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Extreme headache: man after eating chillies in emergency room
Taking part in a chili competition has been doomed to a man from the United States. The 34-year-old had eaten the "Carolina Reaper", the hottest chilli pepper in the world, and then ended up in the emergency room with a so-called "thunderbolt headache".
Health advantages and disadvantages of spicy food
Experts do not agree whether spicy food is better for health or more harmful. Scientific studies came to the conclusion that hot chillies can lower high blood pressure and increase the relative life expectancy due to certain ingredients such as capsaicin. However, many people get health problems such as stomach problems, heartburn, abdominal pain or diarrhea after eating spicy foods. And in extreme cases, eating chili peppers can also take people to the hospital, as a case from the United States shows.
The hottest chili pepper in the world
One can expect that after eating hot chillies, symptoms like a burning sensation in the mouth or tears in your eyes, but that the pods can be responsible for ending up in the emergency room is very much unusual.
However, that's exactly what happened to a 34-year-old man in the United States. He took part in a chilli competition and had to go to a hospital with an extreme headache after eating a whole “Carolina Reaper” - according to experts the hottest chilli pepper in the world.
Doctors at the Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York, found that the man had “thunderbolt headache,” sometimes referred to as “annihilation headache”.
Arterial narrowing in the brain
According to a report in the "New York Times", the pain in the head and neck started immediately after eating the pod, but then went away again.
However, the complaints reappeared with great severity in the following days, which is why the man sought medical help.
The doctors around Satish Kumar Boddhula report in the journal "BMJ Case Reports" that after a computed tomography they diagnosed the extreme headache as a result of the so-called reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS).
As it says on the "Medical Xpress" portal, RCVS is characterized by a temporary narrowing of certain arterial areas in the brain, often accompanied by a "thunderbolt headache".
According to the study authors, an obvious cause cannot always be identified. It can often occur in response to certain prescription drugs or after taking illegal drugs.
First case associated with chili consumption
According to Dr. Kulothungan Gunasekaran, one of the authors of the report, must have been the man who was particularly sensitive to capsaicin for some reason. The patient recovered well.
He had no further pain attacks. Five weeks after the incident, another picture of the brain blood vessels showed that the constrictions had disappeared.
This is the first case associated with eating chili peppers, the authors explain.
However, they point out that eating cayenne pepper has already been linked to a sudden narrowing of the coronary arteries and heart attacks.
If your headache suddenly begins, go to the doctor quickly
The German Migraine and Headache Society (DMKG) pointed out in the past that sudden headache should be clarified as quickly as possible by differential diagnosis.
"As a rule of thumb, if you have the most severe headache -" headache like never before "-, unknown, severe or unusually long headache or if additional neurological symptoms occur, e.g. Neck stiffness, reduced consciousness, hemiplegia or numbness should be consulted immediately, ”the experts write in an older message.
The doctor could possibly identify or rule out potentially life-threatening causes. (ad)