Hottest chilli gives man a world-record headache

Hottest chilli gives man a world-record headache

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

A man has suffered two days of thunderclap headaches after eating the world's hottest pepper in a chilli-eating contest. "Initially, when he ate the chili pepper, he got the pain immediately", Dr. Kulothungan Gunasekaran, an internist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit who was involved in the man's case, told Newsweek.

Over the next few days, the man kept getting these brief but excruciating headaches.

Thunderclap headaches can also be a symptom of a stroke, a brain tumor, the death of tissue or bleeding in the pituitary gland, dangerously high blood pressure or an infection in the brain.

"Then CT angiography was done, which showed narrowing of the blood vessels in the brain", Gunasekaran said. "You could see the beaded appearance [of the arteries]".

As a result, he was diagnosed with reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS), said to be caused by the hot pepper.

His pain was so severe he rushed to hospital, where concerned doctors tested him for a number of neurological conditions. It doesn't always have a specific cause, but it can be brought on by certain prescription medications or after taking illegal drugs. She noted that most of her RCVS patients are males who use these supplements.

"Most people would explain this as the worst headache they've had in their life", he said.

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That's never been diagnosed after eating hot peppers before, but Turkish doctors have reported a heart attack in a young man who took cayenne pepper pills.

Eating extremely spicy food may cause much greater discomfort than a burning tongue or watery eyes.

This disorder occurs when contraction of the blood vessels cause the arteries to narrow temporarily. Reached by phone at the PuckerButt Pepper Co.in Fort Mill, S.C., the Reapers creator, Ed Currie, offered mixed advice on pepper consumption.

Chillies are measured on the Scoville Scale, in increments known as scoville heat units, or SHUs.

Effectively, the Scoville Scale reflects the concentration of capsaicin, a neuropeptide-releasing agent found in all members of the pepper family. Capsaicin is known to influence the sympathetic nervous system.

"For example, in the case of ingestion of pepper, perhaps it is the intense pain triggered by the pepper which triggered the RCVS and not the pepper itself", Ducros added. Often, it is a symptom of vicious "thunderclap headaches", which can leave someone helpless in unbearable pain until it subsides. He had no further thunderclap headaches.

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

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