Doctors have recently been warning people against eating extremely hot chili peppers. The reason for this is that they can sometimes have serious side effects on a person that don’t have anything to do with a blazing mouth. A 34-year old man felt this on his own skin after eating a “Carolina Reaper”, deemed one of the hottest chili peppers in the world. After eating it, the man started experiencing intense head and neck pain along with some excruciating headaches that happened over the following days.
These painful episodes are commonly called “thunderclap” headaches and are extremely serious. They must immediately be treated because they can signal a bleeding in the brain, a blood clot or other possibly fatal conditions. Fortunately, his pain came from the cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, a reversible condition. The vessels in his brain temporarily narrowed and restricted blood flow. Usually, this doesn’t affect the person on long term but in extreme cases it can lead to stroke. According to Dr. Kulothungan Gunasekaran, certain substances in the chili pepper, like the capsaicin, can temporarily cause a restriction of blood vessels.
Hot chili peppers are dangerous
The Doctor also said that other teams had to deal with two heart attacks because of capsaicin. One patient took cayenne pepper capsules for weight loss, while the other used a capsaicin patch to treat pain. As for the 34-year old man, he started experiencing dry heaves after taking part in a hot pepper contest.
The excruciating headaches eventually sent him to the emergency room where doctors treated him. Thankfully, five weeks later, his arteries had returned to their normal size after being constricted. According to doctors, “thunderclap” headaches should not be mistaken for migraines. Taking migraine drugs will only worsen the situation. So, if you experience any of these symptoms after eating hot chili peppers, you should go to a hospital immediately.
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