There’s a cautionary tale in this week’s BMJ Case Reports journal, and it’s frightening enough to make anyone think twice about downing super spicy foods. According to doctors at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York, a patient there developed excruciatingly painful headaches—known as thunderclap headaches—after eating the world’s hottest chili pepper.
It all started when the unidentified 34-year-old male entered a hot-pepper-eating contest, during which he consumed one Carolina Reaper pepper. The little red fruit was bred specifically for its spiciness, and it currently holds the Guinness World Record for the highest number of Scoville Heat Units, a measurement of chemical compounds called capsaicinoids.
The man immediately began dry heaving, which isn’t terribly surprising. But he also experienced several seconds of intense head and neck pain. The sudden pain was so bad—and returned several times over the next few days—that he wound up in the emergency room...More