Understanding brain freeze

(NBC) — Surprisingly, brain freeze is not a rite of passage in childhood. While most people know what it’s like when cold foods feel like they’re stabbing your brain, two out of ten people never experience such an ice cream delight!

“It seems like when it happens it’s going to happen forever but it goes away pretty quickly,” Kelsey Seybold neurologist Desiree Thomas, said. “There’s some nerves in the back of your mouth and they sense the cold and then that sends a signal to your brain, and all the blood goes to your brain and all that pressure is what causes a headache.”

As it turns out, this pressure could really be revealing something about brain health to doctors.

“There are a lot of people that have migraines that also get brain freeze headaches and there’s supposed to be this relationship,” Thomas said.

That means all this agony could one day prove helpful.

“The same nerves that transmit migraine pain are also involved in the brain freeze headache, so if you can figure out one, it might help you figure out the other,” Thomas said.