Free Yourself From Brain Freeze This Summer
1 Minute Read
May 24, 2014
Everyones experienced it. You chomp into that huge scoop of ice cream or chug that frozen drink, and all of a sudden it hits you. The extreme stabbing pain in your head that feels like your brain might actually explode. Well, maybe not that bad. But it has been known to cause even the toughest of men to crumble in agony.
So to understand how to stop brain freeze, we first have to know what causes it. Warning here comes the science. When something cold touches the roof of your mouth, your blood vessels contract in order to prevent any loss of body heat. As you swallow your ice cream or finish your Slurpee, the cold recedes and the blood vessels go back to normal, which quickly increases blood flow to your brain. This sudden rush of blood is what causes that terrible, terrible pain.
To stop brain freeze before it starts, you can simply prevent anything cold from contacting the roof of your mouth. This isnt as hard as it sounds. Just let that ice cream warm on your tongue for a few seconds before you swallow. Those few seconds will provide the necessary warmth you need to avoid brain freeze.
How Can I Get Rid Of It
Brain freeze is temporary and;not exactly something serious enough to take a sick day for, so it’s perfectly okay to;just wait it out.;But if it’s super intense, or you just don’t want to deal with the buzzkill,;there are solutions.;Dr. MacGregor;suggests drinking warm water slowly as you sense brain freeze;coming on; the warm water will mitigate;the cold sensation in your palate, and your head shouldn’t throb as intensely or for quite as long.
Another quick brain freeze fix;is to press your tongue or the tip of your finger against the roof of your palate, which will;warm;up the nerves there similar to the way warm water can. While Dr. Natbony;says that no science backs;up this trick, it can’t hurt to give it a try. “If you introduce warmth during the brain freeze, it seems like that should work,” she says.
Ok Well What If I Already Have A Brain Freeze How Do I Get Rid Of It
- Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth: Right here, you are basically trying to warm the ice-shocked bundle of nerves after the fact. Think of it like putting a blanket on someone with a cold. You can use your tongue, or your thumb — if you wash your hands a lot.;
- Drink something hot: Same deal as above. You are trying to rapidly warm the back of your throat. A hot beverage will coat the back of your mouth with heat, and help alleviate the symptoms. But, this only works if you happen to have an accessible, hot beverage during the minute or so a brain freeze lasts. ;
- Cup your hands over your mouth, and breathe: Hitting the affected nerves with a blast of heat, whether it’s via an appendage or a cup of tea, if your best bet. But, if you don’t have access to a warm drink, and you don’t want anyone else to see you put your thumb in your mouth, this is an alternative. Again, you are pretty much just using your breath to heat up the back of your throat. This isn’t rocket surgery.;
And if all this doesn’t work for some reason you should really be taking smaller bites, people. And maybe ice cream just isn’t right for you.;
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Diagnosis Of Brain Fog
Brain Fog could be an emergency if the symptoms begin suddenly and worsen as time passes by. It would be wise to and let him decide about the further diagnostic tools.
The right doctor to deal with your cognitive functions and mental health is the neurologist. He can perform some neurological tests and nerve stimulation to check your ability to perceive and react to the external environment.
The most common diagnostic tools for neurologists are:
- The electroencephalography, showing them how your brain works while you sleep and when you are awake.
- The CT-Scan and MRI, is going to show your doctor if you had a head injury. It may also exclude the presence of a brain tumor responsible for brain fog.
- Blood smears analysis to test if you have elevated cancer markers or hormone changes that lead to mental fatigue and cognitive disease.
Psychologists and therapists are competent at diagnosing Brain Fog syndrome. They can ask you questions about your life and extract useful assumptions about the possibility to suffer from stress, anxiety, or even depression.
These experts follow specific protocols to diagnose Brain Fog and give you the right mental or physical treatment for your case. It is needless to visit a hospital to diagnose brain fog. It would be better to ask your doctor any further questions relevant to this situation, especially if you are under unbearable pain.
Are Children More Susceptible To Brain Freeze
While children tend to experience brain freeze more often than adults, they arent necessarily more susceptible. More likely, young people experience brain or chest freeze more frequently because they are more likely to gulp down cold foods faster than adults. They may also eat cold foods such as ice cream more frequently.
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How Do You Stop A Brain Freeze
The best way to stop a brain freeze is prevention. When eating or drinking a cold treat, take your time. If you are worried about the ice cream melting before you can eat it, you can try some tricks to slow the meltdown and keep it from melting through your Joy Cone. Additionally, you can keep the treat towards the front of your mouth as you eat it. Doing this allows for your mouth to warm it up before it comes in contact with the SPG nerves in your palate.
Brain freezes typically resolve on their own within a few minutes. However, there are plenty of tricks to alleviate the pain sooner. Most people swear by pressing the tongue to the roof of the mouth. Other methods include drinking warm water or covering your nose and mouth with your hands and breathing into them to warm your palate, similar to what many do in winter to warm their hands and noses. All these tricks function in the same way warming up the palate and, subsequently, the SPG nerve.
Once you have shown your brain freeze the cold shoulder, you can get back to enjoying your JOYful summer day. Go ahead and scoop yourself another cone; you deserve it for making it through that headache!
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Vasodilation Is Probably Part Of A Self
Dr. Serrador said:
The brain is one of the relatively important organs in the body, and it needs to be working all the time. Its fairly sensitive to temperature, so vasodilation might be moving warm blood inside tissue to make sure the brain stays warm.
If dilated arteries cause a sudden rush of blood to the brain, which raises pressure and causes pain, a drug that constricts the blood vessel should reduce pressure and eliminate the pain. Also, constricting the blood vessels that supply the brain could help prevent pressure building up dangerously high.
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How Do You Prevent A Brain Freeze
For advice, we talked to Eric Fredette, a long-time Flavor Guru for Ben and Jerry’s. As a Flavor Guru, his job is part food scientist, part mad scientist, and a full-time thinker about ice cream, all day, every day. This is a man who knows about brain freezes. For him, it’s a work hazard.;
His advice, boiled down, reads as follows: “Stir up the ice cream to warm it slightly. Think creemee consistency! Plus, warmer things taste better, so a double benefit. And, make sure to keep ice cream off of the roof of your mouth. Sometimes, this can be achieved by flipping the spoon over and putting ice cream on your tongue vs. the roof of your mouth.”
So his advice comes in twofold, the first part we can refer to as the “Warm-Before-Chewing” method. It’s simple, self-explanatory, but also highly effective. You can microwave your ice cream, or even add warm toppings to make it sensible, and sassy at the same time.;
In essence, you are warming the ice cream in your mouth before it hits the back of your throat. This may seem illogical! But only if you don’t know that brain freezes happen in your throat, and not your mouth. And unless you skimmed down to this part , you should know that by now.
How To Cure Brain Freeze
This stock photo is cross-listed under “headache” and “amazing hair.” hide caption
From our How To Do Everything podcast:
If you’ve ever inhaled a slurpee too fast, you’re likely familiar with sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, which is another word for “ice cream headache,” as well as an extremely impressive Scrabble play. Chicago pediatrician Dr. Peter Lechman told us why it happens:
The roof of your mouth gets cold, which causes immediate constriction of the blood vessels. As soon as those blood vessels constrict, your body reacts by trying to dilate them very quickly in order to get more warm blood to the area and heat it up. Pain receptors in the roof of your mouth send a message up to your brain telling you you’ve got something bad going on in the roof of your mouth. And it causes you to experience an intense headache in your forehead.
So, is an ice cream headache your body’s way of protecting you from some terrible ice-cream-in-your-mouth-related mortal danger? Says Lechman:
No. is overreacting.
Assuming the occasional ice cream headache is an inevitability, how do you get rid of it? At this point, Dr. Lechman starts sounding a lot less like a medical professional.
Get the ice cream out of your cakehole, and drink a warm liquid or put your tongue at the roof of your mouth to heat up the area.
Problem solved. Go forth and enjoy that mid-January Choco Taco with gusto.
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How Can We Prevent Brain Freeze And Eat Ice Cream In Peace
For a typical brain freeze, it will go away in less than 30 seconds or so, professional care is not needed. You can either wait a few seconds for it to clear up on its own or push your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Your tongue will help re-regulate your mouth to be warmer, advises Dr. Krel.
Its the brains job to control the temperature of your body, so brain freeze is essentially your brains way of signaling to slow down, adds Dr. Krel. If you experience brain freeze often, try eating a little slower or have warm water on standby to drink.
Brain Freeze And Migraine Sufferers
Dr. Serrador explains that we already know that migraine sufferers are more likely to suffer brain freeze after consuming very cold food or drink, compared with people who never have migraines.
He suggests that some of what occurs during brain freeze may be similar to what causes migraines, and possibly other kinds of headaches, including those caused by traumatic brain injuries.
Serrador and team believe that local changes in brain blood flow may be causing other types of headaches. If this can be confirmed in further studies, new medications that prevent or reverse vasodilation may help treat headaches.
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Why Are Brain Freezes So Painful
The unexpected pain of a cold-stimulus headache prompts most people to freeze up and hold their head in agony. It certainly seems excessive to get a brain freeze when you eat something as delicious as ice cream too fast. Although the fleeting nature of the brain freeze makes it challenging to study, medical experts have been able to link the SPG to other types of headaches.
Scientists still do not know precisely what causes the headache, however. Some studies suggest it is due to an artery in the front of the brain dilating, thus causing the brain to pinpoint the pain there. Others believe it is due to the irritation of the trigeminal nerve, which is the nerve that causes idiopathic stabbing headaches. Whatever the case, there seems to be a relationship between what induces many headaches and what causes brain freezes. The link between migraines and brain freezes are likely why they are so painful.
What Is Brain Freeze & Why Do We Get It
Few things taste better on a hot, steamy summer day than an ice cold frozen treat like tall, sweet water ice or a great big ice cream cone. But in the excitement of that delicious treat-in-hand, too much of a good thing too fast can cause sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, better known as a brain freeze. It is a short-term headache typically linked to the rapid consumption of ice cream, water ice, ice pops, or very cold drinks.
Brain Freeze CausesWhat happens when we experience that brief, yet quite uncomfortable brain freeze is the quick cooling of capillaries in the sinus and oropharyngeal area resulting in vasoconstriction or narrowing of the blood vessels. The rapid changes near the sensitive nerves in the palate create that sensation of a brain freeze.
According to research done at Harvard Medical School led by Dr. Jorge Serrado there are several possible reasons for the sudden onset of pain. One theory is that its a relationship with the trigeminal nerve, which runs through the upper palate of the mouth. When something cold hits it, it may directly increase blood flow to the brain. Another theory is that a huge gulp of an ice-cold drink cools the blood; bodys quick attempt to warm up again is what causes the pain.
To learn more about managing headaches or to make an appointment with Dr. Daniel call 609-365-6206.
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Seeking Help For Brain Freeze
You dont need to see a doctor for a simple brain freeze that happens while youre enjoying a cold drink. But if youre experiencing regular headaches, you should seek the advice of a medical professional.
The same nerves that are responsible for a brain freeze are also involved in serious headache disorders, like cluster headache. These types of headaches cause severe, regular pain.
This connection appears to be rare, but if you begin to experience irregular heartbeats after consuming a cold food or beverage, call your doctor. They may want you to come in for evaluation.
If your brain freeze lasts for more than 5 minutes, either with or without treatment, you may need to see your doctor. You should also seek help if you experience similar pain or discomfort when you havent consumed something cold or been in an extremely cold environment.
How To Cure Brainfreeze
This article was medically reviewed by Jennifer Boidy, RN. Jennifer Boidy is a Registered Nurse in Maryland. She received her Associate of Science in Nursing from Carroll Community College in 2012.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 88% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 111,790 times.
When something cold touches the roof of your mouth, like ice cream or an ice cold beverage, you get a brief, stabbing headache in your forehead, also known as brain freeze.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source The medical term for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.XResearch source Researchers have found that brain freeze happens as a the result of something cold coming in contact with the upper palate of your mouth, which then causes a sudden surge of blood into your brain.XResearch source But rather than avoid your favorite cold treats, focus on curing your brain freeze so you can get back to licking that ice cream cone.
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How To Stop A Brain Freeze In Its Tracks
I scream, you scream and sometimes we all really scream while eating ice cream because brain freeze.
That sudden, short headache that hits right when were eating or drinking something super-cold which is actually called sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia in scientist speak is our bodys way of telling us to slow down, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center neuroscientist Dwayne Godwin, Ph.D., explained in a 2013 news release.
Our mouths are highly vascularized, including the tongue thats why we take our temperatures there, Godwin said. But drinking a cold beverage fast doesnt give the mouth time to absorb the cold very well.
The rapid change in temperature at the back of the throat where two arteries, one that sends blood to the brain and another that marks the beginning of brain tissue, meet prompts the arteries to dilate and contract. The sensation is interpreted as pain in the brain, which signals you to ease up on the speed-eating.
To halt a brain freeze in its tracks, put down the ice cream cone or cold drink tout de suite, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, or sip a warmish drink to restore your mouth to a normal temperature. You can also cover your nose and mouth with your hands and breathe into them to warm the air thats getting to your palate.
Then, when youve got that brain freeze licked, go back to eating your ice cream slowly!