Saturday, January 28, 2012

Up and Coming

This week will prove to be very interesting at Redwood's. I'm so excited to host JoAnn Spears who will be guest blogging all this week on Henry VIII's ailments. Fascinating look into history and the medical care he received.

So, do you think you know what caused Henry VIII's death?

7 comments:

  1. Could be a good guess Jester Queen!

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  2. The movie "Man for all Seasons" concludes by stating emphatically that Henry VIII died from syphilis. People gravitate to that theory because there is a certain poetic justice about it. Contemporary research into metabolic and psychiatric conditions, as well as the manifestations of brain injury, offer interesting alternative theories.

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  3. I think he had Diabetes and maybe gout. The wound on his leg never healed, which sounds like Diabetes. Also, his eating habits would have set him up for Diabetes and gout, too.

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  4. I agree with Stephiern that the leg ulceration and obesity point to diabetes. I think that is probably one of the most tenable theories, based on symptoms. The diet of the Tudor court, though, doesn't seem to have been as heavy on empty, refined carb calories as the modern diabetes-inducing diet. They at breads, pastries, and sweets, but also an awful lot of animal, poultry and seafood protein to balance it out. Vegetable intake as I understand it was meager, and fresh fruit limited to what was available in England in season. That would set Henry up for Vitamin A and C deficiencies, which could account for poor wound healing. As for the gout...I just can't imagine Henry NOT gouty, somehow. And so many people were said to suffer it during the period, from Henry's father-in-law, King Ferdinand, to Walsingham, his daughter Elizabeth's spymaster. But here again, vague or subjective descriptions of symptoms trip us up. Incapacitating pain in the lower extremities could also be arthritic in origin, or even some sort of fasciitis.

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  5. If only they had had nurses notes back then...we'd have a lot more to go on!

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