The 34-year-old man’s symptoms began with dry heaves “immediately after participation in a hot pepper contest where he ate one Carolina Reaper,” in 2016, said an article published in medical journal BMJ Case Reports.
The man then developed intense neck and head pain, and for several days experienced brief but intense “thunderclap” headaches. Each lasted several seconds.
After seeking emergency care, tests for various neurological conditions came back negative.
In the end, doctors diagnosed him with a temporary brain condition called “reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome” (RCVS), characterised by the temporary narrowing of blood vessels to the brain.
It was the first reported case of a patient being diagnosed with RCVS after eating a chilli pepper, the authors said.
Often accompanied by “thunderclap”…