Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Thunderclap Headaches Could Signal Possible Life-Threatening Conditions

He ate the world's hottest pepper and landed in the hospital with thunderclap headaches A Competitive Eater Suffered a Rare 'Thunderclap' Headache Brought on by the World's Hottest Chili Pepper
Gustavo Carr | 11 April, 2018, 04:53

His symptoms started immediately after he had eaten the chilli, with dry heaves.

What happened to a contestant in a hot-pepper-eating contest may give spicy food aficionados one more reason to "fear the reaper", according to a recent case report.

The HuffPost wrote in 2016 that eating the Carolina Reaper or any ultra-hot pepper can occasionally lead to health problems like shortness of breath, vomiting, seizures and, in a few extreme cases in children, death.

It rates at an average of 1,641,183 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), according to tests conducted by Winthrop University in SC in 2017. After a few days, he began experiencing short but excruciating pains lasting seconds at a time, in the first ever recorded case of such an occurrence, Fox News reports.

Though almost every cuisine in the world has incorporated spicy peppers in some form, they're not traditionally eaten whole and uncooked; that's a phenomena that seems to be associated exclusively with modern-day pyro-gourmaniacs (yes: that is, indeed, the word for spicy pepper eaters).

However, a CT scan revealed that several arteries in the man's brain had narrowed, leading to a diagnosis of thunderclap headache due to reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS).

Carolina Reapers have an average rating of over 1.5million units on the Scoville heat scale, compared to the far tamer Jalapeño which boasts around 5,000 units.

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Some extremely hot chili peppers can cause a lot of discomfort. Known as "thunderclap headaches", 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.

For some, they can strike during orgasm, Professor Parsons said: "Blood pressure rises and an artery ruptures".

This rare condition is caused by the sudden narrowing of the major blood vessels in the brain. This is the first reported case of this sort of reaction to eating a hot pepper.

It is normally associated with certain medications, such as ergotamine or triptans, and illicit drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines - not peppers.

While most RCVS patients do well, she added, a minority can have such severe blood vessel spasms that they die.

The headaches soon cleared up, and a scan five weeks later showed his arteries were back to normal.

FYI: What is Carolina Reaper?