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When I drink a smoothie to fast, or jump in cold water, my head hurts really bad, and I am getting dizzy.
How does that happen, and why does that happen. Is it true that pressing your thumb against the roof of your mouth helps stopping that feeling?

Thank you a lot for your help!
Question Date: 2010-05-20
Answer 1:

Thats a great question and a problem that just about everyone has experienced! The cause of your smoothie-induced headache, commonly known as brain-freeze, and scientifically as sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia (meaning "nerve pain of the sphenopalatine ganglion"), is a nerve response to something cold touching the roof (or palate) of your mouth. When the nerve is stimulated suddenly with cold, it drives a rapid narrowing followed by a widening (dilation) and swelling of the capillaries (blood vessels) in the sinuses. This is analogous to when your face turns pink or flushed on a cold day, but more painful because the dilating blood vessels above your palate are detected by nearby pain receptors that in turn send signals of pain to the brain.

Answer 2:

What is happening is a temperature imbalance between your sinuses and the rest of your head. I suspect it has something to do with thermal expansion of materials, but I'm not sure. Either way, it has to do with your sinuses.

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