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Passing out after eating ice cream

(11 Posts)
mejon Mon 12-Apr-10 18:45:11

DH has just given me the fright of my life. Sitting at the table, he just blacked-out and fell sideways off the chair and slumped onto the floor. His eyes were open but seemed to be rolling backwards and he was unresponsive for around 30 seconds or so. I thought he was either having a fit or a heart-attack. He came to and was unaware that anything had happened and said that he felt fine. Just prior to blacking out, he'd been eating ice-cream and as he has in the past suffered from a sudden headache after eating i-c too quickly, remembered that it was particularly cold and immediately before falling he felt a sudden pain in his eye.

Does anyone have any experiences of this. Being a man of course, he'll insist that he is fine but I'm trying to convince him to see the GP as soon as practical.

purplepeony Mon 12-Apr-10 18:50:50

souns like a fit and he must see his GP or go to A&E immediately- and maybe not drive.

May be no connection with ice cream at all, but possibly the cold triggered it.
Have you googled seizures at all?

DramaInPyjamas Mon 12-Apr-10 18:54:41

Don't quote me on this, but if I can remember correctly from a relative, ice-cream can trigger epilepsy.

mejon Mon 12-Apr-10 20:52:51

Thanks both. I have googled (as you do) and nothing definite is coming up but my first thought was that is could be epilepsy but DH seems to think that's unlikely hmm as he's never had it before. He doesn't drive but does ride a motorbike. I'm going to try and get him an appointment with GP in the morning. Unfortunately we're 30 mins from A&E with a 3 year old in bed and no-one to look after her - and he'd probably refuse to go anyway.

loopylou6 Mon 12-Apr-10 21:01:18

Hmmm deffo get him looked at. Something similar happened to my DH, he suddenly felt like everything was frozen and he was typing at the timel, he couldnt seem to look away from the keys. He realised he felt weird and tryed to go upstairs, we had a visitor so he didnt tell me whatw as going on. Afterwards he told me he staggered up the stairs feeling like he couldnt use his limbs properly, he said similar feeling to being very drunk.

Once he got upstairs he passed out, and woke up a few mins later (according to ds who had witnessed everything) He hit hishead on the wall as he fell and felt woozy and funny for a while afterwards. He wouldnt go to A&E and thankfully has been fine since.

I often wonder if he had some sort of epilectic fit.

noarguments Mon 12-Apr-10 22:28:51

Very very scary. Get it checked out in the morning, and don't put up with any arguments. Or phone NHS Direct tonight if you want reassurance, but they might ask him to go to A&E or walk in centre, so be prepared.

My DS's have both had sudden severe headaches after eating ice cream at a restaurant recently - only lasted a few minutes though - didn't really think any more of it.

jybay Mon 12-Apr-10 22:38:37

Don't panic. It sounds like vagal syncope which means the vagus nerve has been over-stimulated - in this case by ice cream.

The vagus nerve runs very close to the oesophagus (gullet) then on to the heart where it helps to control the heart rate. If the nerve is over-stimulated, it can cause a temporary slowing of the heart rate. The body responds to this by fainting which is a way of protecting the vital organs by reducing the blood flow for non-essential work. In the case of the brain, it is not essential to be conscious (especially if you are a man wink ) so this bit of the brain shuts off but all the important bits continue to work. It's a defence mechanism. It is NOT a heart attack or fit and does not mean that your husband has anything at all wrong with him.

Having said all that, obviously I can't be certain of the diagnosis so I would recommend that he is checked over by a doctor. If he won't go to A&E (which would be the best plan), at least force him to go to his GP tomorrow and don't let him drive till he has been examined.

mejon Tue 13-Apr-10 07:57:01

Thanks jybay - I did read something about cold shock and that sounds plausible though as you say, will definitely get him to a GP today - luckily living in the middle of nowhwere means we can usually get an appointment straight away. Just need to wait for them to open now.

mejon Tue 13-Apr-10 14:02:54

Quick update:
Saw GP this morning. Didn't think it was epilepsy and did lots of tests to make sure DH hadn't had a stroke, BP OK and heart. Agreed with jybay that it was more than likely a vagal syncope but he's to have a blood test and ECG next week to rule anything else out. DH has agreed that if (and hopefully it doesn't) happens again, he's to go straight to A&E to get checked out.
Thanks everyone who responded. Won't be buying any more ice-cream for a while!

KellieOfTheMountains Fri 07-Apr-17 20:42:23

Mejon...
it happened to me last week and i found your post by digging (profusely) through the web to see what the heck happened to me. i was eating ice cream, my Hubs asked me to hand him something from my night stand. i had a glass of water in one hand so i put the spoon in my mouth while i grabbed what he needed. the spoon with the ice cream in my mouth caused really bad "brain freeze." the next thing i knew my husband was shaking me and screaming my name in my face. he said i just slumped to my right and dropped everything. said i was only out for about 5-10 seconds but, that my eyes never closed. so weird! it's a frozen Vasovagal Syncope thing as far as i can tell.. you're literally freezing the nerve for a second or so causing the fainting. i ate ice cream last night for the first time since it happened and i ate it sooooo slowwwww lol. didn't happen. whew! i can't imagine life without ice cream.. i mean, that's ridiculous smile

mejon Fri 07-Apr-17 21:21:56

Wow - this thread is 7 years old (that 3 year old is now a hormonal 10!) and when I saw the title never thought it would be one of mine. Your 'turn' sounds very much like DH's Kellie. Oddly enough, eating some this week he got sudden brain freeze pain that he hasn't had for ages but luckily didn't pass out.

Glad you're ok now - slowly does it next time wink.

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