It’s Real!


3+ years ago, I wrote a post about how I had this pain in my chest after drinking cold water, squatted down, passed out, and bruised my face. Anyone remember that?

It’s so weird, I know.

So imagine my surprise, and honestly, delight, at reading Parade Magazine one weekend this summer, and discovering that I’m not alone! Marilyn vos Savant’s column provided the answer that I’ve long-thought was true. Read on.

In addition to getting brain freeze when I’ve eaten ice cream too fast, I’ve recently had a stabbing pain in my chest! Have you heard of this?
—Kathleen Hein, Scranton, Pa.

Yes, and it’s common. Swallowing big bites of very cold food (or gulping frozen drinks) may cause “chest freeze.” It’s similar to brain freeze except that the blood vessel reaction occurs in the esophagus rather than the roof of the mouth. (Brain/chest freeze results from vessels rapidly constricting and dilating, causing certain nerves to send confusing pain signals to the brain. The brain interprets the message as coming from a different place—say, your forehead or chest—than the offending one.) If you’re really leveling that cone, you may get both!

I’m feeling so much less crazy.

4 responses to “It’s Real!

  1. It makes sense to me. It’s always nice to feel less crazy, isn’t it? 🙂

  2. At least you’re not crazy. 😀

  3. I don’t remember reading this! But I DO get this – much more likely to get this than a brain freeze, in fact!

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