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Hungover? An Ice Cream Headache Could Be the Cure

Hangover
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The flavor is completely up to you!

Call me old fashioned, but I still like reading the Evansville Courier and Press on Sunday mornings. One of the articles I check out is called “The People’s Pharmacy” in the ‘Life’ section. It’s a nationally syndicated column written by husband and wife pharmacists, Joe and Terry Graedon. Each week they answer a question or two from readers and offer home remedies, alternative uses for vitamins and supplements, along with general prescription drug information.

This past Sunday’s article caught my eye with it’s user-submitted story about how forcing and ice cream headache cured the throbbing pain in his head after a long night of partying. As someone who has had his fair share of hangovers (and more than likely will have more before my days are over), the article piqued my interest. Sadly, the older I get, the less quickly my body recovers from a night of drinks. I don’t even have to get drunk to wake up the next morning with at least a slight headache.

To understand why it works, let’s look at the what happens during both the hangover and the brain freeze. Notice when you drink alcohol, you end up going to the bathroom more and more frequently as the night goes on? The more you go, the more water your expelling from your body which eventually leads to dehydration. Dehydration causes the blood vessels in your brain to constrict, limiting the flow of blood in your noggin. It is believed that this sets off the pain receptors around the blood vessels causing the throbbing pain you feel.

Now let’s see what’s going on during the dreaded brain freeze. You see, the brain works best when it stays warm. An abrupt change in temperature, like when you drink a milkshake or convenience store slush too quick, causes blood vessels in the brain to expand, rushing warm blood to the brain in an attempt to stabilize the temperature. Since your skull is only so big, this excess blood also causes additional pressure which leads to the intense pain you feel right between your eyes. Once the body feels like everything is back to normal, the blood vessels constrict and remove the excess blood.

While scientists, nor the Graedon’s, can quite explain why the brain freeze stopped the hangover, the theory is that forcing the constricted blood vessels in a hungover brain to expand by inducing a brain freeze supplies the brain with the extra blood it needs to balance everything out.

There’s no guarantee this will work for you, but it’s at least worth a try. A sweet, delicious try.

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