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Dirt and Disease in Medieval Europe

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on 6 June 2014

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Transcript of Dirt and Disease in Medieval Europe

Dirt and Disease in Medieval Europe
Hospitals at the time weren't exactly 'hospitals'. They were basically inns for the poor and homeless, not for the sick.
They barely treated the sick, they only cared for the homeless
People who built hospitals were usually priests and rich taxpayers and the workers were mostly nuns and all patients were required to go to church everyday.
Dirt and Disease
In Medieval Europe a doctor was as qualified as butcher.
They had very unusual ways of telling if someone was ill as they knew none of the causes of disease. One of the ways that doctors checked if people were poorly was to check their urine. the doctors judged the disease by the taste, colour and temperature of the urine.
A Medical doctor might also take the patients pulse, they may look at the patient's tongue the patients blood. Some may also ask their patients to excrement on a tray so they can analyze it.
A medieval doctor believed the explanation behind the illness was because of the ancient theory of the four humors. Blood, phlegm, black bile and yellow bile.
If the four humors were unbalanced then it would be a doctors task to balance it again. Everything was explained by this theory of the four humors- a red swelling meant to much blood, runny nose meant too much phlegm and a dark lump meant to much black bile.
Streets in the Medieval Europe contained pipes that decaying rat with greenish lumps and ate everything .
Rotten apple peels, asparagus stalks and cabbage cores would be on every street
it was like a vast infection of tooth decay, like the internal gas of a rotting stomach, like the smell of a man who has drunk too much, like the dried sweat of rotting animals, like the sour poison of a bedpan.
The crowded and unhygienic living conditions offered a good possibility for diseases to spread. Rushes, boils, stomach troubles, fever and deficiency diseases were part of people's everyday life.
Years of , wars and cold winters increased the destruction of epidemics.
Among the most feared diseases were smallpox, dysentery, measles, typhus and especially the plague. In the end of the Middle Ages also spotted fever and syphilis started to spread.
For medieval man the fear of death was increased by the fact that the causes of the diseases were unknown; the illnesses were often thought to be caused by spirits, demons or the devil. Horror scenes of death and disease are reflected in medieval art.
More Doctors
As a result all medicine you were given was designed to put the humors back in balance. Such as is you had a fever then it meant that there was too much blood in your body making it too hot to sort this out a doctor would make you lose blood by giving you a serious bleeding session.
A doctor had many potions or ointments to help their patients this didn't mean that the doctors marvelous creations helped their patients. Such as if a patient had a toothache then a doctor would hold a candle underneath the tooth and wait for the tooth worms to fall out.
The black death (the plague) was one of the most fatal diseases in Europe, it was spread by rats and fleas and it most likely came from the Silk road.
Pregnancy, lepers, infants, contagious sicknesses were not taken well by towns people.
When someone was sick, they might hire a doctor and the doctor might not even have a medical license and would use fake cures for money.
In the end the proof has shown that in the medieval times the doctors hospitals and towns are not like ours today because of all the dirt, weird ways that doctors treat patients and unusual hospital rules.
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