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Index to Disease of Old Names

Many times you will find a reference to a ailment that has not reference to current terminology.  Here is a quick list of a few that you may encounter.  

  • Ablepsy - 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 (Seen on death certificates)
  • 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, anorexia
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 activities Neuralgia - Described as discomfort, such as "Headache" was neuralgia in head
  • Nostalgia - Homesickness
  • 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 pustulas develop. Young person's disease. Possibly chicken pox
  • Scrumpox - Skin disease, impetigo
  • Scurvy - Lack of vitamin C. Symptoms of weakness, spongy gums and hemorrhages under skin
  • 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 - Also erysipelas, but named so because of affected skin
  • areas are bright red in appearance
  • St. Vitas dance - Ceaseless occurrence of rapid complex jerking movements performed involuntary
  • 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
  • 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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