Old Disease Names & Their Modern Definitions
Acute Mania - severe insanity
Addison's Disease - a destructive disease marked by weakness, loss of weight, low blood pressure, gastrointestinal disturbances, and brownish pigmentation of the skin and mucous membranes.
Aphonia - laryngitis
Apoplexy - stroke
Auge - used to define the recurring fever & chills of malarial infection
Biliousness - jaundice or other symptoms associated with liver disease
Black Jaundice (Wiel's Disease) - Black jaundice is a common term for Wiel's Disease. It is quite common in northeast England near mines, farms and sewage and floats about in water. It is caused by a microorganism and thus is a bacterial infection (of the liver) and not a virus, as in hepatitis. It is carried by rats and secreted in their urine. It is usually not fatal, in present time, to humans. It is; however, rapidly fatal to dogs and cats, who can eventually gain a resistance, but either way can pass it on.
Bright's Disease - Bright's Disease is a catchall for kidney diseases/disorders
Camp Fever - typhus
Canine Madness - hydrophobia
Carditis - inflammation of the heart wall
Catarrh - inflammation of mucous membrane
Chlorosis - iron deficiency anemia
Chorea (St. Vitus' Dance) - nervous disorder
Commotion - Concussion
Consumption - tuberculosis
Corruption - infection
Coryza - a cold
Costiveness - constipation
Cramp Colic - appendicitis
Croup - spasmodic laryngitis esp. of infants, marked by episodes of difficult breathing and hoarse metallic cough
Death from "teething" - tooth infections with inflammation and cellulites were clearly important causes of illness and death before there was adequate dentistry.
Domestic Illness - polite way of saying mental breakdown, depression, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or the after effects of a stroke or any illness that kept a person housebound and probably in need of nursing support.
Dropsy - edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease. Dropsy would be called congestive heart failure today. It is an accumulation of fluid around the heart, for a variety of complex reasons, and one treatment is administration of digitalis (foxglove leaves).
Dyspepsia - acid indigestion
Extravastaed blood - rupture of a blood vessel
Falling Sickness - epilepsy
Flux of Humour - circulation
French Pox - venereal disease
Gout - any inflammation, not just in a joint or extremity, caused by the formation of crystals of oxalic acid when it accumulates in the body. It most often occurs in joints where circulation is poor, and can even cause gallstones or kidney stones. Gout is a disease caused by a buildup of urate or uric acid in the body, which crystallizes out in areas without much rapid blood flow and can cause damage when, for example a toe is stubbed.
Green Sickness - anemia
Hip Gout - osteomylitis
Jail Fever - typhus
King's Evil (Scrofula) - tubercular infection of the throat lymph glands
La Grippe - flu
Lues - syphilis
Lues Venera - venereal disease
Lumbago - back pain
Lung Fever - pneumonia
Lung Sickness - tuberculosis
Mania - insanity
Marasmus - progressive emaciation
Membranous Croup - hoarse cough
Milk Leg - a painful swelling of the leg beginning at the ankle and ascending, or at the groin and extending down the thigh. Its usual cause is infection after labor.
Mortification - infection
Neurasthenia - neurotic condition
Nostalgia - homesickness
Pott's Disease - tuberculosis of the spine with destruction of the bone resulting in curvature of the spine
Protein Disease - a once relatively common childhood kidney disease that causes the kidney to leak protein. This is a secondary allergic reaction to certain kinds of strep infections.
Putrid Fever - diphtheria
Quinsy - tonsillitis
Remitting Fever - malaria
Sanguineous Crust - scab
Screws - rheumatism
Scrofula - see King's Evil
Septicemia - blood poisoning
Ship's Fever - typhus
Strangery - rupture
Summer Complaint - dysentery or baby diarrhea caused by spoiled milk
Venesection (Bleeding Venesection) - bleeding