Biting into the "hottest pepper in the world" sounds painful enough.
The firm produces the Smokin Ed's "Carolina Reaper", which rates at an average of 1,569,300 Scoville heat units.
What is a thunderclap headache?
Then a CT scan showed several of the man's arteries in his brain had constricted, which led to a diagnosis of reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, or RCVS.
The Carolina Reaper is a popular pepper, and many people eat them and experience nothing worse than the desire to cut out their own tongues.
He began dry heaving immediately after eating the extremely hot pepper, with the onset of acute head and neck pain hitting him hard.
The pain was excruciating enough that the man went to the emergency room. That could be how the pepper may have caused this man's headache, by constricting the vessels in his head.
World's Hottest Pepper Responsible for Excruciating 'Thunderclap Headaches'
A thunderclap headache is described as an intense burst of pain which usually peaks within 60 seconds.
"It can occur without an identifiable cause, as an idiosyncratic reaction to certain medications (ergotamine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, alpha- sympathomimetic decongestants, and triptans), or secondary to an illicit drug (cocaine, amphetamines, and ecstasy)". Within a few weeks, all was well again, and the doctors pointed to the pepper as a culprit for the first time.
Though almost every cuisine in the world has incorporated spicy peppers in some form, they're not traditionally eaten whole and uncooked; that's a phenomena that seems to be associated exclusively with modern-day pyro-gourmaniacs (yes: that is, indeed, the word for spicy pepper eaters).
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.
Dr. Aneesh Singhal of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston was the first to describe RCVS, in 2001, in a patient who developed thunderclap headaches after eating red hot peppers.
Taking part in a hot chilli pepper eating contest might have some unexpected consequences, highlight doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
Given that the man developed the symptoms after consuming a vasoactive substance, the doctors concluded that eating the Carolina Reaper could have been the reason he developed RCVS.
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