> Medical Terms Untitled Document

Wakefield Family History Sharing

Medical terms that could be found in genealogical papers. Many of these terms are still used in today's modern medicine.


ablepsy -- blindness

ague -- malarial fever

American plague -- yellow fever

anasarca -- generalized, massive edema

aphonia -- laryngitis aphtha -- thrush

apoplexy -- stroke

atrophy -- wasting away, diminishing in size

bad blood -- syphilis

bilious fever -- could refer to several diseases: typhoid, malaria, hepatitis, or elevated temperature with associated liver problems or jaundice

biliousness -- jaundice associated with liver disease

black plague or black death -- bubonic plague black fever -- an acute infection with high temperature, which caused dark red skin lesions and had a high mortality rate

black pox -- black smallpox

black vomit -- vomiting old, black blood, sometimes associated with ulcers, frequently seen with yellow fever

blackwater fever -- dark urine, associated with high temperature

"bladder in throat" -- referring to diptheria

blood poisoning -- bacterial infection, septicemia

bloody flux -- bloody stools

bloody sweat -- "sweating sickness"

bone shave -- sciatica

brain fever -- meningitis

breakbone fever -- dengue fever

Bright's disease -- a chronic inflammation of the kidneys

"Bronze John" -- yellow fever

cachexy -- malnutrition cacogastric -- upset stomach

cacospysy -- irregular pulse

camp fever -- typhus; also called camp diarrhea

canine madness -- rabies (hydrophobia)

canker -- ulceration of mouth or lips

catalepsy -- seizures catarrhal -- nose and throat discharge

chilblain -- swelling of the extremities, caused by exposure to cold

child bed fever -- any fever following the birth of a child

chin cough -- whooping cough

chlorosis -- anemia, iron deficiency

cholera -- acute & severe contagious disease, causes diarrhea & intestinal lining sloughing

cholera morbus -- characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevated temperature, etc.

cholecystitus -- inflammation of the gall bladder

cholelithiasis -- gallstones chorea -- disease characterized by convulsions, contortions

cold plague -- ague characterized by chills

colic -- abdominal pain and cramping

congestive chills, congestive fever -- malaria

consumption -- tuberculosis

corruption -- infection cramp

colic -- appendicitis

croup -- laryngitis, diptheria, or strep throat

cynanche -- diseases of the throat

debility -- lack of movement or staying in bed

decreptidue -- feebleness due to old age

delirium tremens -- hallucinations, due to alcoholism

dentition -- cutting teeth

deplumation -- tumor of the eyelids which causes hair loss

diptheria -- contagious disease, causes a growth or thickening of the membrane in the throat, strangling the victim

distemper -- usually an animal disease, causes lethargy, discharge from the nose and throat

dock fever -- yellow fever

dropsy -- edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease

dropsy of the brain -- encephalitis

dry bellyache -- lead poisoning dysentery -- inflammation of the colon, characterized by diarrhea with frequent passage of mucous and blood

dysorexy -- loss of appetite

dyspepsia -- indigestion and heartburn, also symptoms of heart attack

dysury -- difficulty in urination eclampsy -- ecstasy -- a form of catalepsy characterized by loss of reason

edema -- swelling of tissues

edema of longs -- usually congestive heart failure

elephantiasis -- "Elephant Man's Disease," causes growths and tumors

enteric fever -- typhoid

enterocolitis, enteritis -- inflammation of the bowels

epitaxis -- nose bleed

falling sickness -- epilepsy

fatty liver -- cirrhosis of the liver

flux -- excessive flow or discharge of fluid, like a hemorrhage or diarrhea

French pox -- syphilis

glandular fever -- mononucleosis great pox -- syphilis

green fever, green sickness -- anemia grippe -- influenza

grocer's itch -- skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour

heart sickness -- condition sometimes caused by loss of salt from the body

heat stroke -- elevation of body temperature because of the temperature of the surrounding environment; the body stops perspiring and cannot reduce temperature

hectical complaint -- recurrent fever

hematemesis -- vomiting blood

hematuria -- bloody urine

horrors -- delirium tremens

hydrocephalus -- enlarged head, "water on the brain"

hydrophobia -- rabies

hypertrophic -- enlargement of an organ, such as the heart

impetigo -- contagious skin disease

infantile paralysis -- polio

jail fever -- typhus

jaundice -- yellowing of the skin and/or eyes, caused by liver disfunction

kruchhusten -- whooping cough

Kings Disease -- tuberculosis of neck lymph glands - Sometimes called Scofalla

La Grippe -- influenza

lockjaw -- usually refers to tetanus

long sickness -- tuberculosis

Lues disease -- syphilis

Lues venera -- venereal disease

lumbago -- back pain

lung fever -- pneumonia

lung sickness -- tuberculosis

lying in -- labor and delivery, childbirth

malignant sore throat -- diptheria mania -- insanity

maramus -- progressive wasting away of the body

membranous croup -- diptheria

meningitis -- inflammation of the brain or spinal cord

metritis -- inflammation of the uterus, or purulent vaginal discharge

miasma -- poisonous vapors that were thought to be in the air, believed to cause all sorts of diseases

milk fever -- disease from drinking contaminated milk, like undulant fever or brucellosis

milk leg -- post partum thrombophlebitis

mormal -- gangrene

morphew -- scurvy blisters

mortification -- gangrene of necrotic tissue

necrosis -- death of tissue

nephrosis -- kidney degeneration

nephritis -- inflammation of the kidneys

nervous prostration -- extreme exhaustion, depression, "nervous breakdown"

neuralgia -- discomfort or general listlessness

nostalgia -- homesickness

palsy -- uncontrolled movement or tremors

paroxysm -- convulsion

petechial fever -- fever characterized by skin spotting

phthiriasis -- lice infestation

phthisis -- chronic wasting away, tuberculosis

plague -- acute, highly infectious fever with high fatality rate

pleurisy -- inflammation of the chest, causing pain when breathing

podagra -- gout

Pott's disease -- tuberculosis of the spine

puerperal exhaustion -- death due to childbirth

puerperal fever -- elevated temperature after childbirth

puking fever -- milk sickness

putrid fever -- diptheria

quinsy -- tonsillitis

remitting fever -- malaria

rheumatism -- any disorder associated with pain in the joints

rickets -- disease of the skeletal system, associated with malnutrition

rose cold -- hay fever, or nasal symptoms of an allergy

rubeola -- German measles

scarlatina -- scarlet fever, a contagious disease characterized by a red skin rash

scarlet rash -- roseola

sciatica -- rheumatism or arthritis of the hips

scirrhus -- cancerous tumors

scotomy -- dizziness, nausea, and dimness of sight

scrivener's palsy -- writer's cramp

screws -- rheumatism

scrofula -- tuberculosis of neck lymph glands - sometimes called the Kings Disease

scrumpox -- skin disease, such as impetigo

scurvy -- caused by malnutrition, specifically lack of vitamin C. Symptoms include weakness, spongy gums, and hemorrhages under the skin

septicemia -- blood poisoning

shingles -- viral disease caused by the chickenpox virus, causes skin blisters and pain

ship fever -- typhus

Spanish influenza -- influenza

spasms -- sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles, like a convulsion

spotted fever -- possibly either typhus or meningitis

sprue -- tropical disease, characterized by intestinal disorders and sore throat

St. Anthony's fire -- contagious skin disease (erysipelas), affected skin areas are bright red

St. Vitas dance -- ceaseless, rapid and complex jerking movements, performed involuntarily

summer complaint -- diarrhea

thrombosis -- blood clot

thrush -- usually a childhood disease, causes spots on the mouth, lips and throat

toxemia of pregnancy -- eclampsia

Trench Foot -- painful sores as a result of being in wet tranches where feet are never allowed to dry. Feet are continually in wet boots and socks

trench mouth -- painful ulcers along the gum line, normally associated with poor nutrition and hygiene

tussis convulsiva -- whooping cough

variola -- smallpox

viper's dance -- St. Vitus dance

water on the brain -- enlarged head, caused by fluid collecting within the skull

white swelling -- tuberculosis of the bone

winter fever -- pneumonia

womb fever -- infection of the uterus

worm fit -- convulsions associated with teething, worms

yellowjacket -- yellow fever


Kindly forwarded to me by A. Richmond.  With additional ailments added by myself


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