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Extreme chilli blows man’s head off 

 •  • by Paul Ingraham

Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of PainScience.com: a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

“Thunderclap headaches” are as awful as they sound and have many dozens of possible causes. Including, apparently, eating extremely hot chilli peppers. “What could possibly go wrong?” Well, your head could asplode! 🤯

A 34-year old man got more than he bargained for by taking part in a hot chili pepper eating contest. He ended up in a New York state hospital with “excruciatingly painful episodic headaches” after eating a “Carolina Reaper,” according to a new study in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

This story really drives home the important point that there are lots of causes of thunderclap headaches … plus it’s “funny” (with my apologies to the victim). This kind of thing is footnote gold. I love adding colourful little things like this to my content, and I absolutely had to add this one to my headache tutorial (footnote #9).

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