Huerfano County, Colorado
Diseases and Illnesses
Listing contributed by Karen Mitchell
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19th Century Diseases
How many times have you read CW-era documents and were perplexed by the medical terminology mentioned. Here is a compiliation of diseases and ailments from the Civil War Era.
Cholera: an acute, infections, often fatal disease causing diarrhea, vomitting, cramps and dehydration.
Dropsy: an excessing accumulation of fluids in a cavity or in the subcutaneous cavity.
Dysentary: an infectious disease marked by inflammation and ulceration of the lower part of the bowels and diarrhea.
Dyspepsia: deranged or impaired digestion - indigestion.
Erycipelas: acute, infectious disease evidenced by a deep red inflammation of the skin.
Flux: abnormal discharge from the bowels - dysentary. Sometimes a lead-in to cholera or diagnosed as cholera.
Gravel: kidney stones.
Mortification: gangrene or death of tissue.
Scrofula: a form of TB causing swelling and degeneration of the lympathic glands especially in the neck and joints.
St Vitus dance: cholery - primarily in children, a bacterial or organic degeneration, irregular of jerky, involuntary muscular movements.
appoplectic: Modern day equivalent is a stroke
billious colic: bilious pertains to an ailment of the bile or liver resulting in headache, indigestion, nausea, etc. supposed to be caused by an abnormal liver-- likely gall bladder disease or stones
brain fever: encephalitis
brain infirmation or inflamation: likely meningitis
cholera infantum: intestinal disease occuring in warm weather, charachterised by pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and prostration. an acute intestinal poisoning of bacterial origin starting with severe vomiting and diarrhea, followed by fever, shock, and collapse
congestion of the brain: hydrocephalus
congestion of the lungs: pulmonary edema
Coup de Soliel: Translates as "Stroke or blow of the sun"=sunstroke
cynanche tracheitis: cynache is any inflammatory disease of the throat. Cynanche cellularis woiuld mean a sore throat accompanied with excessive cellular growth (hyperplasia). Cynancehe is an old term for any acute disease of the throat in which the patient struggles for breath
eruption of vessel: varicose veins
female disease: could be problems, as in endometriosis
gangrenous diptheria: gangrene refers to a death of a part due to a lack of blood supply in that area. Diptheria is characterized by the formation of a false membrane adhering to the larynx, pharynx, and trachea, although occaisionally of the vagina and conjuctiva
general debility: debility means feeble and refers to the state of abnormal bodily weakness
inflamation of the bowels: gastritis or gastroenteritis
intermittent fever: recurring fever, malaria
neuralgia of the brain: neuralgia is nerve pain, possibly migraine
phthisis pulmonales: a wasting away of the body. an old term for pulmonary tuberculosis, with subsequent emaciation and loss of strength caused by tuberculosis
pulmonary consumption: tuberculosis of the lungs
puerperal fever: septic poisoning, sometimes occuring after childbirth, childbed fever, childbirth complications
putrid sore throat: sore throat with a foul smell
remittent fever: a fever that has periods of abatement, but never really goes away, something like malaria
scrofula dysipales: scrofula is tuberculosis of the lymph glands
summer complaint: caused by spoiled food (often milk products), generally affected children, causing severe dehydration and frequently death---food poisoning
suicide by loderium: Laudenum--a preparation of opium, usually in solution of alcohol it was a liquid opiate used as a cough syrup, pain killer, tonic, and general elixir for what ever ailed you.
ulcerated bowels: could be ulcerative colitis or infectious colitis characterized by bloody diarrhea
AGUE: used to define the recurring fever & chills of malarial infection
BILIOUSNES: jaundice or other symptoms associated with liver disease
CAMP FEVER: typhus
CANINE MADDNESS: hydrophobia
CHLOROSIS: iron deficency anemia
CORYZA: a cold
CRAMP COLIC: appenditis
DROPSEY: edwma (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease
DYSEPSIA: acid indigestion
EXTRAVASTED BLOOD: rupture of a blood vessel
FALLING SICKNESS: epilepsy
FLUS OF HUMOR: circulation
FRENCH POX: veneral disease
GREEN SICKNESS: anemia
HIP GOUT: osteomylitis
JAIL FEVER: typhus
KINGS EVIL: tubercular infection of the throat lymph glands
LA GRIPPE: flu
LUES VENERA: veneral disease
LUMBAGO: back pain
LUNG FEVER: pneumonia
LUNG SICKNESS: tuberculosis
PUTRID FEVER: diptheria
REMITTING FEVER: malaria
SANGUINOUS CRUST: scab
SCROFULA: see KINGS EVIL
SHIPS FEVER: typhus
SUMMER COMPLAIN: baby diarrhea caused by spoiled milk
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