World’s Hottest Pepper Causes ‘Thunderclap’ Headaches

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

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

After downing a ‘Carolina Reaper’, billed as the world's hottest chili pepper, a 34-year-old man developed intense head and neck pain and had several brief but excruciating headaches over the next few days.

He had to be admitted immediately in emergency care as his symptoms developed instantly after eating the chilli. Owing to his severe pain, he had to undergo several neurological tests. Fortunately, the test results were negative.

What are ‘Thunderclap Headaches’?

Thunderclap headaches as the ones which hit you ‘with a blast of severe pain and can reach their peak in just 60 seconds.’ (Photo courtesy: Tumblr/<a href="http://neilsanders.tumblr.com/post/84390669289/i-have-a-terrible-migraine-ive-been-sleeping">NEILSANDERS</a>)
Thunderclap headaches as the ones which hit you ‘with a blast of severe pain and can reach their peak in just 60 seconds.’ (Photo courtesy: Tumblr/NEILSANDERS)

WebMD describes thunderclap headaches as the ones which hit you ‘with a blast of severe pain and can reach their peak in just 60 seconds.’

These headaches are strong and sudden, just like a clap of thunder hence they are named so. These episodes are a medical emergency, because they can signal bleeding in the brain, a clot shutting down brain blood flow, or other life-threatening conditions.

Experts say that thunderclap headaches might be a result of bleeding from an artery directly into the area surrounding the brain. It could also be caused by some blocked veins in the head, leakage of spinal fluid, sudden alternations in the blood pressure or an infection in the brain.

Some of it’s symptoms may include nausea, intense vomiting, blurry vision, weakness etc. Doctors usually get a CT scan or an MRI of the patient's brain to ascertain the exact cause of the headache and prescribe drugs accordingly.

Researchers say that this is the first known case of chilli peppers causing such a medical condition. Earlier, cayenne pepper was associated with heart attacks and sudden tightening of the coronary artery.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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