Extreme pain in kidney region after swallowing ice cream "wrong"

Weird. It happened again last week, the second time this year. I swallowed too much ice cream, it burned as it went down, and, seconds later, I got an excruciating pain in my left kidney region (lower back, left side) for about 10 seconds. Ouch! Dang that hurt.

What is this? I fear to ask. Anyone else experience this?

I’m not sure about this, but “brain freeze” is caused by ice cream (or other cold foods) chilling the brain stem, which is close to the throat. Maybe this is caused by only certain nerves in the spinal cord being chilled.

Chilling the brain stem? I thought the pain was caused by the coldness irritating a nerve in the roof of the mouth.

Stimulating the vagus nerve? Ingesting cold foods/beverages is one of the things that can trigger the vagus reflex, and the vagus nerve is attached to pretty much everything in your gut. It can even cause cardiac issues, so I wouldn’t be surprised if yours produced sensations in your kidneys.

IIRC, stomach pain can be referred to the lower back as well. Same mechanism as heart pain being referred to the left arm etc.

I hate to repeat the obvious, but, when you have unusual pains, you should call your doctor. If you can’t afford a doctor, there’s sure to be a free (or low-cost) clinic in your area.

A pain in the kidney region could be a symptom of any one of about three zillion different causes, ranging from an allergy to some ingredient in the ice cream to developing kidney stones to impending renal failure to warning signs of cancer. You can’t really expect a diagnosis from the Message Boards, nor even a listing of the most likely possibilities.

Besides, are you willing to risk you life/heath on a list of “most likely probabilities” ? What if you’re one of the exceptional cases, and not a “most likely”?

So, please, Carnac, call a doctor.

I’m closing this thread because you’re not even asking for a list of “most likely possibilities,” you’re asking “what is it?” in your specific case. Asking for a medical diagnosis on line is against our rules and against common sense.