A man who ate the hottest chili pepper in the world ended up in the emergency room with extremely severe headaches. The man entered a contest where he had to consume a pit of a Carolina Reaper. This was the first time when a person experiences thunderclap headaches after eating an extremely hot chili pepper. Soon after the incident, doctors developed a case study on it.
The Carolina Reaper has been declared the hottest chili pepper in the world
The man was part of a chili pepper eating contest, and he had to consume one piece of the hottest chili pepper in the world. This pepper was the Carolina Reaper, and it currently owns the Guinness World Record for being the hottest vegetable of its kind.
The patient, who wanted to remain anonymous, first experienced some dry heaves. Afterwards, he started suffering some intense neck pain and headaches in the occipital region. Therefore, we went to the emergency room. There, doctors discovered he had thunderclap headaches. This headache is produced by bleeding in the areas near the brain.
The man’s brain arteries had got narrower and cause severe headaches
At first, doctors couldn’t tell the real cause of his pain. They ran a few neurological tests on him, and discovered this wasn’t the problem. Then, they performed a CT scan, and saw his brain arteries had constricted. In the end, they could put a diagnosis.
The man had suffered a reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome. This means that his brain arteries have gotten extremely narrow, and this caused his thunderclap headache. The culprit was actually a substance found in the Carolina Reaper and in chili peppers in general. We are talking about capsaicin, which might cause blood vessels to get narrower.
As a result, doctors issued a warning for all people who enjoy eating chili peppers. If they are not used to spicy food, they should avoid consuming pieces of Carolina Reaper or of other hot peppers. Even if you like hot foods, you might experience adverse effects. If this happens, go see a doctor immediately.
The case study was published in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons