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Bee stings, cobra venom, and hookworms are things you usually avoid -- unless you have multiple sclerosis. Then, you may be willing to try them to help ease your symptoms. But do they work? Are these alternative treatments safe?
Let's separate the science from the wishful thinking.
Some lifestyle treatments, such as exercise, have been proven to help with fatigue, depression, memory, and bladder control. Others, such as supplements and minerals, are still being tested. Acupuncture, a centuries-old form of Chinese medicine, shows mixed results. The problem is that many of the studies into the effectiveness of nondrug treatments do not meet the high standards for medical research.
Your best bet is to stick to your treatment plan. Don't stop taking your medication. Talk to your doctor about any alternative treatment you want to try, especially because it may interfere with your medications. Together, you can decide if it makes sense and won't do more harm than good.
Bee Stings and Bee Pollen
Ancient Greek and Egyptian medical writing tells of bees used as medicine (apitherapy).
Melittin, found in bee venom, supposedly brings down inflammationrelated to MS. But one study shows that it doesn't. What's more, bee sting therapy could be dangerous if you have a life-threatening reaction to bee venom.