A 34-year-old man landed in the emergency department of a hospital after piercing his teeth into the world's hottest chilli pepper in a chilli-eating competition in New York State because he experienced "thunderclap" headaches as a result and it continued for days.
He ate the Carolina Reaper chilli, called the world's hottest by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2013. Its mind-blowing Scoville Heat Units can even go beyond 2.2 million.
The man's experience of suffering from "crushingly painful" headaches was published in the BMJ Case Reports that deal with healthcare since it is the first case to be associated with consumption of chilli peppers.
"Thunderclap" headaches happen by the abrupt tightening of the vessels that take blood to the brain, a condition called reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS).
The man's condition after eating the chilli pepper was so bad that he was tested for various neurological conditions through the results came out to be negative. A CT scan showed that many of the arteries in his brain had constricted and he was diagnosed with RCVS.
The doctor who saw the man cautioned anybody eating chilli peppers and experience sudden headaches to seek medical attention at once, according to a BBC report.
However, Carolina Reaper, which is from South Carolina, could see its world record getting eclipsed by another variety which is grown in the UK and is known as 'Dragon's Breath'. If the claim that the latter scores 2.48 million in the Scoville heat scale is verified, then it would topple the Reaper from the top slot.