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Can You Eat Something So Spicy it Seriously Injures You?

If you love spicy food, then you’re probably well acquainted with that familiar sensation of it “hurts so good.” But have you wondered if you could actually hurt yourself with your love of spicy foods?

The Scoville scale is what is used to quantify spicy peppers. Some are lower and others are higher. Many people deliberately seek out ever spicier flavors. And sometimes that can actually hurt them.

The BBC reports that a group tempted by an XXX Hot Chilli Burger ended up in the hospital after the pain of the spice couldn’t be quelled by milk and resulted in severe stomach pain, loss of feeling in the hands, and hyperventilation.

At an annual hot pepper festival, people regularly end up vomiting in pain.

And many instances of ingesting hot peppers have resulted in symptoms that mimic heart attacks.

Other medical instances that have occurred after ingesting hot peppers, as reported by Men’s Health, include burning a hole in the esophagus, temporary hearing loss, difficulty urinating, burning a hole in a stomach, near blindness and even death in one extreme case.

More recently, a man experienced a “thunderclap” headache after trying The Carolina Reaper, aka the world’s hottest pepper, and ended up in the ER.

Chile peppers tend to be enjoyed by cultures that live in hot climates, with the weather correlating to amount of spice used. But MedicalDaily explains that the spicy quality of peppers is actually a neurotoxin. In large enough concentrations, ingesting spicy foods can lead to seizures, heart attacks and even death. Which explains some of the symptoms experienced by chili pepper enthusiasts.

Many hot pepper challenges and festivals require signing a waiver due to the potential health hazards that can occur. Maybe just add a hefty dash of hot sauce rather than potentially signing up for such a radical event.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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