Definition of Consumption
Consumption: An old and once common term for wasting away of the body, particularly from pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). Other old TB terms include the King's evil or scrofula (TB of the lymph nodes in the neck) and Pott's disease (TB of the spine).
The World Health Organization (WHO) in "L'histoire de la tuberculose" notes that: "In 460 BC Hippocrates identified phtisis (the Greek word meaning "consumption") as the most widespread disease of his day and observed that it was almost always fatal. Someone who had tuberculosis seemed literally to be consumed by the disease. That is why they used to speak of 'consumption'" (my translation).Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
Medical Dictionary Definitions A - Z
Search Medical Dictionary
- Being There for Your Child With Type 1 Diabetes
- Your Premature Baby: Milestones for the First 18 Months
- Are We Close to a Cure for Cancer?
- Early Care for Your Premature Baby
- What to Eat When You Have Cancer
- When to Take More Pain Medication