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Iím Dr. John Hong, an internal medicine doctor in Cape May, NJ. (Yes, beaches and blue skies!) Medical information, Health information, Blogs, Videos...VOILA! It's all here! I really practice medicine full time as well as blog, write about health for newspapers, and appear on TV . This is my forum for plain talk about real medicine, in a fun, hip, non-threatening manner. Do take a look!

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June 1, 2014: Bell's Palsy is a strange, acute neurological illness that makes either the right or left side of the face to become weakened or paralyzed. Recovery can be very tough for some. Bell's Palsy can occur in 13-34 people every year per 100,000 (the size of Cape May County). Learn more about it.

April 22, 2014: 2 videos for you! I made my debut on prime time network news with Nancy Grace a couple of weeks ago. I joined her show again tonight. The first video pertains to anabolic steroids and to a Facebook video of a child beating. The 2nd video is about dog bites in children.

March 30, 2014: Norovirus! I hate vomiting! And I definitely don't want to get sick on a cruise, and I go on cruises almost every year. Norovirus is pretty well known cause of gastroenteritis (infection of the gut to cause vomiting and diarrhea) because of the news... coverage on this virus. Cruise ships that have been on the news for Norovirus this year include: Holland America’s Veendam (CNN 2/23/14) – which is a bummer because we cruise on HAL all the time – Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas (CNN 1/31/14) and Princess’ Caribbean Princess (CNN 1/31/14)

March 16, 2014: Cancer. Scary disease - so scary many people can only call it, "The Big C." I have learned quite a few people don't really know what cancer is, so let's talk about it in, "What's That, Dr. Hong?"

March 9, 2014: Mumps! I have never seen anyone with the mumps before - the disease that can cause the cheeks to swell badly (and worse cases can cause the testicles to swell, cause deafness, or meningitis). I've started a new video blog, "What's That, Dr. Hong?" Yes, I need a jingle and some other things, but all in good time.

Tapeworms | Pageant Mom Reportedly Gave to her Daughter to Lose Weight

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I believe Mrs. Baker, my 7th grade life science teacher, introduced me to tapeworms. If my memory serves me correctly, she said some “diet pills” had tapeworms. Ewww, what a way to lose weight! As a guest on HLN today, we discuss tapeworms because a beauty pageant mom secretly gave her daughter “diet pills” that infected her with tapeworms.

Tapeworms (Cestodes) are flat parasitic worms that live in human GI tract (the gut). Taeniasis, Diphyllobothriasis, Hymenolepiasis, and Diplyidiasis are the main tapeworm diseases. The adult tapeworm has a head, neck and segmented body. The head (scolex) has suckers, hooks, or groves to attach itself to the human intestine, usually the small bowels. Each segment (proglottid) of the tapeworm body has its own set of reproductive organs (so they are hermaphrodites).

Taeniasis: T. saginata (beef tapeworm), T. solium (pork tapeworm) and T. asiatica. Beef tapeworm usually less than 5m long and pork tapeworm 2 to 7m long. Most infected humans do not have symptoms but notice tapeworm segments in their stools. Some sense movement of the proglottids through the anus. If the person has symptoms, they can be nausea, loss of appetite, stomach pains, headache, dizziness, anxiety, and rash. The proglottids can obstruct the appendix, common bile duct (like a gallstone does) or pancreatic duct (to cause pancreatitis).

Diphyllobothriasis (fish tapeworm) is the largest human tapeworm caused by D. latum. They are found in fresh water fish. Most infected people do not have symptoms. Symptoms can include diarrhea, dizziness, and allergy symptoms. Because tapeworms steal nutrition from the human, this particular tapeworm can cause vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause memory problems, numbness of hands and feet, fatigue, anemia. Since Diphyllobothrium can be 10 to 12m long, some of them can tangle up to obstruct the GI system.
(c) Dr. John Hong

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