It is important to understand the potential risks and warnings attached to bee venom therapy as well as appreciating what benefits it might have to offer, so here is a look at some of the key points to consider.
Using bee venom
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that bee venom is a powerful poison, especially of you have experienced how painful a bee sting can be, which is why some consider it to use that poison in a positive way in order to provide some potential health benefits or remedies.
You will find that bee venom might be given as a shot to help someone who is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or has some nerve pain that they are trying to get relief from. Bee venom is also used to treat patients with multiple sclerosis and it is also understood to be helpful in reducing the allergic reaction that some people experience when they are stung by a bee.
This venom immunotherapy could potentially help counteract swollen tendons and other muscle conditions associated with an allergic reaction to a bee sting, such as fibromyositis and enthesitis.
Purified bee venom
The FDA has approved purified bee venom as a product that can help greatly reduce the severity of any allergic reaction that you might experience from being stung by a bee.
These under-the-skin injections of bee venom are estimated to provide as much as 99% protection from reactions to bee stings for a period of time that could be anything five to ten years after receiving a series of bee venom shots.
If you are one of those people who is always at risk from the allergic reaction created by a bee sting, purified bee venom may well prove to be an effective product in counteracting this potential problem, at least according to FDA approval tests.
Less positive news for arthritis sufferers
There is less positivity surrounding the ability of bee venom to help arthritis and multiple sclerosis sufferers.
It has been claims that bee venom could offer some benefits to someone who has arthritis, mainly based on the thinking that its anti-inflammatory properties could help to reduce swelling. The fact that many beekeepers don’t tend to suffer from arthritis is hardly a convincing argument that bee venom could be used in this way effectively, but sadly, there is very little else in the way of positive research results to support the theory at this stage.
Tests on multiple sclerosis sufferers have also failed to produce any compelling evidence that those with MS could definitely benefit from bee venom therapy. A previous test where bee venom was administered three times a week to some MS patients over a 24-week period, did not seem to materially improve their levels of fatigue or disability.
More evidence is definitely required in terms of the true effectiveness of bee venom in relieving inflammation, nerve pain or tendonitis.
Side effects to consider
It seems that the majority of people tend to react well to having bee venom injected under the skin by a trained professional and don’t suffer any particular side effects.
There are however, some who may experience a reaction to the venom and this could be side effects such as redness and swelling in the area where the injection was administered. Other known side effects also include a degree of itchiness, breathing difficulties, dizziness and nausea, amongst a number of known reactions.
It seems that these side effects are more common in people who already have a known allergic reaction to bee stings, and women might prove to be more vulnerable to side effects than men.
Too much of a risk
There are many treatments where you often have to weigh up the risks and the benefits so that you can decide whether to go ahead or not, and the use of bee venom is something that you should always consider carefully before going ahead.
Using bee venom therapy to treat osteoarthritis is a case in point.
Research to date shows that there are some known benefits attached to the use of bee venom, but when you weigh up the pros and cons of using the therapy to counteract the effects of osteoarthritis for example, it still has to be said that bee venom therapy only manages to take lower ranking on the list of safe and effective treatments.
It would therefore always be a good idea to take some professional guidance on the use of bee venom therapy, before you get stung by some unfortunate side effects.
Elise Rogers is on extended maternity leave waiting for her baby girl to make an appearance into the world. Elise works as a nurse and likes to feel useful. To ease her frustrations at waiting around, stuck at home, she has taken to article writing and hopes her articles will be of use to someone, somewhere in the world!
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