What are thunderclap headaches? World's hottest chili pepper can cause stroke

A Competitive Eater Suffered a Rare 'Thunderclap' Headache Brought on by the World's Hottest Chili Pepper

A Competitive Eater Suffered a Rare 'Thunderclap' Headache Brought on by the World's Hottest Chili Pepper

One bloke ended up in A&E suffering "thunderclap" headaches after eating the world's hottest chilli pepper.

The man had managed to get down a Carolina Reaper pepper, which in 2013 earned the title of the world's hottest chili by Guinness World Records.

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 unnamed man began dry heaving as soon as he swallowed the Carolina Reaper pepper.

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

But a closer scan of blood vessels in his head found a peculiar narrowing of arteries in his brain.

"RCVS is characterized by multifocal cerebral arterial constriction that resolves within days to weeks and often presents with a thunderclap headache", Dr. Kilothungan Gunasekaran, from New York's Bassett Medical Center, explained.

But a CT scan showed that several brain arteries had constricted.

Apparently, a new cause has been identified: Puckerbutt Pepper Company's Carolina Reapers, the world's hottest pepper.

On at least two (and probably more) occasions, excruciating "thunderclap" headaches would send him reeling.

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A year ago it named the Carolina Reaper - a cross between Sweet Habanero and Naga Viper chillies - as the hottest pepper on Earth.

They noted the condition can be caused by a reaction to certain prescription drugs, or after taking illegal drugs.

For the uninitiated, the red-coloured, gnarly shaped plant is believed to be the world's hottest chili pepper.

Dr. Kulothungan Gunasekaran, one of the reports authors, now at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, said that for some reason the man must have been particularly sensitive to capsaicin, the heat-producing ingredient in peppers.

The Scoville scale is a measure of spiciness, which is based on the concentration of capsaicin in a substance - the compound that makes peppers hot.

Its creator, Ed Currie, has since crossbred the Reaper to create "Pepper X", which he says is twice as hot.

The man's symptoms cleared up by themselves.

"People are trying to show how tough they are by having these contests where they eat these peppers or want to prove a point".

Three competitors, who are not involved in this story or case report, are seen participating in a chili pepper eating competition in Ningxiang, China.

In this case, the patient's symptoms improved, and he was released from the hospital after a few days.

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