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The Dreaded Brain Freeze and Other Weird Body Quirks

Brain Freeze
Jayel Aheram, Flickr

Don’t you just hate it when your body gets those  ‘weird body quirks’ ever now and then?  You know, like when you get the dreaded brain freeze, or your foot goes to sleep and your eye starts twitching for no apparent reason? What’s up with that? I was curious so I thought I would look up these ‘weird body quirks’ and was relieved to find out that we all experience these quirks every now and then. But the good news is they will eventually go away on their own, or there are easy ways to get get rid of them!

The Brain Freeze

Oh no, not again! Another frozen treat, another brain freeze. “Ice cream headaches” happen when something cold touches nerves in the roof of the mouth, triggering blood vessels in the front of your head to swell. This rapid swelling causes the familiar, jabbing pain of a brain freeze. An easy solution? Try eating ice cream or other cold foods more slowly to avoid getting a headache.

Ear Popping

We’ve all yawned on a plane trip to “pop” our ears. What we’re doing is equalizing the pressure between the inside and the outside of our eardrum as the altitude changes. That “pop” means a tube connecting your middle ear to the back of your throat has opened, relieving pressure. To help, you can also close your mouth, hold your nose, and blow gently; or try chewing gum or yawning.

Charley Horse

This startling muscle spasm can last a few seconds, even several minutes. Dehydration, muscle overuse, nerve irritation, and low levels of certain minerals — like potassium and calcium — can be culprits. Walk around to relieve the pain, or shake your leg and stretch the muscle. If cramps persist, see your doctor.

Eye Twitching

Eyelid spasms are unpredictable, bothersome, and harmless. Eye twitching can be caused by stress, fatigue, eyestrain, caffeine, and dry eyes, though more serious twitching may be caused by neurological disorders, like Tourette’s syndrome. Eyelid spasms usually go away on their own, but if they are severe, Botox injections may be recommended.

Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis)

Sure, it’s a mood killer, but this problem is very common and happens to completely healthy people. While it can occur on the face, sweating is usually worse on the palms, soles, and in the armpits. Treatment may include aluminum chloride antiperspirants, Botox injections, oral medications, mild electrical currents, or even surgery.

Arm or Leg Goes to Sleep

Ever get that dull feeling in your arm or leg like it’s asleep? This temporary and harmless sensation is caused by constant pressure on nerves, leaving them unable to transmit messages to your brain. The cure is simple: change positions. As feeling starts to come back to the area, you may experience tingling (“pins and needles”) for a little while. Chronic tingling indicates a more serious underlying condition that should be evaluated.

Hiccups

Hiccups are an uncontrollable contraction of the diaphragm (the breathing muscle under the lungs). Eating too much or too fast, overdoing alcohol, or swallowing air can all cause the hiccups. They usually go away on their own, but you can try remedies like holding your breath, quickly drinking water, and breathing in a bag to help hasten hiccups away.

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