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DISEASES and MEDICAL TERMS
for GENEALOGISTS (K-O)

Compiled and revised by Ian Beach.
Bunbury, Western Australia

All suggestions or additions gratefully received.

eMail: Ian Beach

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Kakke

Beriberi

Kandahar Sore

See Leishmaniasis

Kidney stone

See gravel.

Kings evil

A popular name for scrofula. The name originated in the time of Edward the Confessor, with the belief that the disease could be cured by the touch of the king of England.

Kink

Fit of coughing or choking

Kinkcough

Whooping cough

Kruchhusten

Whooping cough

La Grippe

Influenza

Leishmaniasis

Disease due to parasitic Protazoa of the genus Leishmania

Lepra

Leprosy

Little's Disease

Spastic diplegia

Lockjaw

Tetanus, a disease in which the jaws become firmly locked together. Synonyms Trismus, tetanus.

Locomotor Ataxia

Disease of the nervous system which results in inability to walk.

Long Sickness

Tuberculosis

Lues Disease/Venera

Syphilis

Lumbago

Back pain

Lung Fever

Pneumonia

Lung Sickness

Tuberculosis

Lying In

Time of delivery of infant

Malignant fever

See Typhus.

Malignant Pustule

Anthrax

Malignant Sore Throat

Diphtheria

Malta Fever

See Brucellosis

Mania

Form of insanity characterised by inappropriate happiness, mental and physical restlessness and grandiose delusions

Mania-a-potu

Madness from drinking; delirium tremens

Marasmus

Malnutrition occurring in infants and young children, caused by an insufficient intake of calories or protein and characterised by thinness, dry skin, poor muscle development, and irritability. In the mid-nineteenth century, specific causes were associated with specific ages. In infants under twelve months old, the causes were believed to be unsuitable food, chronic vomiting, chronic diarrhoea, and inherited syphilis. Between one and three years, marasmus was associated with rickets or cancer. After the age of three years, caseous (cheese like) enlargement of the mesenteric glands (located in the peritoneal fold attaching the small intestine to the body wall) became a given cause of wasting. After the sixth year, chronic pulmonary tuberculosis appeared to be the major cause. Marasmus is now considered to be related to kwashiorkor, a severe protein deficiency.

Mayer

A Physician

Mediastinum

The space between the lungs.

Mediterranean Fever

See Brucellosis

Medulla

The marrow in the centre of a long bone. The soft internal portion of glands. Eg. Kidney, lymph nodes, thymus.

Megaloblastic Anaemia

Lack of blood. Also known as Pernicious Anaemia. Until the 1940's it was treated by feeding the patient with raw liver. Now curable by vitamin addition to the diet.

Melancholia

Severe Depression

Membranous Croup

Diphtheria

Meningitis

Inflammation of the meninges (the three membranes covering the brain and spinal cord), especially of the pia mater and arachnoid—caused by a bacterial or viral infection and characterised high fever, severe headache, and stiff neck or back muscles

Mesentery

A large fold of peritoneum, passing between a portion of intestine and the posterior abdominal wall.

Meteorism

Flatulent distension of the abdomen with gas in the gut

Metritis

Inflammation of uterus or purulent vaginal discharge

Miasma

Poisonous vapours thought to infect the air and cause disease

Milk Fever

Short lived fever which sometimes accompanies lactation

Milk Leg

Thrombosis of veins in the thigh usually seen after childbirth (at one time thought to be due to excess milk being directed to the leg)

Milk Sick(ness)

Poisoning resulting from the drinking of milk produced by a cow who had eaten a plant known as white snake root.

Mitral Regurgitation

Defect in the closure of the valve whereby blood tends to flow backward into the auricle from ventricle.

Mitral Stenosis

Narrowing of, usually due to recurrent attacks of rheumatism.

Mitral

Pertaining to the valve dividing the left auricle and ventricle of the heart.

Mollities Ossium

Osteomalacia

Morbilli

Measles

Morbus Addisonii

See Addison's Disease

Morbus Cordis

Means no more than heart disease. Probably used by doctors when they didn't know the exact cause of death but were sure it was natural causes.

Morbus

Latin word for disease. In the last century, when applied to a particular disease, Morbus was associated with some qualifying adjective or noun, indicating the nature or seat of such disease. Examples: Morbus Cordis, Heart Disease; Morbus Caducus, epilepsy or failing sickness

Mormal

Gangrene

Morphew

The blisters of Scurvy

Mortification

Used in the medical sense, gangrene, Necrosis.

Mortis

Death

Myelitis

Inflammation of the spinal cord

Myelodysplasia

A tumour formed from the soft medullary centre of the long bone. ie. From marrow.

Myelogenous Leukemia

A type of leukemia.

Myeloma

Marrow. A malignant condition arising from plasma cells, usually in the bone marrow.

Myocarditis

Inflammation of heart muscle

Myocardium

Middle layer of the heart wall/muscle.

Myocardiumitis

Inflammation of heart muscle.

Myxoedema

A condition of gelatinous oedematous (Oedemaand excess of fluid in the tissues shown by swelling, pitting and translucency) thickening of the skin due to deficiency of the thyroid secretion.

Natal Sore

Leishmaniasi

Necrosis

Death of tissue

Nephrosis, Nephritis

Kidney degeneration

Neuralgia

Sharp and paroxysmal pain along the course of a sensory nerve. There are many causes anaemia, diabetes, gout, malaria, syphilis. Many varieties of neuralgia are distinguished according to the part affected — such as face, arm, leg.

Neurasthenia

Neurotic condition or feeble minded

Noma

See Cancrum Oris

Nostalgia

A longing for the comforts of home or to return home. In a military setting this is probably Shell Shock or Battle Fatigue

Occlusion

The closure of an opening.

Oedema

Fluid retention See also Dropsy

Oriental Boil

See Leishmaniasis

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