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List of Elvis' Ailments


"When Elvis died, they said he had drugs in him. He should have had more, the way he suffered in his last few months. With his condition, he was courageous beyond reason if that's all he had in him."

--a friend of Elvis', Dr. Harry Rosenburg

In an NBC network television news report the evening of August 3, 1997, which was a few days prior to the 20th anniversary of Elvis' death, it was stated publicly that Elvis did not die of a drug overdose, but of a massive heart attack. This report also admitted that he had serious physical conditions for which he was forced to take addictive doses of medication, although the program did not go into detail as to the many serious ailments Elvis had at the time of his death. The news segment did say however, that the steroids he was taking for his enlarged colon caused him to have three compression fractures in his spine, and also that at the time of his death, he had the arteries of an 80 year old man. One of his doctors stated that before he died Elvis had worked with the doctors in changing his medication to the point where he was no longer addicted to the prescribed drugs.

The following list of Elvis' ailments have been spoken and/or written about by Elvis' friends (Charlie Hodge, Kathy Westmoreland, Larry Geller, Wanda June Hill, and several others) who have either written about some of these ailments in published books on Elvis, or have given me (Maia) this information personally. I was present at 36 of Elvis' concerts and knew several people around him who kept me informed of his severe health problems.

I cannot PROVE any of this. Will will never know for SURE just what Elvis had or didn't have. I DO know that he was in great pain in the final years of his life and searching for answers to the cause, and remedies for this pain.

Despite his condition, it should be noted that from March, 1976 through June of 1977 (two months before his death) Elvis gave a total of 149 stage performance, necessitating that he engage in grueling travel schedules taking him all across the United States


  • HEART DISEASE - The autopsy revealed Elvis suffered at least 3 heart attacks before the final one.

  • CANCER OF THE LIVER & BONE - Elvis believed he had cancer, and at least one of his doctors (according to Elvis) diagnosed it.  It was said to be caused by PERNICIOUS ANEMIA, coming from a GENETIC LIVER DISEASE.

  • ERYTHEMATOUS & SYSTEMIC LUPUS - This is a painful and sometimes deadly disease. There is both an outer epidermal form of it and a type that effects the internal organs. Elvis had both, although for him it was mostly an internal malady.



  • INSOMNIA - a chronic, hereditary clincal disorder.

  • GLAUCOMA - This is an extremely painful eye condition which is the third leading cause of blindness in the U.S.


  • ENLARGED AND OBSTRUCTED COLON - caused severe CONSTIPATION. Elvis' colon was actually deformed. He was born with this abnormality.






Wanda Hill to Maia Christianne:

He (Elvis) was speaking of "bone marrow" and a form of leukemia at the time and said they were going to transfuse him as he had deformed and many white cells and few red ones. he was very pale at this time and was weak and complained of no strength and severe pain in his bones, especially the legs when he lay down to rest. The headaches he had and the pain he felt in so much of his body, kept him worn out. He also had the severe mid-body pain that doubled him over and he said he'd just as soon "die" as continue that kind of life of pain. He had a live biopsy which showed the liver damage, what was called a tumor, in fact two types of tumor none of which were operable. And he was told it would eventually kill him.

Elvis said it was the liquid pain killer that was given by shots and he wasn't using it anymore. I think it was maybe Demerol if that's spelled right? It was to relax his colon and help stop the pain from it. Suzy said that he cried when talking to her because he was so "tired of hurting" and didn't understand why it was not getting any better when they told him he would get better-that was in 76 and he said then it woke him up even if he had taken sleeping pills and went to sleep. The pain woke him up and that his legs hurt so much he had to get up and walk sometimes. I've had some of that and I sure understand a little of what he felt in that way. Suzy said he told her when he was crying that he just wanted to get it over with, if he was "gonna die-I pray it's soon" he told her. I know he had terrible headaches at times and holed up in his room in the dark (except for that night light) and said he tried to meditate it away but he couldn't do it very well any more. That was in 76-77 and he said he was having a hard time using self hypnosis as well- He said, "I look like hell, but thank God can still sing, it is my salvation so many times." - WJH

The Autopsy Report:

The autopsy report was ONLY to determine what the cause of death was and IF there was a drug overdose or something similar such as poison.  The request from the family of Elvis (Vernon Presley) was only for that- and they did not request any further results be made public knowledge. In fact, they requested that NO other facts be made public.  The research centers where the details were done, were only to determine if he overdosed and the cause of death-which was the heart and he had ONLY THE PRESCRIBED amounts of the drugs he was taking for his physical conditions in his system.  NOTHING else.  The autopsy always checks when looking for heart related or stroke related or hemorage related deaths-the condition of veins and arteries.  They also check the heart as it was heart failure in his case-caused by an enlarged heart, a weakened heart muscle due to the enlargement and poor circulation due to artery disease. NOTHING else was required in his case and nothing was to be released other than that.

read also:

ELVIS BY THE PRESLEYS - My Personal Perspective



on Magnum website


The M Files website (This bio is in my opinion, probably far more accurate than most.)

visit Tribulations forum
on the ELC Forums

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This is a website created strictly as a tribute to Elvis Presley. Elvis, Elvis Presley, Graceland and TCB are all registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises. I make no claim to Elvis Presley Enterprises, Elvis Presley, his music, videos or voice.

All flash presentations, creative art and text is copyrighted by Maia Nartoomid (and in some instances with text and documents, Wanda June Hill and JoAnna McKenzie) - all rights reserved.