Published: Tue, April 10, 2018
Medical | By Alyssa Little

World's hottest pepper leads to 'thunderclap' headache

World's hottest pepper leads to 'thunderclap' headache

Fort Mill's "Smokin' Ed's Carolina Reaper" has indeed been affirmed as the world's most hottest chili pepper by Guinness World Records.

Chef Rodrigo Recio with a "Carolina Reaper" chili after an unidentified man in NY was left with thunderclap headaches from eating the famous pepper.

The man developed excruciating pain in his head and neck, prompting him to go to an emergency room, according to an article published Monday in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Shortly after eating the pepper, he began dry heaving and developed severe neck and head pain.

In the first ever recorded such case, the next few days after eating the veggie the man experienced short splitting pains lasting seconds at a time.

"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.

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

In 2013, the Carolina Reaper-a cross between Sweet Habanero and Naga Viper chilies-clocked in at 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), a unit of measure for a chili's spiciness.

Medical doctors believe the condition, known as RCVS, has never before been linked to the consumption of chilli peppers such as the Carolina Reaper.

A thunderclap headache is described as an intense burst of pain which usually peaks within 60 seconds.

The Carolina Reaper definitely isn't your average chili pepper - it's the hottest chili pepper on the planet. But "we would recommend the general public be cautious about these adverse effects" and seek medical attention immediately if they develop sudden headaches after eating hot peppers, Gunasekaran told Live Science. "But it keeps coming back", said Dr Kulothungan Gunasekaran of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, a co-author of the report, adding that thunderclap headaches can be caused by a number of problems including bleeding inside the brain or blood clots.

What happened to a contestant in a hot-pepper-eating contest may give spicy food aficionados one more reason to "fear the reaper", according to a recent case report.

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Hot peppers may have consequences.

The man's symptoms cleared up by themselves.

This is the first case to be associated with eating chili peppers.

The patient was fine, with no lingering damage, but thunderclap headaches are not to be dismissed.

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

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