Man suffers 'thunderclap headaches' after eating Carolina Reaper in chilli-eating contest

Man suffers 'thunderclap headaches' after eating Carolina Reaper in chilli-eating contest

"His symptoms began with dry heaves but no vomiting immediately after participation in a hot pepper contest where he ate one 'Carolina Reaper, ' the hottest chili pepper in the world".

This condition is known as reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS), and was most likely causing the thunderclap headaches.

The man then developed intense neck and head pain, and for several days experienced brief but intense "thunderclap" headaches. The patient underwent a CT angiogram, which revealed a significant constriction and narrowing of blood vessels in his brain.

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.

A CT scan showed that several arteries in his brain had constricted, leading doctors to diagnose him with RCVS.

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He ate the Carolina Reaper chilli, called the world's hottest by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2013. The thunderclap headaches reoccurred over the next few days.

When the Carolina Reaper snacker went to the emergency room, brain scans ruled out bleeding.

The Carolina Reaper is a cross between Sweet Habanero and Naga Viper chillies and is known to be the hottest pepper on Earth.

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

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.

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While the direct cause of RCVS is often unknown, the condition has been associated with many risk factors including binge drinking, head trauma, and the use of nasal decongestants or prescription drugs.

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.

Speaking of symptoms, the man did not show any sign of stroke because he did not have any kind of neurological deficits such as slurred speech or muscle weakness.

No, Professor Parsons said: "This is the first time it's been reported from eating chilli, and a lot of people in a lot of cultures consume a lot of chilli, so it must be pretty rare". He achieved this accomplishment by consuming 120 grams of the pepper in 60 seconds at the Arizona Hot Sauce Expo in November 2016.

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