Eating a pepper burned a hole in a man's throat

When you eat something that makes you feel like you are breathing fire, it can have a real, deadly impact on your body.

A man suffered serious injuries after eating one of the hottest peppers in the world.

He was reportedly participating in a contest in which he ate a pureed ghost pepper, and it made him extremely sick.

According to a case study by doctors from the Bay Area, the 47-year-old man came to the hospital "with severe abdominal and chest pain subsequent to violent retching and vomiting."

In the operating room, doctors found an inch-long tear in his esophagus -- a condition known as Boerhaave syndrome.

The syndrome is often fatal, and typically occurs after severe vomiting.

After spending three weeks in the hospital, the patient was releasd.

Doctors made the case open to the public to raise awareness about the "...potentially life-threatening surgical emergency [which was] initially interpreted as discomfort after a large spicy meal."

For safe spicy foods, check out these photos:

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