Man suffered 'thunderclap' headaches and neck pain after eating world's hottest chilli

Man suffered 'thunderclap' headaches and neck pain after eating world's hottest chilli

The man tried the Carolina Reaper pepper (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A man suffered excruciating headaches and neck pain after eating the world's hottest chilli.

The 34-year-old developed agonising symptoms and had to seek medical attention after trying the "Carolina Reaper" during a hot-pepper competition, medics have revealed.

A scan showed several arteries in his brain had temporarily narrowed, causing severe episodic "thunderclap" headaches.

Doctors, who have published details of the incident in journal BMJ Case Reports, warned being part of hotchilli contests could have unexpected consequences.

The man has not been identified but he reportedly started to dry heave after eating the chilli.

During the next few days he developed "intense" neck pain and headaches, each of which lasted just a few seconds.

The pain was so severe that he sought emergency treatment and was tested for multiple neurological conditions. 

While the test results were negative. a CT scan showed several arteries in the man's brain had constricted and he was diagnosed with reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS).

The condition, which involves a temporary artery narrowing often accompanied by "thunderclap" headaches, can be caused by certain prescription medications or illegal drugs.

But the authors said this is the first time it has been linked with eating chilli peppers.

The man's symptoms cleared up on their own and a CT scan five weeks later showed his arteries had returned to their normal width, the authors said.

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