©Barlow Genealogy 1998-2011

Old Time Medical Ailments

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This list of medical ailments--which may help decipher death certificates or hospital records. 
May be republished or forwarded without permission, but the source was not identified.
IvyAblepsy - Blindness 
Ague - Malarial Fever 
American plague - Yellow fever 
Anasarca - Generalized massive edema 
Aphonia - Laryngitis 
Aphtha - The infant disease "thrush
Apoplexy - Paralysis due to stroke 
Asphycsia/Asphicsia - Cyanotic and lack of oxygen 
Atrophy - Wasting away or diminishing in size 
Bad Blood - Syphilis 
Bilious fever - Typhoid, malaria, hepatitis or elevated temperature and bile emesis 
Biliousness - Jaundice associated with liver disease 
Black plague or death - Bubonic plague 
Black fever - Acute infection with high temperature and dark red skin lesions and high 
               mortality rate 
Black pox - Black Small pox 
Black vomit - Vomiting old black blood due to ulcers or yellow fever 
Blackwater fever - Dark urine associated with high temperature 
Bladder in throat - Diphtheria 
Blood poisoning - Bacterial infection; septicemia 
Bloody flux - Bloody stools 
Bloody sweat - Sweating sickness 
Bone shave - Sciatica 
Brain fever - Meningitis 
Breakbone - Dengue fever 
Bright's disease - Chronic inflammatory disease of kidneys 
Bronze John - Yellow fever 
Bule - Boil, tumor or swelling 
Cachexy - Malnutrition 
Cacogastric - Upset stomach 
Cacospysy - Irregular pulse 
Caduceus - Subject to falling sickness or epilepsy 
Camp fever - Typhus; aka Camp diarrhea 
Canine madness - Rabies, hydrophobia 
Canker - Ulceration of mouth or lips or herpes simplex 
Catalepsy - Seizures / trances 
Catarrhal - Nose and throat discharge from cold or allergy 
Cerebritis - Inflammation of cerebrum or lead poisoning 
Chilblain - Swelling of extremities caused by exposure to cold 
Child bed fever - Infection following birth of a child 
Chin cough - Whooping cough 
Chlorosis - Iron deficiency anemia 
Cholera - Acute severe contagious diarrhea with intestinal lining sloughing 
Cholera morbus - Characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevated 
                     temperature, etc.  Could be appendicitis 
Cholecystitus - Inflammation of the gall bladder 
Cholelithiasis - Gall stones 
Chorea - Disease characterized by convulsions, contortions and dancing 
Cold plague - Ague which is characterized by chills 
Colic - An abdominal pain and cramping 
Congestive chills - Malaria 
Consumption - Tuberculosis 
Congestion - Any collection of fluid in an organ, like the lungs 
Congestive chills - Malaria with diarrhea 
Congestive fever - Malaria 
Corruption - Infection 
Coryza - A cold 
Costiveness - Constipation 
Cramp colic - Appendicitis 
Crop sickness - Overextended stomach 
Croup - Laryngitis, diphtheria, or strep throat 
Cyanosis - Dark skin color from lack of oxygen in blood 
Cynanche - Diseases of throat 
Cystitis - Inflammation of the bladder 
Day fever - Fever lasting one day; sweating sickness 
Debility - Lack of movement or staying in bed 
Decrepitude - Feebleness due to old age 
Delirium tremens - Hallucinations due to alcoholism 
Dengue - Infectious fever endemic to East Africa 
Dentition - Cutting of teeth 
Deplumation - Tumor of the eyelids which causes hair loss 
Diary fever - A fever that lasts one day 
Diptheria - Contagious disease of the throat 
Distemper - Usually animal disease with malaise, discharge from 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 
Dyscrasy - An abnormal body condition 
Dysentery - Inflammation of colon with frequent passage of mucous and blood 
Dysorexy - Reduced appetite 
Dyspepsia - Indigestion and heartburn.  Heart attack symptoms 
Dysury - Difficulty in urination 
Eclampsy - Symptoms of epilepsy, convulsions during labor 
Ecstasy - A form of catalepsy characterized by loss of reason 
Edema - Nephrosis; swelling of tissues 
Edema of lungs - Congestive heart failure, a form of dropsy 
Eel thing - Erysipelas 
Elephantiasis - A form of leprosy 
Encephalitis - Swelling of brain; aka sleeping sickness 
Enteric fever - Typhoid fever 
Enterocolitis - Inflammation of the intestines 
Enteritis -   Inflations of the bowels 
Epitaxis - Nose bleed 
Erysipelas - Contagious skin disease, due to Streptococci with vesicular and bulbous lesions 
Extravasted blood - Rupture of a blood vessel 
Falling sickness - Epilepsy 
Fatty Liver - Cirrhosis of liver 
Fits - Sudden attack or seizure of muscle activity 
Flux - An excessive flow or discharge of fluid like hemorrhage or diarrhea 
Flux of humour - Circulation 
French pox - Syphilis 
Gathering - A collection of pus 
Glandular fever - Mononucleosis 
Great pox - Syphilis 
Green fever / sickness - Anemia 
Grippe/grip - Influenza like symptoms 
Grocer's itch - Skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour 
Heart sickness - Condition caused by loss of salt from body 
Heat stroke - Body temperature elevates because of surrounding environment temperature 
               and body does not perspire to reduce temperature 
               Coma and death result if not reversed 
Hectical complaint - Recurrent fever 
Hematemesis - Vomiting blood 
Hematuria - Bloody urine 
Hemiplegy - Paralysis of one side of body 
Hip gout - Osteomylitis 
Horrors - Delirium tremens 
Hydrocephalus - Enlarged head, water on the brain 
Hydropericardium - Heart dropsy 
Hydrophobia - Rabies 
Hydrothroax - Dropsy in chest 
Hypertrophic - Enlargement of organ, like the heart 
Impetigo - Contagious skin disease characterized by pustules 
Inanition - Physical condition resulting from lack of food 
Infantile paralysis - Polio 
Intestinal colic - Abdominal pain due to improper diet 
Jail fever - Typhus 
Jaundice - Condition caused by blockage of intestines 
King's evil - Tuberculosis of neck and lymph glands 
Kruchhusten - Whooping cough 
Lagrippe - Influenza 
Lockjaw - Tetanus or infectious disease affecting the muscles of the neck and jaw. 
            Untreated, it is fatal in 8 days 
Long sickness - Tuberculosis 
Lues disease - Syphilis 
Lues venera - Venereal disease 
Lumbago - Back pain 
Lung fever - Pneumonia 
Lung sickness - Tuberculosis 
Lying in -  Time of delivery of infant 
Malignant sore throat - Diphtheria 
Mania - Insanity 
Marasmus - Progressive wasting away of body, like malnutrition 
Membranous Croup - Diphtheria 
Meningitis - Inflations of brain or spinal cord 
Metritis - Inflammation of uterus or purulent vaginal discharge 
Miasma - Poisonous vapors thought to infect the air 
Milk fever - Disease from drinking contaminated milk, like undulant fever or brucellosis 
Milk leg - Post partum thrombophlebitis 
Milk sickness - Disease from milk of cattle which had eaten poisonous weeds 
Mormal - Gangrene 
Morphew - Scurvy blisters on the body 
Mortification - Gangrene of necrotic tissue 
Myelitis - Inflammation of the spine 
Myocarditis - Inflammation of heart muscles 
Necrosis - Mortification of bones or tissue 
Nephrosis - Kidney degeneration 
Nepritis - Inflammation of kidneys 
Nervous prostration - Extreme exhaustion from inability to control physical and mental 
Neuralgia - Described as discomfort, such as "Headache" was neuralgia in head 
Nostalgia - Homesickness 
Palsy - Paralysis or uncontrolled movement of controlled muscles 
Paroxysm - Convulsion 
Pemphigus - Skin disease of watery blisters 
Pericarditis - Inflammation of heart 
Peripneumonia - Inflammation of lungs 
Peritonotis - Inflammation of abdominal area 
Petechial Fever - Fever characterized by skin spotting 
Puerperal exhaustion - Death due to child birth 
Phthiriasis - Lice infestation 
Phthisis - Chronic wasting away or a name for tuberculosis 
Plague - An acute febrile highly infectious disease with a high fatality rate 
Pleurisy - Any pain in the chest area with each breath 
Podagra - Gout 
Poliomyelitis - Polio Potter's asthma - Fibroid pthisis 
Pott's disease - Tuberculosis of spine 
Puerperal exhaustion - Death due to childbirth 
Puerperal fever - Elevated temperature after giving birth to an infant 
Puking fever - Milk sickness 
Putrid fever - Diphtheria 
Quinsy - Tonsillitis 
Remitting fever - Malaria 
Rheumatism - Any disorder associated with pain in joints 
Rickets - Disease of skeletal system 
Rose cold - Hay fever or nasal symptoms of an allergy 
Rotanny fever - Child's disease??? 
Rubeola - German measles 
Sanguineous crust - Scab 
Scarlatina - Scarlet fever 
Scarlet fever - A disease characterized by red rash 
Scarlet rash - Roseola 
Sciatica - Rheumatism in 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.  Progresses slowly with abscesses and 
               pistulas develop. Young person's disease 
Scrumpox - Skin disease, impetigo 
Scurvy - Symptoms of weakness, spongy gumsand hemorrhages under skin 
          Lack of vitamin C 
Septicemia - Blood poisoning 
Shakes - Delirium tremens 
Shaking - Chills, ague 
Shingles - Viral disease with skin blisters 
Ship fever - Typhus 
Siriasis - Inflammation of the brain due to sun exposure 
Sloes - Milk sickness 
Small pox - Contagious disease with fever and blisters 
Softening of brain - Result of stroke or hemorrhage in the brain, with an end result 
                      of the tissue softening in that area 
Sore throat distemper - Diphtheria or quinsy 
Spanish influenza - Epidemic influenza 
Spasms - Sudden involuntary contraction of muscle or group of muscles, like a convulsion 
Spina bifida - Deformity of spine 
Spotted fever - Either typhus or meningitis 
Sprue - Tropical disease characterized by intestinal  disorders and sore throat 
St. Anthony's fire -  named so because of affected skin areas are bright red in 
                       appearance -  Also Erysipelas 
St. Vitas dance - Ceaseless occurrence of rapid complex jerking movements performed 
Stomatitis - Inflammation of the mouth 
Stranger's fever - Yellow fever 
Strangery - Rupture 
Sudor anglicus - Sweating sickness 
Summer complaint - Diarrhea, usually in infants caused by spoiled milk 
Sunstroke - Uncontrolled elevation of body temperature due to environment heat. 
             Lack of sodium  in the body is a predisposing cause 
Swamp sickness - Could be malaria, typhoid or encephalitis 
Sweating sickness - Infectious and fatal disease common to UK in 15th century 
Tetanus - Infectious fever characterized by high fever,  headache and dizziness 
Thrombosis - Blood clot inside blood vessel 
Thrush - Childhood disease characterized by spots on mouth, lips and throat 
Tick fever - Rocky mountain spotted fever 
Toxemia of pregnancy - Eclampsia 
Trench mouth - Painful ulcers found along gum line 
                 Caused by poor nutrition and poor hygiene 
Tussis convulsiva - Whooping cough 
Typhus - Infectious fever characterized high fever, headache, and dizziness 
Variola - Smallpox 
Venesection - Bleeding 
Viper's dance - St. Vitus Dance 
Water on brain - Enlarged head 
White swelling  - Tuberculosis of the bone 
Winter fever - Pneumonia 
Womb fever - Infection of the uterus 
Worm fit - Convulsions associated with teething, worms, elevated temperature or diarrhea 
Yellowjacket - Yellow fever
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