Man suffered 'thunderclap' headaches after hot chilli contest
A man sought emergency treatment for excruciating headaches and neck pain after eating the world's hottest chilli.
The 34-year-old developed agonising symptoms 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 warned taking part in hot chilli contests could have unexpected consequences, as they published details of the incident in the journal 'BMJ Case Reports'.
The man, who has not been identified, immediately began dry heaving after sampling the chilli, the US authors said in the paper. Over the following days, he developed "intense" neck pain and headaches.
The pain was so severe that he sought emergency treatment and he was tested for multiple neurological conditions.
However, a CT scan showed several arteries in the man's brain had constricted and he was diagnosed with reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS).
The authors said it is the first time the condition 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.