Dr. Altschuler on … Applied Ice Cream Headaches

AltschulerEricCluster Headaches are said to affect around 0.1% of the population and are characterised by very intense pain, usually on just one side of the head. The discomfort is so extreme that even the most experienced physicians might struggle to comprehend degree of suffering of the patient – unless, that is, they were also experiencing something very similar. And fortunately, a reliable method for rapidly inducing very intense headaches is readily available – simply by eating very cold ice-cream a bit too quickly. Or, more precisely –

“… [it’s] most readily induced by rapidly drinking an ice cold beverage of slush – water/small pieces of ice – consistency immediately after a few bites of a warm, dry cracker.”

The innovative technique is fully described by Eric Altschuler, M.D., Ph.D. (who is currently Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, New Jersey Medical School and Associate Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, New Jersey Medical School) in his article for the journal Medical Hypotheses, 66, 685. Using ice cream headache to help physicians experience the pain of and empathize with cluster headache patients.

“I think that all physicians and physicians-in-training would benefit and should be made to experience the exquisite pain of ice cream headache to help them understand, empathize and appreciate the urgency for sufficient prophylaxis and treatment of the pain of their cluster headache patients.”

QUESTION: Might there be other ailments and diseases which could be better understood by artificially inducing analogous symptoms in the physician? If so, what would be the generic term for this technique? (bearing in mind that the word Homeopathy, meaning ‘similar feeling, suffering, emotion, disorder, disease’ is already taken)
COMING SOON: Dr. Altschuler on … famous character’s ailments

2 Responses to “Dr. Altschuler on … Applied Ice Cream Headaches”

  1. SoreHead Says:

    A fundamental error in this approach – you KNOW the pain is going to stop, and very soon. CH goes on for up to 3 hours, up to 6 times every day. In my case, it has been that way for 34 years.

    The psychological implications of “Ice cream” headache in comparison to being bludgeoned by CH of significant severity, frequency and duration are not applicable in an “Ice cream” induced headache – try a Nitrate, it may give you a better idea of what CHers go through. Then relieve the Nitrate induced Headache by using a Triptan, repeat procedure every 4 hours. Better still, try it 6 times a day for at least 10 years. Only THEN would any person know what a CHer goes through.

    I have had CH since birth, 34 years, 4-6 attacks per day, 70 drug trials, and I still won’t call myself a “sufferer”.

    Sometimes I find these little “tips” counterproductive to the cause. There is no way any individual could even begin to understand the chronic nature and duress of drug resistant chronic cluster headache by attempting this amusing little stunt.

  2. tigran922 Says:

    nice to read that one.. Thanks for share

Leave a Reply