Headache is a common thing that can get triggered due to various reasons but eating extreme cold foods such as ice cream can also give you a headache. Many of us feel like our head aches after consuming icy-cold beverages, this condition is called ice cream headache. This is more common in summers as compared to winters. If you too face a similar situation, know the symptoms, causes and remedial measures here.
What is an ice cream headache?
The sharp, stabbing and brief headache that you experience after eating something cold or drinking a cold beverage is called an ice cream headache. This headache may be accompanied by toothache. When your senses get exposed to cold temperature, an ice cream headache is caused which may last from a minute to an hour. Mostly, the headache period is brief. Since it triggers the stimuli, it is also called cold stimulus headache. Not just eating cold but exposure to icy cold water bath can also trigger this headache.
Symptoms of an ice-cream headache
This is a headache that starts immediately after consuming chilled foods or exposing to cold water. It is easy to identify an ice cream headache. You’d feel a sudden, brief and acute headache after eating cold food. The headache would begin within a minute of eating or cold exposure. You’d suddenly feel a sharp pain in your head but it will subside gradually and may go away completely within minutes to an hour. In most cases, ice cream headache doesn’t last more than 5-10 minutes which is why people don’t really care about this one.
Causes of Ice-cream headache
We have mentioned the primary cause of ice cream headache but if you are interested in knowing a detailed explanation of how this headache occurs, keep reading.
When you consume any chilled or extremely cold food, it moves in your mouth, particularly the lining. This travels from the mouth to the throat and also the head, triggering headache. However, this isn’t the actual phenomenon. The exact mechanism is not known even to the medical industry but certain speculations and hypotheses do exist. According to one such theory, when your skin gets exposed to cold, it affects the blood circulation that alters the nervous system. There is a natural phenomenon of the body wherein it constricts the blood vessels in order to preserve body heat and prevent its loss. After some seconds, blood vessels are relaxed to normalise the blood flow. This is why you get a brief headache immediately after eating ice cream and it normalises on its own after a couple of minutes. This is a part of internal temperature change.
People who are sensitive and prone to getting affected by colder foods and climates are at greater risk of ice cream headache. However, anyone of any age and gender can experience this situation. They must prevent consuming extremely cold foods that may trigger headache. This is the only way to prevent ice cream headache.
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