Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Arthritis Sufferers Turn To Bee Stings

By Zoe Fraley, The Bellingham Herald (USA), 12/10/2006

Bellingham - Sons show their mothers love in many ways: some with phone calls or flowers or help around the house. Israel Hidalgo stings his mother with bees.

His mother, Analilia Hidalgo, 54, began treatment for rheumatoid arthritis more than six years ago, and with it came an avalanche of health problems, and the medication she received caused more pain than the disease it was treating…

After about two years of traditional treatments and seemingly endless complications, Hidalgo happened upon a Discovery Channel special that would give his mother new life: it featured a segment on bee sting therapy. He researched the treatment on the Internet and ordered a book by the woman featured on the special. "That triggered my curiosity," he says.

Bee sting therapy, or apitherapy, is the process of using bee venom, either from live bees or an injectable synthetic form, to treat a variety of ailments. Though little scientific data is available about the therapy, it has been used as an alternative treatment for diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cancer and arthritis…

For Analilia Hidalgo, however, four years of bee stings have absolutely been worth it, no matter what doctors or friends think.

"Some people, when they hear about my treatment, they are scared," she says. "For me, they are my friends and they are my medicine. I love my bees."

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