Chapter

Medical Theories

Ralph Colp Jr. M.D.

in Darwin's Illness

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032313
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039237 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813032313.003.0021
Medical Theories

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Since Charles Darwin had severe episodes of vomiting and abdominal pains, it has been suggested that he may have had appendicitis, gastroduodenal ulcer, or cholecystitis. David Kohn has suggested that Darwin may have had a diaphragmatic hernia. In addition, two metabolic diseases were considered as possible causes for Darwin's illness. In 1959, Dr. DeWitt Stetten Jr. stated that Darwin had gout (not to be confused with the Victorian diagnosis of “suppressed gout”). In 1966 and 1967, Dr. Hyman J. Roberts suggested that Darwin may have had an illness that he called the “syndrome of narcolepsy and diabetogenic hyperinsulinism”. Moreover, the chapter shows how this syndrome applies to Darwin.

Keywords: Charles Darwin; David Kohn; diaphragmatic hernia; Dr DeWitt Stetten Jr; gout; Dr Hyman J Roberts; syndrome of narcolepsy; diabetogenic hyperinsulinism

Chapter.  964 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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