Medical Definition of Biliousness

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Biliousness: A term used in the 18th and 19th centuries pertaining to bad digestion, stomach pains, constipation, and excessive flatulence (passing gas). The quantity or quality of the bile was thought to be at fault for the condition. Hence, the name "biliousness." ("Bilious" derives from the French "bilieux," which in turn came from "bilis," the Latin term for "bile.") Biliousness was generally laid to high living. The "cure" was moderation and frequent visits to the doctor.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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