Ice Cream Headaches Explained

Great Lakes Surfer

Think this guy knows a thing or two about ice cream headaches? Photo: Killion

Ice Cream Headaches Explained

A team of researchers from Harvard have come up with an explanation as to why people suffer from "brain freeze" or as we surfers call it, an "ice cream headache." It's pretty complicated but their theory is that the headache is caused by the brain trying to keep itself warm by changing the amount of blood that enters the brain. See below for a snippet of the scientific results…

“The brain is one of the relatively important organs in the body, and it needs to be working all the time,” study researcher Jorge Serrador, of Harvard Medical School, said in a statement. “It’s fairly sensitive to temperature, so vasodilation [the widening of the blood vessels] might be moving warm blood inside tissue to make sure the brain stays warm.”

"This influx of blood can’t be cleared as quickly as it is coming in during the brain freeze, so it could raise the pressure inside the skull and induce pain that way. As the pressure and temperature in the brain rise, the blood vessel constricts, reducing pressure in the brain before it reaches dangerous levels."

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