1% Thursday: Ice Cream Anti-Headache?

The dreaded ice cream headache.  It’s not something you want to get, but many of us have experienced it at one time or another.  In fact, migraineurs seem to get them more then most, and they can in fact trigger migraine attacks.

Ice cream headache or brain freeze even has a technical name – a long one at that:  Headache attributed to ingestion or inhalation of a cold stimulus

But, irony of ironies, a few years ago I discovered something that did more to stop a migraine attack (for me) than many medications and treatments.  Simply: eating something very cold.

I mean, icy cold.

Now, you don’t want to chug it down like you’re in some kind of a competition.  And ice cream may not be the best… it can cause problems for some people.

But consider something like a smoothie, a frostie, a slurpee, a blizzard, whatever it may be – try it when the pain starts to get intense and see if it helps.  You might be surprised – it could slow down the chain reaction.  What can cause symptoms might just stop them or slow them once they’ve begun.

What is 1% Thursday?

1% Thursday

Every Thursday at Headache and Migraine News (weather permitting) we’ll talk about one measurable, practical thing we can do to make our lives just 1% better.  Usually it will be something very easy, sometimes it will be a challenge.  Let us know if you try it, or share an idea of your own – and maybe a year from now we’ll see that things have really changed for the better!

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4 comments… add one
  • Jamie Sep 2, 2010

    I’ve had some luck with sno cones. Ice cream makes things worse for me. It’s all very dependent on the specific migraine attack, though… sometimes it helps, and sometimes it doesn’t.

  • Kayla Sep 3, 2010

    Ice cream just helps me feel better because it numbs and distracts from the actual pain. Blizzards are wonderful. Now I want to go get a brownie batter one…that is the blizzard of the month.

  • jen r Oct 13, 2010

    wow! i actually was just telling my husband how i treated my migraine today this way! i thought i was the only one…i discovered it by accident last year when eating a popsicle with our children and it felt so good to give myself a brain freeze! i was desperate today and i ate one and soon after, my symptoms had subsided more than ibuprofen and herbal supplements that i had taken throughout the day! give it a try, it does work…make sure you get something so cold that it is uncomfortable for a bit…that must be what constricts the blood vessels for a while…wow! thanks for sharing!

  • Lena Welch Aug 22, 2015

    This works for me as well. I keep wondering if Sonic would sell me a water slushy. It seems to work best for sinus triggered migraines and migraines that won’t go away. It buys 3-4 hours of pain relief. Really cold self-serve frozen yogurt and slushies are the best options due to large amount and extent of cold.

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