Early Medical Terms & Diseases


Addison's Disease-Symptoms are weakness, weight loss low blood pressure gastrointestinal distress as well as a brownish skin pigmentation.
Aglutition-found in records of colonial deaths…the inability to swallow.
Ague- Malaria Fever
American Plague- Yellow Fever
Anasarca-Massive Edema
Ancome-an ulcerous swelling or boil.
Aphtha-Thrush(infant disease)
Apoplexy-The paralysis caused by a stroke
Asphycsia/Asphicsia-Cyanotic and lack of oxygen
Asthenia-lack of movement…bed-fast
Atrophy-wasting away or diminishing in size


Bad Blood-Syphilis
Barrel Fever-Sickness associated with drinking alcoholic beverages.
Bilious Fever-Jaundice caused by liver disease
Black Jaundice- disease cause by contact with infected rat's urine.
Black Lung-Disease caused by inhaling of coal dust.
Black plague or Black Death-Bubonic plague
Black Fever-Acute infection associated with high fever and darks skin lesions and in most cases death
Black Pox-Black Small Pox
Black Vomit- caused by ulcers or yellow fever
Blackwater Fever-Dark urine associated with Fever
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 inflammation of the kidneys
Bronchial Asthma-Breathing disorder with spasming of bronchial tubes wheezing and difficulty breathing outward. May also be accompanied by coughing and tightness in chest.
Bronze John- Yellow Fever
Bule- swelling usually associated with tumor or boil


Cacogastric-upset stomach
Cacospysy-irregular pulse
Caduceus-epilepsy or falling sickness
Camp Fever-Typhus; aka camp diarrhea
Canine Madness-Rabies; hydrophobia
Carditis-Inflammation of the heart wall.
Canker-ulcers of the mouth of herpes simplex
Catarrhal-Nose or throat discharge from cold or allergy
Cerebritis-Inflammationof the cerebrum or lead poisoning
Chilblain-Swelling of the arms or legs due to extreme exposure to cold temp
Child Bed Fever-Infection following birth of a child
Chin cough-Whooping cough
Chlorosis-anemia(iron deficiency)
Cholera-Acute severe contagious diarrhea with intestinal lining sloughing
Cholera morbus-adominal cramps nausea fever(somes appendicitis is called this)
Cholecystotis-Inflammation of the gall bladder
Cholelithiasis-Gall stones
Chorea-convultion and dancing are symptoms of this disease
Cold Plague-Ague with chills
Colic-abdominal pain and cramping
Commotion- Concussion
Congestive Chills-Malaria with loose diarrhea
Congestion-any build up of fluid in an organ(usually lungs)
Congestive fever-Malaria
Coryza-a cold
Cramp colic- Appendicitis
Crop sickness-Overextended stomach
Croup-:aryngitis, diphtheria or strep throat
Cyanosis-Dark skin color due to lack of oxygen in the blood
Cynanche-Disease of the 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 (primarily found in East Africa)
Dentition-Cutting of Teeth
Deplumation-Tumor of the eyelids(causes hair loss)
Diary Fever- A fever that lasts one day
Diptheria Contagious disease of the throat
Distemper-usually an animal disease symptoms are malaise, nose and throat discharge and anorexia
Dock Fever-Yellow Fever
Domestic Illness- a "nice" way of saying mental breakdown, depression or other illness which renders its victim housebound and most times in need of medical support.
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, convultions during labor
Ecstasy-A form of catalepsy characterized by loss of reason
Edema- Nephrosis; swelling of tissue
Edema of lungs- Congestive heart failure, a form of dropsy
Eel thing-Erysipelas
Elephantiasis- a form of Leprosy
Encephalitis-swelling of brain also known as sleeping sickness
Enteric Fever-Typhoid Fever
Enteritis- Inflammation of the bowels
Enterocolitis-Inflammation of the intestines
Epitaxis-Nose bleed
Erysipelas- Contagious skin disease, due to Streptococci with lesions
Excrescense- disfiguring outgrowth of skin.
Extraverted blood- Rupture of a blood vessel


Falling sickness-Epilepsy
Fatty Liver- Cirrhosis of the 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


Galloping Consumption-Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Gathering-a collection of pus
Glandular Fever- Mononucleosis
Goiter- non-cancerous enlargement of thyroid glands associated with iodine deficiency
Gout- Painful inflammation, usually of the joints in the hands or feet and is found mostly in males
Gravel-Kidney Stones
Graves Disease- Disorder of the Thyroid Gland
Great pox-Syphilis
Green Fever or Green Sickness- anemia
Grippe/Grip- Influenza like symptoms
Grocer’s Itch-skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour


Heart Sickness- condition cause by sodium deficiency
Heat stroke- Body temp. elevates because of environment and body does not perspire to reduce temp
Hectical Complaint-Recurrent fever
Hematemesis-Vomiting blood
Hematuria- Bloody urine
Hemiplegy-Paralysis of one side of the body
Hip Gout- Osteomylitis
Horrors- Delirium Tremens
Hydrocephalus-enlarged head, water on the brain
Hydro pericardium-Heart dropsy
Hydrothorax- 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- Polo
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


Lockjaw- A sympton of Tetanus(which see)
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-Progessive 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
Milk Leg- Postpartum thrombophlebitis
Milk Sickness- Disease from milk of cattle which had eaten poisonous weeds
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 Neuralgia in head….(headache)


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
Phrenitis-at one time inflammation of the brain with fever and delirium: later inflammation of the diaphragm
Phthiriasis-Lice infestation
Phthisis-Chronic wasting away or a name for tuberculosis
Pityriasis Rosea--skin condition usually mild and sometimes is confused with ringworm
Plague-acute febrile highly infectious disease with a high fatality rate
Pleurisy-Any pain in the chest area with each breath
Poliomyelitis-Polio Potter’s asthma; Fibroid pthisis
Pott’s Disease- Tuberculosis of spine
Pox -Syphilis
Protein Disease--Once a common childhood disease that caused the kidneys to leak protein; Secondary allergic reaction to some kinds of Strep Infections.
Puerperal exhaustion-Death due to child birth
Puerperal Fever- Fever after giving birth
Puking Fever- Milk Sickness
Putrid Fever- Diphtheria
Pyaemia-Blood-poisoning caused by pus-forming bacteria released from an abscess.




Remitting Fever- Malaria
Rheumatism- any disorder associated with pain in the joints
Rickets- disease of the skeletal system
Rose Cold- Hay Fever or allergy symptoms
Rubella- 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 and usually found in a young person)
Scrumpox- Skin disease impetigo
Scurvy- Lack of vitamin C symptoms are spongy gums, weakness, 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
Spanish Influenza- Epidemic Influenza
Spina Bifida- Deformity of the spine
Spotted Fever- Either typhus or meningitis
Sprue-Tropical disease characterized by intestinal disorders and sores in the throat
St. Anthony’s Fire-characterized by bright red areas of skin
St. Vitas Dance-Ceaseless occurrence of rapid complex involuntary jerking movements
Stomatitis-Inflammation of the mouth
Stranger’s Fever-Yellow Fever
Sudor anglicus-Sweating sickness
Summer complaint- Diarrhea, usually in infants caused by spoiled milk
Sunstroke-elevated temperature due to environment as well as sodium deficiency
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 and "lockjaw". Untreated, it is fatal in 8 days
Thrombosis-Blood clot inside the blood vessel
Thrush-spots on the mouth lips and throat (usually in infants)
Tick Fever- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Toxemia of Pregnancy- Eclampsia
Trench Mouth- Painful ulcers found on gum line, caused by poor nutrition and poor hygiene
Tussis convulsive- Whooping cough
Typhus- Infectious fever characterized high fever, headache and dizziness


Variola- Smallpox
Viper’s Dance- St. Virus Dance


Water on Brain-Enlarged head(hydrocephalus)
White Plague-Tuberculosis
White Swelling- Tuberculosis of the bone
Whitlow--a boil or ulcerous swelling
Wiel's Disease-Disease passed by contact with the urine of infected Rats.
Winter Fever- Pneumonia
Womb Fever-Infection of the Uterus
Worm Fit- Convulsions associated with worms, teething, high fever and diarrhea


Yellowjacket-Yellow Fever