Old-Timey Diseases Defined

Have you ever watched a movie or read a book that mentioned a vague disease and you had no idea what it was? When it happens to me, I typically just make up the symptoms and causes in my head... and I frequently learn later that I am very wrong!

So if you're like I am, hopefully these definitions will help you!

1. The Vapors
origin: Victorian times, mid to late 1800's
ailment: Nervous disorder such as hysteria, typically in women
symptoms: anxiety, depression, bloating, fainting, loss of appetite, tremors, digestive issues, gas, and behavioral problems
causes: sometimes psychosomatic, sometimes a result of cancers, depression, underlying infections, and lacing corsets too tightly

2. Scurvy
origin: 4th Century BC
ailment: Malnutrition, a lack of plasma in the blood
symptoms: Fatigue, nausea, muscle pain, bloody and swollen gums, loose teeth, anemia, bruising, dry skin, and rashes
causes: Vitamin C deficiency

3. Consumption
origin: Defined in 460 BC; though cases were reported much earlier
ailment: Tuberculosis
symptoms: Weight loss, low energy, poor appetite, fever, cough, and night sweats
causes: Passed from person to person by saliva or mucus

4. Gout
origin: First written description by Egyptians in 2600 BC
ailment: Severe arthritis
symptoms: Excruciating, sudden, and burning pain, and swelling, redness, warmth, and stiffness in the affected joint or tissue, and fever
causes: Too much uric acid in one's blood (either naturally or in foods such as liver, sweetbreads, anchovies, beef, lentils, cauliflower, etc)

5. Rickets
origin: Reported in ancient times, but defined around the Industrial Revolution
ailment: Malnutrition, the softening of bones
symptoms: Bone pain or tenderness, dental problems, muscle spasms or weakness, bone fractures, deformities, and growth disturbances
causes: Vitamin D deficiency, possibly also a calcium deficiency

Wow, I feel more knowledgeable, but I don't know if I feel better after looking up all of those diseases up! Thank goodness for modern diets and medicine!