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This post was medically reviewed by Clifford Segil, DO, a neurologist in ~ Providence John"s Health facility in Santa Monica, CA. 
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You are watching: Chest freeze instead of brain freeze


mind freeze is a dividing headache the happens when you eat or drink something cold as well fast. As soon as you consume a cold food or beverage, girlfriend cool under the blood flow to her brain. The headache the you feeling is an alarm designed to tell you the the blood is also cold.
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Eating or drink something cold too quick can cause a splitting, short-lived headache. This sudden phenomenon, technically referred to as sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, is an ext commonly well-known as mind freeze or an ice cream cream headache.

It deserve to be exceptionally uncomfortable, yet luckily, it"s harmless. Here"s the scientific research behind brain freeze and also why that happens.

What causes brain freeze?

Consuming cold foods items or beverages cools down the roof of her mouth and also throat. Best behind those areas is a significant artery that delivers blood to the brain, called the interior carotid artery. This method that eating cold things actually cools down the blood that"s flowing to and also from your brain, states Greg McLauchlin, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Baylor college of Medicine.

When the blood flow to your brain gets too cold, your brain sets turn off an alarm — causing the headache well-known as mind freeze. This alarm cautions you to prevent or slow down the consumption of cold foodstuffs or beverages so that the temperature that the mind remains regulated.

This is why a mind freeze headache have the right to hurt so badly: "Your mind has come send a signal that you cannot ignore. The can"t it is in a tickle. The can"t be an itch. It has to be miscellaneous that provides you stop," claims McLauchlin.

In fact, mind freeze actually activates the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for excessive pain. And if you"ve had that sudden, acute brain freeze sensation, you understand that the ache is impossible to ignore.

If friend didn"t stop, "the blood ship containing the cold blood can be constricted so the they carry out not make up as much of the circulation. As a last resort, you happen out and also drop the ice cream cone. Don"t let it involved that," states McLauchlin. Though, the opportunities of this worst-case-scenario happening are an extremely unlikely.

How long mind freeze lasts and also how come treat it

Unlike migraines and also other types of headaches, mind freeze ache will typically dissipate in 30 secs or less, states McLauchlin. However it deserve to last approximately a pair of minutes.

The means to "treat" mind freeze is to protect against or slow down the intake of everything is triggering the pain.

"It only lasts as long as it takes for the blood come warm back up. And also so the quicker the blood warms up, the shorter it lasts," states McLauchlin.

If you desire it to walk away even quicker, you have the right to have a warmth drink if you have actually one handy.

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Once the mind freeze dissipates, you can get back to enjoying your food or beverage — much more slowly this time.