Middle Ages

  • Created by: lyds1
  • Created on: 01-06-18 12:29
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  • The Middle Ages c1250-c1500
    • Supernatural + Religious Ideas
      • God + cause of disease
        • God made people ill because he was testing their faith or was displeased with them
        • this belief held back medical research so few new ideas for cause of disease
      • Astrology
        • alignment of the planets/stars cause some disease
          • help diagnosis of patients
        • not new idea but did increase in this period
      • Church control
        • centre of formal learning
        • set up and ran universities- physicians trained
        • discouraged dissection + any form of challenging authority
        • monks + priests could read + write so in charge of what people read
          • books in monasteries mostly
        • promoted Galen's ideas- his theories fitted Christian beliefs (soul + God created body)
        • hospitals housed in monasteries + nunneries
    • Rational explanation for disease
      • Four Humours
        • Ancient Greek
        • Cause of disease when humours become unbalanced in body- blood, phlegm, black bile, yellow bile
          • put this balance right to cure disease
      • Theory of opposites
        • Galen developed Four Humours idea further
          • if you had symptoms relating to cold then eat some hot pepper etc
        • Galen
          • his books were basis of medical training in Middle Ages
          • developed Hippocrates' ideas
            • mainly used bloodletting, purging
          • drew detailed anatomy diagrams- knowledge from operating on gladiator wounds + dissections on dead bodies (most animal)
      • Hippocrates
        • influential in Medieval times and beyond
        • dismissed idea that God caused disease
          • believed in physical reason so physical cure
        • treatment based on diet, exercise, rest, bleeding + purging
        • clinical observation still used today
      • Miasma
        • bad air caused disease
        • related to God
          • bad smell indicated sin
    • Prevention + Treatment
      • connection with Four Humours
        • bloodletting
          • cut a vein
          • leeches
          • done by barber surgeon or non medical people
            • occasionally physicians
        • purging
          • making patient vomit or go to the toilet
          • emetics + laxatives mixed by apothecaries, women or at home
          • physicians prescribed treatment or gave enemas
      • Methods to prevent illnesses
        • religious + supernatural
          • carry lucky charms/ amulets
          • self punishment- flagellation
          • chanting incantations
          • living Church life
        • rational
          • bathing + washing
          • exercising
          • not overeating
          • purifying air
          • keep streets clean
      • Religious Treatment
        • praying
        • pilgrimages
        • fasting
      • Traditional remedies
        • made with herbs which were drunk , sniffed or bathed in
        • also different foods to rebalance humours
        • ointments to apply to skin
        • made at home or mixed + sold by apothecaries
      • Supernatural treament
        • specific for certain illnesses
        • e.g. hanging magpies beak around neck to cure toothache
    • Caring for the sick
      • barber surgeons
        • no training
        • did bloodletting, pulling teeth, lancing boils, cut hair
        • basic surgery- amputations
        • cost less than physician
      • care in home
        • female family member
        • most people treated at home
        • wise women
      • apothecries
        • no medical qual but did get training
        • mix meds + ointments
        • cost less than physician
      • physicians
        • medically trained at uni + passed exam
        • diagnosed illness, gave treatment, sent patient to apothecaries or barber surgeon
        • expensive
        • V few of them
        • observed patient's symptoms, checked skin, pulse + urine
        • consult urine charts
        • consult zodiac chart- diagnose + best time to treat patient
      • Hospitals
        • placed where travellers/ pilgrims stayed
        • no. increased
        • people with infectious disease not admitted
        • run by Church- focus on God + healing souls
        • some built for specific infectious disease
        • kept v clean
        • fresh food, plenty of rest
        • place of recuperation
    • The Black death, 1348-9
      • bubonic plague carried by fleas on black rats
        • disease enters blood when bitten
      • swelling on lymph glands with pus, fever + chills, headache, vomit, diarrhoea, ab pain
      • pray, hold lucky charms, eating cold thing, cold baths, bread against buboes then bury it , cut open buboes
      • causes: punishment from God, position of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn unusual, miasma, volcanoes- poisonous gases, 4 humours- inbalance, witches/ strangers
      • avoid: pray, clear rubbish, smell bad smells, light fires in room, ring bells, birds- keep air moving, carry herbs, not letting unknown people in village

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