World's 'hottest chilli' gives man five weeks of excruciating headaches

10 April, 2018, 20:12 | Author: Inez Murphy
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According to a new case study in The British Medical Journal, a 34-year-old man from NY did just that during a hot pepper eating contest - and ended up in hospital.

"Thunderclap" headaches happen by the abrupt tightening of the vessels that take blood to the brain, a condition called reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS).

He ended up in a NY state hospital with "excruciatingly painful episodic headaches" after eating a "Carolina Reaper", according to a new study in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

"The patient ate the pepper and immediately starting having a severe headache that started in the back of the head and spread all over within two seconds", explained Dr. Kulothungan Gunasekaran, lead author of the report and a senior staff physician at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

The description continues: "He then developed intense neck and occipital head pain".

But when they looked at the CT scan of his brain, they realised several arteries in his brain had constricted.

In Figure A, a CT scan shows narrowed arteries in the brain of a man who ate the world's hottest chili pepper.

The Guinness World Record for the hottest chilli is now held by The PuckerButt Pepper Company in SC. Often, it is a symptom of vicious "thunderclap headaches", which can leave someone helpless in unbearable pain until it subsides.

One young man followed his dreams of hot-pepper-eating glory all the way to the emergency room.

It is normally associated with certain medications, such as ergotamine or triptans, and illicit drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines - not peppers. Within a few weeks, all was well again, and the doctors pointed to the pepper as a culprit for the first time.

Its creator, Ed Currie, has since crossbred the Reaper to create "Pepper X", which he says is twice as hot. So in addition to making your mouth burn and turning you into a teary-eyed, snotty mess, extremely hot peppers may have more serious health consequences.

Now this pepper, billed as the world's hottest, has made it into a medical journal.

The man's symptoms cleared up by themselves.

No, Professor Parsons said: "This is the first time it's been reported from eating chilli, and a lot of people in a lot of cultures consume a lot of chilli, so it must be pretty rare". He had no further thunderclap headaches. In 2013, it snatched the title of world's hottest pepper from Trinidad Scorpion "Butch T" by Guinness World Records.

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