Man hospitalized after eating world's hottest chili pepper

10 April, 2018, 20:11 | Author: Cassandra Gardner
  • Pods of the Carolina Reaper pepper are seen in

A man who made a decision to eat what's known as the world's hottest chili pepper, the Carolina Reaper, went to the emergency room after experiencing striking, severe head pain for days.

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

Extremely hot peppers don't just blister your mouth and bum-they can also spark fiery havoc in your brain, according to a report published Monday inBMJ Case Reports.

Immediately after the competition, he began dry heaving and developed intense neck and head pain starting at the back, which later spread across the whole head.

Brain scans five weeks afterwards showed the man's arteries had returned to their normal width and the headaches had subsided.

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.

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The Carolina Reaper, which can top 2.2m on the Scoville heat scale, was the world's hottest pepper at the time of the incident in 2016 - although new breeds called Pepper X and Dragon's Breath have since reportedly surpassed it.

"Given the development of symptoms immediately after exposure to a known vasoactive substance [substances that cause constriction of blood vessels], it is plausible that our patient had RCVS secondary to the Carolina Reaper", the authors wrote. After that he experienced multiple thunderclap headaches: brief bouts of excruciating pain that sent him scurrying to the hospital.

Often this is related to severe reactions to prescription medications or the use of illegal drugs.

But, they point out, this is the first case caused by eating chilli peppers.

RCVS is temporary, and causes sudden narrowing of the blood vessels.

"He thought it would go away, but it did not", said Dr. Kulothungan Gunasekaran, one of report's authors.

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He noted that other teams have already reported two cases of heart attack apparently due to capsaicin, one in a patient taking cayenne pepper capsules for weight loss and another in a patient using a capsaicin patch to treat pain.

Doctors say the case report should make other health care providers aware that RCVS can be brought on by eating chili peppers.

The man's symptoms cleared up by themselves.

The journal said that there is no particular treatment for the thunderclap headaches.

Effectively, the Scoville Scale reflects the concentration of capsaicin, a neuropeptide-releasing agent found in all members of the pepper family.

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