I blogged the other day about my Great-grandparents Wilhelm and Julia Skibbe. Julia died of Bright's disease with a contributory factor of arsenic poisoning. Why would she be given arsenic? In the early 1900's arsenic was used for numerous ailments. Among them were sexual diseases, acne, malaria, and headaches. Interestingly, my family has a documented history of migraines.
A great place to find out more about those old medical terms is Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms. You can also check out Genproxy, and Old Names for Illness and Causes of Death for more information. A good book to have as reference is A Medical Miscellany for Genealogists by Dr. Jeanette L. Gerger. The book is available used for around $14 or new for about $22. Take your research a step further by doing a little research into the cause of death. You never know you may uncover some interesting details or a genetic malady in your family.