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Unexplainable Medical Mysteries: Alexander the Great I

Alexander the Great was a mighty warrior and known for his success in conquering other countries, but sadly, he was not immune to death and at the young age of 32. While many people focus on the fact that Alexander created one of the largest empires in ancient history, others still ponder the controversy surrounding his death. What did he actually die of?

There is mystery associated with the death of Alexander the Great , a man who catapulted the history of ancient Greek military with numerous conquests. While his death is often attributed to a fever that grew worse after he downed a large serving of unmixed wine to pay homage to Hercules. The details of his death state that he was in great pain. Some feel the powerful strategist was poisoned or perhaps, malaria had something to do with his demise. In some circles, the belief is that Alexander succumbed to an accidental overdose of hellebore , a poisonous plant used to induce vomiting during ancient times or that he developed a nasty intestinal bug.

Over the years, many interested parties have tried to get to the bottom of the mystery, including a group of doctors who discussed the topic at a clinical pathology conference held at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The consensus around the board was that an intestinal bug connected to typhoid fever led to the death of the great Macedonian leader.

Physicians often zero in on the historical accounts of the week leading up to Alexander’s death. He experienced sweats, chills, fatigue, and a high fever. All of these symptoms are commonplace when someone is suffering from an infectious disease, such as typhoid fever. Other symptoms that he showed was sever pain in his abdomen, which caused him to let out cries of agony. This clue leads researchers, such as David W. Oldach, an infectious disease expert at the University of Maryland Medical Center, to believe that he suffered an untreated case of typhoid fever, which can lead to perforation of the bowel.

After hearing this information, other doctors have followed suit and changed their previous thoughts. For example, one professor emeritus of ancient history who taught for 31 years at Penn State University abandoned their theory of malaria as the culprit and has embraced the notion of typhoid fever.

Doctors have also noted that ancient accounts stated that Alexander’s body did not start the decaying process until at least a couple of days after his passing. This is a symptom that has raised many eyebrows. Typhoid fever can cause the body to undergo ‘ascending paralysis,’ where the neurological system is affected. This condition begins at the feet and moves up the body, paralyzing muscles and slowing down breathing. People can show signs of dying, but they’re actually alive. Some researchers believe Alexander may have fell into a state of paralysis a few days before he was actually dead.