Man struck by 'thunderclap' headaches after eating world's hottest chilli

The hottest chilli pepper on earth the California Reaper

In a previous case, doctors in California discovered that a man had developed a one-inch hole in his esophagus after eating a ghost pepper, said to be the world's second-most spicy pepper, in a contest (noticing a trend here?).

Carolina Reaper peppers are too darn hot for their own good, one food contestant learned.

For those who dare, the Carolina Reaper has a fruity, sweet taste with a hint of cinnamon and chocolate undertones, as well as being extremely hot, according to the website of Guinness World Records.

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.

He then developed crushingly painful headaches, each of which lasted just a few seconds, over the next several days and the pain got so much he rushed to A&E. In rare cases, said Gunasekaran, RCVS can cause a stroke.

A number of arteries in the brain had narrowed, and as a result the team decided it was a condition known as reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS), which probably caused the thunderclap headache.

However, Carolina Reaper, which is from SC, could see its world record getting eclipsed by another variety which is grown in the United Kingdom and is known as "Dragon's Breath".

Eating super-hot chili peppers can have painful effects that extend beyond a blazing mouth, doctors warn.

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"Reversible but unsafe blood vessel constriction in the brain is known to be associated with certain medications including antidepressants, stimulants and marijuana and now, possibly, capsaicin [pepper] as well", said Dr. Noah Rosen, director, of Northwell Health's Headache Center in Great Neck, N.Y.

Over the following days he suffered from neck pain and short, but incredibly painful headaches.

Luckily for him, all of the tests they performed came back negative.

The case was reported in the British Medical Journal as it is thought to be the first associated with the red-hot peppers.

The good news is that the man's symptoms cleared away themselves and a CT scan a few weeks after the event showed that all of his brain's arteries were back to their normal size.

The Reaper has been measured at more than 2 million Scoville heat units, the accepted scale for how hot peppers are.

While such narrowing of the blood vessels can be triggered by certain medications or drugs, the team found nothing of the sort when they screened the man's urine.

The authors of the report advise that RCVS should be considered for patients who experience intense headaches after eating hot peppers, cayenne pepper or any other substance containing high amounts of capsaicin.

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