ZocdocAnswersIs it normal to be sensitive to very cold foods?

Question

Is it normal to be sensitive to very cold foods?

I guess this probably sounds a little silly but anything I eat something or drink something that is very cold it affects me strangely. It makes me want to cough and it feels like my throat is tightening up too. Kind of like a brain freeze from ice cream but it is like a body freeze! What could be going on with me? I don't want to have to avoid cold foods for no reason.

Answer

It is normal to have some minor reaction to the eating of very cold foods. Typically, this reaction is what you describe as 'brain freeze', characterized by sharp but brief pains in the sinuses or teeth. This reaction is not caused by a serious underlying problem, and it is usually experienced by most people from time to time. However, you definitely should not feel like your throat is closing up when you eat something cold, nor that it eating something cold makes you need to cough. These symptoms that you are experiencing could be a sign of a serious reaction in your body, and you need to get it checked out. In the meantime, you should absolutely avoid eating cold foods that provoke the symptoms until your doctor determines that it is safe to do so. In particular, in some people exposure to cold temperatures can provoke an allergic type reaction. It is possible that the sensation of the throat closing that you feel when you eat cold feeds represents a localized form of this reaction in the throat. This could be quite dangerous, as severer throat swelling could lead to trouble breathing. See your doctor for advice as soon as you can.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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