Q. Ice cream headaches cure my hangovers. I’ve read that it helps send more blood to the brain as a defense mechanism to try to keep the brain warm. I’m assuming the increased circulation helps my brain recover from the effect of the alcohol.
A. When we first heard from readers that inducing “brain freeze” by eating ice cream quickly could stop a migraine headache we were astonished.
Then a group of scientists reported on research in which they triggered brain freeze in volunteers by having them drink ice water. Sophisticated Doppler equipment measured blood flow within the subjects’ heads and found that the pain of brain freeze began when an artery just above the palate started to dilate, presumably to protect the brain from getting too cold.
It seems that this change in blood vessel diameter might be related to the effect on migraine headaches. We don’t have any theories on why it might help a hangover headache, though. We like to counsel prevention for this problem, but we recognize that’s not always going to work. Since there really aren’t any good hangover remedies besides the passage of time, this would be welcomed by a lot of folks if it works for them.
If you would like to hear a fascinating first-hand account of how “brain freeze” helped one man overcome his migraine headaches, click on this link. Then click on the white arrow to listen to his amazing story.
If you have had success inducing brain freeze to get rid of a hangover headache, please tell us your story below.