What was considered the world’s hottest chilli in 2016 gave a man from the New York state a series of “thunderclap” headaches for up to five weeks. Doctors said that he was lucky to still be alive as his risk of stroke had skyrocketed during those weeks.
The man told doctors that he accepted a challenge and ate an entire California Reaper pepper. The first symptom was dry heaving followed by neck pains and thunderclap headaches.
The headaches reach the peak of pain in minutes and the pain is excruciating for most people. ER medics found that the pepper had constricted the man’s brain vessels, which is what caused the pain.
The incident was documented in a study published this week in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
Hot Chilli Peppers Can Constrict Blood Vessels
Nevertheless, the man’s case is not unique. Several years ago, a 25-year-old man had a heart attack after taking chilli pepper-based weight loss pills. The drugs suddenly narrowed the man’s coronary artery, causing a heart attack.
Also, a 33-year-old man was found dead after consuming a hot sauce from the chillies he had grown himself. Doctors found that he had a fatal heart attack. In 2016, a middle-aged man nearly died and had irreversible damage at his esophagus after consuming a puree containing ghost pepper.
The latest victim of superhot chillies was lucky to have only the thunderclap headaches and get back to normal after five weeks. Study author Dr Kulothungan Gunasekaran explained that these headaches get better on their own, but usually come back.
Thunderclap headaches include other symptoms like nausea, dry-heaving, and vomiting. They are usually a warning sign that the brain may be bleeding or affected by blood clots.
In 2016, the California Reaper pepper was the hottest chilli pepper. In the meantime, it was dethroned by the Pepper X and Dragon’s Breath.
Image Source: Flickr