World’s hottest pepper may have triggered this man’s severe headaches 全球最辣辣椒讓他頭部劇痛
Hot peppers aren’t just a pain in the mouth — they may be a pain in the head, too. After eating the hottest known pepper in the world, a man suffered from splitting headaches that drove him to the hospital emergency room, and into case-study history.
His is the first known instance of reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome — a temporary narrowing of arteries in the brain — to be tied to eating a hot pepper, researchers report April 9 in British Medical Journal Case Reports. Such narrowed arteries can lead to severe pain called “thunderclap headaches” and are often associated with pregnancy complications or illicit drug use.
During a hot-pepper-eating contest, the man ate a chili dubbed the Carolina Reaper, named by Guinness World Records as the hottest pepper in the world. The Carolina Reaper is over 200 times as spicy as a jalapeno. About a minute later, he reported experiencing splitting headaches that came and went over two days before he sought treatment.
Initial tests failed to find anything out of the ordinary. But a CT scan of blood vessels in the man’s brain showed severely narrowed arteries. When the researchers imaged his brain five weeks later, the arteries had returned to their normal size.