Chest Pain

Can ice cream trigger chest pain?

Fact Checked

The chest pain that occurs after eating ice cream is most likely due to milk allergy. Always bear in mind that the chest pain is a typical symptom linked with asthma which is instigated during an allergic reaction.

Until a doctor is consulted, the individual should stop consuming all dairy products. The chest pain is also an indication of anaphylaxis which is an uncommon but potentially life-threatening reaction. If the chest pain is accompanied by inability to breathe, throat swelling or facial swelling, call for emergency assistance right away.

Food allergies

Always bear in mind that food allergies can trigger chest pain to develop within minutes after eating ice cream. Even though the most likely allergen present in ice cream is milk, various brands and flavors might contain highly allergic foods such as tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy.

It is vital to carefully read the labels in order to identify ingredients that can be potential allergens. Food manufacturers are required to indicate the use of highly allergenic ingredients on pre-made foods by placing an allergy warning on the labelling.

What causes chest pain?

Chest pain
The exact cause of the chest pain from a food allergy is tightening and inflammation in the airways and lungs.

The exact cause of the chest pain from a food allergy is tightening and inflammation in the airways and lungs. During an allergic reaction, the immune system generates immunoglobulin E antibodies that trigger the mast cells to produce histamine.

These chemicals directly affect the soft tissues all over the body such as the sinuses, lungs, intestines and the skin. The release of histamine in the lungs causes the airways to swell and become constricted. Always bear in mind that this disrupts the ability of the individual to breathe and causes the opening of the airways to produce the high-pitched sound. The chest pain is the outcome of the added pressure from the swelling.


Since chest pain is a symptom that requires attention, it is best to set an appointment with an allergist. The allergist will perform a routine skin test in which milk proteins are injected in the back or arm to monitor for any reactions such as swelling, redness or bumps.

A milk allergy is confirmed if a sample of blood is sent to the laboratory for analysis and shows the presence of IgE antibodies. If the individual is clinically diagnosed with milk allergy, he/she must avoid eating ice cream and other dairy products.


It is sad to note that there is still no cure for food allergies aside from starting an elimination diet. An elimination diet is specially created by a doctor and a dietitian to help the individual avoid certain foods. There are certain foods that contain allergens that the individual might not be aware of. Ice cream might contain gluten, wheat or soy.

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