

But if I consume a Slushie too quickly, my throat will feel like it is closing up a bit, and it HURTS LIKE HELL.

After about 15 seconds or so, my throat warms back up and the pain stops, but I am very careful to back off when I feel my throat starting to react to the cold drink.
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:08 AM
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I also have never had a brain-freeze headache.

But if I consume a Slushie too quickly, my throat will feel like it is closing up a bit, and it HURTS LIKE HELL.

After about 15 seconds or so, my throat warms back up and the pain stops, but I am very careful to back off when I feel my throat starting to react to the cold drink.
Dang, I'd read nearly all the way through the thread and thought I was going to be unique. Then stanger came along and ruined it for me.

So, yeah, count me as one of those who have never gotten the brain-freeze headache, but totally get throat-freeze, the "throatache," whatever you want to call it. And it does, indeed, hurt like hell.
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Old 06-02-2015, 02:17 PM
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I always get the throat/chest pain if I eat anything too cold too quickly. I usually call it an "ice-cream headache" because people kind of understand why I'm in such pain but it's seriously mostly chest pain that seems to last until my esophagus warms up. People think I'm weird because I don't like ice in drinks but it just makes them too cold to tolerate. I never actually get head pain, though.
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:46 AM
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My late husband never had a brain freeze either. I almost fell over the first time I saw him take a huge bite directly out of an ice cream cone. I looked at the theories about nerves in the soft palate being responsible for the sensation and concluded that the area was wired differently in him, and others who don't get the sensation?

Me?Oooof, that shit hurts!
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:20 AM
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I've never had a brain-freeze headache or a migraine. I get tension headaches occasionally, but thankfully that's about it. If I got brain freeze now, I'd probably convince myself I had a brain tumor or something. :P

Last edited by Infovore; 06-02-2015 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:50 AM
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Never got them from ice cream, it was always the just above freezing liquids drank too fast. If you've never had one try getting a slurpee/slushie and suck it down quickly with a straw.
I've always used the cure of rapidly rubbing my tongue on the back of the roof of my mouth. Seems to work well.
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Old 06-02-2015, 02:28 PM
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I also have only the throat pain. If I can drink something room temperature it warms up my throat and I'm immediately all better. Otherwise it's pretty rough for about 30 seconds.
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