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corvi
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Anecdotal evidence theater VI

On this episode of anecdotal evidence theater, there's an editorial in BMJ about ice cream headache / brainfreeze, the headache caused by eating cold foods too quickly.

The article claims only one third of people feel brainfreeze, but I've had a lot of conversations about it, and nobody has ever jumped in and said "That never happens to me!" So:

Poll #502319 brainfreeze

What's the proper term?

Ice cream headache
25(39.7%)
Brainfreeze
36(57.1%)
Something else (explain in comments, please)
2(3.2%)

Have you ever had one?

Yes
54(87.1%)
No
8(12.9%)

Current Mood: curiouscurious
Comments
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That happened to me once. My brain still hasn't thawed.

never. ever.

So far, you are quite unique. But we all knew that already. :)

Almost never, though. But it has happened a couple of times. Mostly, I don't sink my eye teeth into freezing things. :-)

It isn't my teeth that do it, it's when I shove something freezing against my palate.

Brain freeze and slurpee headache are synonyms.

There needs to be an "I don't know" for the second question... I've had a very brief feeling that I think might be it, but it never lasts more than a second or so. Is this like orgasm, where if you've had one you're supposed to know it?

I'm the same way. I answered "no," though, because I don't think I ever got an extreme feeling of pain related to eating ice cream... more like the occasional twinge.

I have heard both terms, but I didn’t think either of them had made it to respectability as part of the English lexicon yet.I’m not sure which one I’d be likeliest to use; I’ve used both of them (but thought of them as slang or informal terms).

Mine are pretty mild, but they tend to last a few minutes, which that article suggests is unusual.

Maybe they’d stop quicker if I stopped eating ice cream, but they can have my ice cream when they pry it off my cold, frozen brain.

Something that occured to me and you may not have thought of, is that experiencing 'brainfreeze' from icecream may be related to both the quantity and speed at which it is consumed. This implies some interesting things about the icecream consumption habits of the majority of your friends list, and suggests that there may be some interesting correlations between the personality types you find interesting and their pleasure processing.

Not that I'm in the middle of my thesis or anything.

A lot of it has to do with speed of consumption. You (speaking generically) can easily eat ice cream without having brainfreeze, even if you're someone who has experienced it. You just have to eat it slowly and in small bites.

I used to (kind of sort of) laugh at Doc and my husband for getting them because I never do. Never have. But then, one day, I got a chest pain which was apparently kind of like brainfreeze in my chest, and that wasn't fun, so I never laugh anymore. But no, I've never had one.

Never had one, but I've heard of it.

Mind you, I hurt the back of my throat by eating cold foods to fast pretty often, but that's not what you asked.

I've never experienced this, and I'm quite the icecream fan. So you've also (whoever was writing the thesis in the comments above) got to take into account natural selection for icecream eating-compatible characteristics.

This is true. Perhaps those of us who do not experience the frozen-head-pain problem are destined to give rise to a super human, capable of eating pints of ice cream at a single sitting! Mocking the Atkins diet *and* conventional medical wisdom as they take over the world!

I'm not entirely sure how eating the ice cream without pain results in taking over the world. That's the problem with those evil genius plans. Step A (eat ice cream) is obvious. Step C (take over the world/profit) is obvious. It's step B which is so tricky.

For the record, since I get both, an ice cream headache is not at all the same thing as cold-sensative teeth. One is a stabbing pain in the forehead, and only happens when I eat a bunch very quickly. The other is a stabbing pain in my teeth, and happens whenever anything slightly cold comes in contact with my front teeth.

I sympathise with you on the teeth, it has greatly dimished my enjoyment of ice cream and other cold things.

Re: brainfreeze

I've never had it from ice cream. But frozen drinks? Definitely.


And usually, I think "Ow! My frozen sinuses when it happens." But then, my allergies tend to make my focus overly much on that region.

*jumps in*

that never happens to me!

...thus, i don't actually know the proper term.

I've had both the brain freeze and the frozen chest thing, simultaineously. Ouch.

My son has labled all slushie type things 'brain-freeze'. Though, it doesn't come out sounding quite like that when he says it ;)

I am catching up on things, belatedly, but:

That never happens to me!

I do get the frozen chest thing sometimes, though. For me it just feels like a bad cough, like I can't breathe too well.

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