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Ice cream headache

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 10 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1364

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The lasting brain freeze

I enjoyed this article, I forwarded it to my husband, because it goes so in line with what I have been telling him about migranes for 10 years... I don't remember when my migranes started, I rembember when I was about 4 telling my parents that I had a tummy ache right here... and pointing to my head though. When I was little no one believed me about my head aches, and so I was sent to school, and struggled because I couldn't keep up because my head aches would get worse because of all the stimuli. Over the years, I learned how to deal with them, and by time I met my husband I had gotten to a point where my routines weren't so devastated all the time because of them... yes I still have them, and if left unattended, I still suffer them just as badly, but I don't let them get so bad now. I have found that by taking 2 tylenol, taking a hot shower (despite the temperatures), and drinking hot herbal tea, my pain would reduce greatly... Enough so that I wouldn't be seeing spotted vision, and throwing up,getting bloody noses and so forth... I could still function... I find that if I wear a stocking cap, and comfortable sweats I usually have an even better chance of eventually pulling out from the migrane all together, instead of going days with the pain... It doesn't always work, however, but it reduces it enough that I can still take care of our kids, and function with out breaking into tears, and sleeping my life away. my husband is not someone who really had any experience with head aches, so when we were first married, it was an adjustment for him, because he didn't know really what I was experiencing, so I told him that it felt like a head rush, or brain freeze, only it doesn't go away.. When he went to basic training, one of the girls in his Technical training class, experienced migranes, she had only been having them for a few years, but because of their situation in their training, she was really struggling to deal with them, so he told her what I did to control them, and she didn't try it at first, but one day in deperation, did... and he said she came out smiling and told him that it didn't get rid of it completly, however, it reduced it so much that she felt good again. At that point, I think my husband finnally started to realize that my descriptions, and self taught coping skills were something that seemed to have something to it... I always recomend seeing a dr. to get a full annalisis of any kind of medical concern, but I also tend to find that once people know that you are a migraine sufferer and that they see you out functioning dispite your pain, they become curiouse... There are alot of different triggers for migraines... and everyone is a little different. food and sinus irritation is only a few. I find that any time that my body seems to become over whellmed or I go to extremes, I usually end up with one... Over hungry or thirsty, over tired, extreme temperature fluctuation of over 20 degrees, over stressed, allergies, over or under activity, excessive noice, or light. I often wonder sometimes if the physical cause of the pain, isnt linked to something along the lines of chemical imballances, and just how the body reacts to that, or kind of like how thyroid function effects the body. The triggers, just seem to be the inital cause of the onsought, and that the reaction is a coping mechanism, and that there seems to be atleast for alot of my friends with migranes, actually avoidance and control treatments. I have one friend who is on blood pressure medication, and anouther who is on I believe heart medication, even though neither of them suffer symptoms of blood pressure problems, or heart conditions, the medications were perscribed to control the body's natural responses, to inhibit the pain... I myself am always right on close to perfect for my blood pressure, however I do find that sometimes I will go down just barely, not enough that my dr, hardly notices, I am still well in the target pressure rate, and even though I know body tempurature has been debated, and at various points thrown out back and forth with migrane studies. I do find that when I am experiencing migranes, I struggle to maintain body temperature, and that even if my body temperature does not go down, when I reduce my body's effort to maintain temperaute, I have better sucess at controlling the effects of the migranes. So I think there is some ground to what you are saying, I definatly concure with the findings of this report. Thanks for posting it!

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

07 August 2004
Karlene markham