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Old Medical Terms with Todays Diagonosis


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

Asphyxia         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


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

Cachexia         Malnutrition

Cacogastric        Upset stomach

Cacospysy        Irregular pulse

Caduceus        Subject to falling sickness or epilepsy

Camp fever aka Camp diarrhea        Typhus

Canine madness        Rabies, hydrophobia

Canker        Ulceration of mouth or lips or herpes simplex

Catalepsy        Seizures / trances

Catarrhal        Cattarh is a cold (the al at the end makes it an adjective): Nose

and throat discharge from cold or allergy

Cerebritis        Inflammation of cerebrum or lead poisoning

Chilblain        Swelling of extremities caused by exposure to cold

Childbed 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

Cholecystitis         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        Is falling of eyelashes as result of disease (not the disease

itself). Tumor of the eyelids which causes hair loss

Diary fever        A fever that lasts one day

Diphtheria         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

Dyscrasia        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

Dysuria        Difficulty in urination

Eclampsia        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 aka sleeping sickness        Swelling of brain

Enteric fever        Typhoid fever

Enterocolitis        Inflammation of the intestines

Enteritis        Inflammations of the bowels

Epistaxis        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 / Green 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

Hydrothorax        Dropsy in chest

Hypertrophic        Enlargement of any structure, like a scar, muscle, or organ

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        "King's evil" is swelling of joints and lymph glands or

scrofula, not necessarily from TB (the touch of a king was supposed to cure


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

Lues disease        Syphilis

Lues venera        Venereal disease

Lumbago        Back pain

Lung fever        Pneumonia or tuberculosis

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        Inflammations 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


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

Palsy        Paralysis or uncontrolled movement of controlled muscles. It was

listed as "Cause of death"

Paroxysm        Convulsion

Pemphigus        Skin disease of watery blisters

Pericarditis        Inflammation of heart

Peripneumonia        Inflammation of lungs

Peritonitis        Inflammation of abdominal area

Petechial Fever -        Fever characterized by skin spotting

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) ???

Roseola        Scarlet colored rash

Rubella        German measles - Rubeola the regular 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        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

Smallpox        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


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 involuntarily

Stomatitis        Inflammation of the mouth

Stranger's fever        Yellow fever

Strangury        Painful, interrupted urination caused by spasms of the bladder or


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


Other sites with Lists of Old Diseases

Old Diseases on GenWeb

Diseases Chart

Archaic Medical Terms for Genealogists


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Last Updated 10-Nov-1999