Wednesday, May 25, 2022

What’s A Brain Freeze

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Is It True That Some People Dont Get Brain Freeze

What is a brain freeze? Kids definition

Although everyone has a trigeminal nerve, not everyone experiences brain freeze. Its thought that perhaps some peoples nerves may be more sensitive than others, adds Dr. Krel. In fact, those who experience brain freeze can also be more likely to experience migraines.

One study found that women who had experienced migraines, were twice as likely to experience brain freeze, compared to women who had never suffered a migraine.

When To See A Doctor

As previously mentioned, brain freeze usually goes away pretty quickly, but severe headaches can be a sign of something more serious. If youre experiencing what some refer to as, the worst headache youve ever head, vision loss, dizziness, difficulty moving or speaking, seek immediate emergency care.

My rule of thumb is if youre experiencing headaches and taking pain medication multiple times a week, or its interfering with your quality of life consult with a headache medicine specialist. You dont have to live in pain. A trained neurologist will seek to pinpoint the cause of your headache, and find a proper treatment plan to get the pain under control, Dr. Krel shares.

Also Known As An Ice Cream Headache Doctors Say The Condition Is Harmless But It Does Hurt

Who hasnt had a delicious milkshake, Popsicle or ice cream cone interrupted by the summertime curse known as a brain freeze? The pain starts on the roof of your mouth and within an instant feels like lightning bolts bouncing inside your skull. Then poof! A few seconds later, the discomfort disappears.

Just because the pain caused by a brain freeze, or ice cream headache, is fleeting doesnt mean its any less real. In fact, doctors have an official name for the unpleasant condition sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia but good luck pronouncing it .

So, whats going on inside your head during a brain freeze?

You can think of it almost like a cramp, says Wojtek Mydlarz, director of head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine. When you move too quickly, you might get a little strain or sharp pain.

Similarly, when we eat too much ice cream too fast, it surprises your body.

Youre shocking your system. Youre shocking your throat, your palate and your tongue from the cold, especially when its hot outside, says Mydlarz.

In response to the coldness, blood vessels in the roof of your mouth tighten while something known as the trigeminal nerve sends a message to your brain saying that the body needs to turn up the thermostat. The brain responds by sending warm blood to your mouth, loosening the blood vessels there.

When your body recovers from the cold exposure and tightening of blood vessels, thats when you get that very sharp headache, says Mydlarz.

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How To Prevent Brain Fog

Here you can find some useful tips to prevent Brain Fog:

1 Spend less time in front of a screen

Even if your job requires you to look at a screen for many hours during the day, make sure you take some breaks every one or two hours. It could refresh your brain and take away all the cognitive failure symptoms.

2 Exercise as frequently as possible

Physical exercise can make you think less and release satisfaction hormones to your blood. The chemical imbalance in your brain will never develop again.

3 Take supplements regularly

Supplements that boost your memory and improve your brain function such as Mind Lab Pro and Onnit Alpha Brain could give your body the nutrients it needs to avoid brain fog.

4 Avoid meeting toxic people

Persons who make you lose your temper or even worsen your depression with their behavior should better keep away from your company. Prefer to hang out with real friends that can listen to your problems and entertain you.

5 Spend time in nature

Regular excursions in nature can give you more energy to cope up with busy daily life and remove the foggy curtain from your brain. Not to mention, that nature can better oxygenate your brain cells to work smoothly for another busy week.

Brain Freeze: What Causes It How To Stop It

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Last updated July 4, 2021.Edited and medically reviewed by Patrick Alban, DC. Written by Deane Alban.

The sudden pain of brain freeze is common, but harmless. Learn why it happens, helpful remedies, and the link between brain freeze and migraine headaches.

Youre enjoying an ice cream, popsicle, or frozen drink when suddenly a lightning bolt of pain shoots to the top of your head.

A few agonizing seconds later the pain subsides and youre back to eating, but a little more cautiously.

Youve just experienced the weird phenomenon known as brain freeze.

After its over, you may wonder

Why does brain freeze happen?

Is it dangerous?

Whats the fastest way to make it stop?

Here are the answers to these burning questions and a few other things youve always wanted to know about brain freeze.

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What Is Brain Freeze

Brain freeze is a type of headache triggered by the consumption of very cold foods or drinks.

Its also called a cold headache or an ice cream headache since eating ice cream is a common trigger, but it can even be caused by drinking ice water.

Cold-stimulus headache is a recognized medical condition listed in the most recent edition of The International Classification of Headache Disorders.

Sometimes its called a trigeminal headache referring to the trigeminal nerve, the largest nerve in your brain.

Its scientific name is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia which literally means pain of the nerve located on the roof of your mouth.

” The pain of a cold headache does not actually occur in your brain because your brain has no pain receptors.

A brain freeze headache can be extremely painful, but fortunately is short-lived, usually lasting less than 10 seconds and rarely lasting more than 30 seconds.

In only 2% of cases does a brain freeze headaches last more than 5 minutes.

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How To Prevent And Treat Brain Freeze

It’s sudden chilling or a cycle of chilling and warming that stimulates the nerve and causes pain, so eating ice cream slowly is less likely to cause brain freeze than wolfing it down. If you are eating or drinking something cold, it also helps to keep your mouth cold rather than allow it to warm up. However, one of the quickest ways to alleviate the pain of brain freeze is to warm your palate with your tongue. Just be sure not to follow that remedy with another scoop of ice cream.

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Why Do We Freeze Under Pressure

You blank on a movie title. You freeze at a pop question. You forget â momentarily â the name of someone youâve known for 30 years.

If youâre lucky, itâs in front of a close friend or small group.

At least you donât do it in front of 8 million people, as happened this year on Wheel of Fortune. A seemingly simple puzzle stumped two players, who of course faced ridicule online.

âThese are good people in a bad situation under a kind of stress that you canât begin to appreciate from the comfort of your couch,â Sajak tweeted in their defense.

But you wonât find brain researchers trolling the poor players. They understand.

Stress messes with your body and head â your golf swing and your fifth and sixth Wordle guesses. Physical and mental tasks you normally perform with ease become challenging under pressure, which comes from people watching, big rewards at stake, fear of judgment, or even your own memories.

âWe worry about the consequences, what others will think of us, what we might lose,â says Sian Beilock, PhD, the president of Barnard College of Columbia University and a cognitive scientist. âAnd that worry actually derails our ability to focus.â

Beilock and brain researchers worldwide give test subjects tasks in the lab â math problems, word games, golf putting â and compare brain activity when the same tasks are done under stress .

Why Do You Get It

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Brain freeze, also called an “ice-cream headache,” is known in medical terms as a “cold-stimulus headache,” Goldberg said. It’s a common phenomenon that affects people of all ages, but doctors aren’t quite sure why it happens.

For this type of headache, the main trigger is any kind of exposure to a significantly cold temperature, Goldberg said. It’s not only caused by an internal trigger, like eating frozen treats too quickly it can also be caused by an external trigger, such as going outside without a hat on a frigid day or diving into a very cold lake.

Brain freeze may start when a very cold substance food or air, for example hits the roof of the mouth or the back of the throat and stimulates blood vessels and nerves in these temperature-sensitive areas.

A small study presented in 2012 found that the sudden increase in blood flow and resulting increase in size of the anterior cerebral artery, a blood vessel located in the middle of the brain behind the eyes, may be responsible for brain freeze pain. The study found that when patients’ brain freeze ended, the artery constricted and reduced blood flow, which is likely what caused the pain to disappear. The researchers said they suspect that an increase in pressure within the skull, brought on by increased blood flow to the head, is what causes the pain.

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Fast Facts On Ice Cream Headaches

Here are some key points about ice cream headaches. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.

  • The ice-cream headache is also known as a cold-stimulus headache or trigeminal headache.
  • It is thought to be caused by rapid constriction of the blood vessels in the roof of the mouth .
  • Cures commonly involve warming the roof of the mouth to prevent this rapid constriction and relieve the headache.

Its not just ice cream any cold stimulus can cause the nerve pain that results in the sensation of a brain freeze.

Brain freeze is caused by:

  • Cooling of the capillaries of the sinuses by a cold stimulus, which results in vasoconstriction .
  • A quick rewarming by a warm stimulus such as the air, which results in vasodilation .
  • These rapid changes near the sensitive nerves in the palate create the sensation of brain freeze.

The proximity of very sensitive nerves and the extreme stimuli changes are what cause the nerves to react.

Dr. Jorge Serrador, a cardiovascular electronics researcher, highlighted research in The FASEB Journal , which explained that, until now, scientists have not been able to fully understand what causes brain freeze.

Dr. Serradors research involved:

  • recruiting 13 healthy adult volunteers
  • asking them to sip ice-cold water through a straw, so that the liquid would hit their upper palate
  • monitoring blood flow in the brain using a transcranial Doppler test

The sensation is not serious, but can be very unpleasant. Brain freeze treatments include:

Ways To Stop Brain Freeze

The next time you get a cold headache, try one of these methods to stop it in its tracks.

How to Stop Brain Freeze

  • Spit out the offending food. This is not very attractive, but neither is your scrunched-up brain freeze face!
  • Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth. The heat and pressure are sometimes enough to stop the pain.
  • Open your mouth and press your thumb on the roof of your mouth to warm it. Drink something warm to warm up your palate even room-temperature water can help.
  • Open your mouth and cover it with your hand. Then breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose. This will help warm the inside of your mouth.
  • Some people get relief simply by tilting their head back for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Perform the Valsalva maneuver. This is the same maneuver to pop your ears open after youve been flying. Close your mouth, pinch your nose shut, and blow air into your nose.

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Brain Freeze And Migraine

While ice cream headaches can hit anyone who enjoys an icy-cold treat, you might be more likely to have them — or they might be worse — if you tend to get migraines. But brain freeze is generally thought to be harmless, so that triple-scoop cone wonât trigger a migraine or any other type of serious headache.

How Is Brain Freeze Different From Other Headaches

Brain Freeze

Unlike other headaches, a brain freeze comes and goes quickly. It usually lasts only a few seconds to two minutes. It goes away on its own, without medicine or rest.

Other headaches can cause other symptoms. For example, a migraine can make you feel sick to your stomach . Some headaches can make it hard to tolerate bright light or loud noise. A brain freeze does not cause any other symptoms.

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Tips For Relieving Brain Freeze

Unlike other types of headaches, which last longer and usually require medication or other remedies, treating a brain freeze is as easy as warming back up. In addition, while painful, a brain freeze is actually harmless and isn’t anything to alert your doctor about.

If you feel a brain freeze coming on, quickly do one or more of the following:

  • Get the cold food or drink out of your mouth
  • Take a sip of warm water
  • Press and hold your tongue against the roof of your mouth

While it’s sometimes hard to resist slurping your slushie as soon as it’s in your hands, avoiding a brain freeze altogether is as easy as enjoying your frozen treat slowly, taking small bites or slurps.

Fun Facts About Brain Freeze

Here are some interesting facts that you can use to impress your friends the next time they get a brain freeze.

Instead of laughing at them.

Brain Freeze Fact #1

Its estimated that only about 30% of ice cream eaters experience them.

Brain Freeze Fact #2

The pain of a cold headache does not actually occur in your brain because your brain has no pain receptors.

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Brain Freeze Fact #3

The Slurpee was invented by the convenience store chain 7-Eleven.

While they did not coin the term brain freeze, they did get a trademark for it.

Brain Freeze Fact #4

Anecdotally, the worst food for causing brain freeze is a Slurpee or similar frozen drink.

A budding young scientist wanted to know for sure which causes the worse brain freeze, Slurpees or ice cream.

So, he made finding out his California State Science Fair project.

He found that a Slurpee-induced headache starts sooner, lasts longer, and is more intense than an ice cream-induced headache.

Brain Freeze Fact #5

A brain freeze does not freeze your brain cells.

But if they ever did freeze, they would be ruptured by ice crystals and turn to mush.

Brain Freeze Fact #6

Brain Freeze Fact #7

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An Unexpected Link Between Brain Freeze And Migraines

The sphenopalatine ganglion is a group of nerves responsible for painful migraines and cluster headaches.

These nerves are also sensitive to cold and can trigger brain freeze.

According to the Mayo Clinic, people who have migraine headaches are more prone to cold-stimulus headaches.

Dr. Pat | Be Brain Fit

Researchers hope that learning more about this relationship between migraines and brain freeze might lead to a cure for migraine headaches.

Theres an interesting side note about how cold-induced headaches might help researchers find a migraine cure.

Migraines have always been difficult to study since the onset of a headache is unpredictable.

But now, researchers can replicate a short-lived migraine in study participants on demand .

I cant imagine too many people signing up for that study!

Red Nose From Rosacea

What Happens When You Freeze To Death?

Rosacea often causes red patches on the sensitive skin of the face. In rare cases the nose becomes thickened and bumpy, a condition called rhinophyma. This is more common in men than women, and genetics do play a role. Treatments at this stage can include lasers and other light therapies, dermabrasion, and electrocautery.

Seen here is comedian W.C. Fields, whose red, bulbous nose is characteristic of advanced rosacea.

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What Causes Brain Freeze

Its a hot summer day and youre cooling down with an ice pop when it hits you, that cold burn brain freeze. Time seems to stand still and that sweet mango pop went from a delicious treat to a searing headache, but why?

We connected with Regina Krel, M.D., director of the Headache Center at Hackensack University Medical Center to figure out how and why an icy treat can cause this unexpected pain.

Home Remedies For Brain Fog

Some of the best remedies for brain fog listed in reputable websites are:

1 Get some good sleep

Hormones in your brain stay at the right levels when you get a good nights sleep. Remember that you cannot replace your night sleep if you choose to work during that part of the day. As an adult, you should sleep for at least seven hours per day.

2 Include some exercise in your daily schedule

Brain fog comes as a consequence of body fatigue. That is why engaging in a mild exercise could significantly improve your health, make your thyroid gland work better, and give you less stress and anxiety.

3 Take care of your diet

You are the sole responsible for your diet. Eating more healthy fats and proteins give you the amino acids needed for the right brain function. A good diet can fight against your depression, especially when you choose healthy foods.

4 Reduce stress

Adopt a lifestyle that promotes peacefulness to your relations with other people. Anxiety and stress can increase cortisol levels in your blood and worsen the cognitive fatigue symptoms and the memory loss you experience with brain fog.

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