News Release

Can eating ice cream make you scream?

Scientists studied how ingestion of a cold stimulus affects headaches

Peer-Reviewed Publication

International Headache Society

London: As opposed to making you happy, eating ice cream may cause you a headache. Cephalalgia, the official journal of the International Headache Society, published the article entitled "Prevalence and characteristics of headache attributed to ingestion or inhalation of a cold stimulus (HICS): A cross-sectional study", by Torsten Kraya and colleagues from the Department of Neurology, at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, and St. Georg Hospital, Leipzig, Germany.

The authors investigated 618 adults, students and staff from the university, who filled a questionnaire about headaches. Half of the population had a headache after the ingestion of a cold stimulus, regardless of having a diagnosis of migraine or tension-type headache.

The pain was referred to as moderate, lasted less than 30 seconds and occurred in frontal and temporal areas in most individuals. Associated symptoms happened in half of the headaches (tearing, seeing flashing light dots, eye redness, and running nose).

The pleasure of eating ice cream or drinking a cold drink may be decreased by a painful headache.


About Cephalalgia and International Headache Society: Cephalalgia is the official journal of the International Headache Society, the world's leading membership organization for those with a professional commitment to helping people affected by headache.

Contact Information: Torsten Kraya, Department of Neurology, St. Georg Hospital, Delitzscher Straße 141, 04129 Leipzig, Saxony, Germany. Email:

Study's link:

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