A 34-year-old man participated in a pepper-eating contest, ate a single Carolina Reaper and checked into the ER with a thunderclap headache, a severe headache that hits its peak within 60 seconds of onset.
The pepper-eating patient experienced dry heaves immediately after consuming the beast and then developed an intense headache and neck pain. The thunderclap headaches reoccurred over the next few days. BMJ describes the headaches as "crushingly painful."
The doctors scanned the man's brain and found constricted arteries, which they say was likely due to the ingestion of the Carolina Reaper. This is the first reported case of this sort of reaction to eating a hot pepper.
"Treatment is observation and removal of the offending agent," the case study notes. The man recovered over time and a brain scan taken five weeks later showed his arteries had returned to normal. We're left with a cautionary tale about the potential power of peppers.
The amusingly named PuckerButt Pepper Company, creator of the Carolina Reaper, describes the experience of eating one: "A roasted sweetness delivering an instant level of heat never before achieved continuing with an increasing tidal wave of scorching fire that grips you from head to toe. Eyes glaze. Brows perspire. Arms flail. CAUTION! CAUTION! CAUTION! CAUTION! CAUTION!"
If you still want to try one after reading all this, you're a truly brave lover of peppers.
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