What’s up with Bee Pollen?

Hey there,
I’ve never taken bee pollen as a supplement however a number of patients have mentioned it over the years so I wanted to see what was up with Bee Pollen?

What is Bee Pollen?

Bee pollen is considered a highly nutritious food because it contains a balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, enzymes, and essential amino acids.
Pollen comes from various plants, including buckwheat, maize, pine (songhaufen), rape, and typha (puhuang)
It’s not the same things as  bee venom, honey, and royal jelly.
Bee pollen contains more amino acids and vitamins than many other amino acid-containing products like beef, eggs, or cheese.

Bee Pollen Uses

Orally, bee pollen is used for general nutrition, as an appetite stimulant, to improve stamina and athletic performance, for premature aging, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), hay fever or allergic rhinitis, mouth sores, rheumatism, painful urination, prostate conditions, and radiation sickness. It is also used orally for weight loss and obesity, bleeding problems including coughing or vomiting blood, bloody diarrhea, nosebleed, cerebral hemorrhage, and menstrual problems. Bee pollen is also used for gastrointestinal (GI) problems including constipation, diarrhea, enteritis, colitis, as a general tonic, diuretic, and for alcohol intoxication.

Topically, bee pollen is used for skin care in skin softening products, and for treating eczema, pustular eruptions, and diaper rash.

 

Safety of Bee Pollen

Bee pollen has been safely used in clinical trials lasting up to 30 days. So that means if you’re using it longer than a month – consult your health care provider and consider cycling on and off of it. Alternating with other products.
There is some concern that bee pollen might have uterine stimulant effects so you may want to avoid it during your period as it might cause a heavier flow. And you probably want to stay away from it if you’re pregnant.
Preliminary evidence suggests that a specific combination product seems to decrease some symptoms of PMS including irritability, weight increases, and edema when given over a period of 2 menstrual cycles.

Dosing of Bee Pollen

An initial theoretical dose is 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon, once per day. The dosage may be gradually increased to 1-2 teaspoons one to three times per day (anecdotal). A spoonful at breakfast, preferably taken with a piece of fruit: the fruit fibers (raw hemicellulose) reinforce the activity of the fresh pollen.

Adverse effects

Hypersensitivity to pollens included in commercial preparations has been observed. Symptoms include allergic reactions such as gastrointestinal upset, rash, erythema, asthma, hay fever, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. So start small especially if you have allergies or are sensitive to other products.

Pollen Allergies?

Bee pollen supplements can cause serious allergic reactions in patients who are allergic to pollen. Allergic reactions can include itching, swelling, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and anaphylaxis.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about it, you probably want to chat with your health care provider to double check it’s for you. And then start small.
And if you’re struggling with any of these health conditions we mentioned above, book a free meet the doctor visit with one of us to see how we can help.
Talk soon,
Dr. Whitney
Source – Natural Medicines Database

The Best Fertility App

We see a lot of patients in our office dealing with PMS or fertility issues. I wanted to find an app that was user-friendly but could also get all the details I want about a patient’s cycle. I didn’t just want an app that tracked when you got your period and told you when you should get the next one. I wanted one that my patients could input their basal body temperatures, cervical fluids and PMS symptoms.

I searched high and low and my new favourite app is Kindara. It’s a free app that can be used for achieving pregnancy, avoiding pregnancy or just tracking your cycle. The beautiful thing too is you can put as much data in or as little as you want. You can even add your own category.

kindara

You can also send your charts to your practitioner via email, which is a fantastic feature for our clinic.

It tracks:

  • A summary of the lengths of your cycle
  • Cervical fluids
  • Temperature
  • Flow rate during your period
  • Sexual intercourse – with protection or not
  • Cervix position – height, openness, firmness
  • Your own category eg acne, pain, backpain, clots

kindara phone

So, if you are having PMS symptoms you want us to help you with, or are trying to get pregnant or avoid pregnancy, give this app a try and let me know what you think.

Brides and Moms to Be!

Dr. Whitney and Dr. Kerri show off their new PCOS tea at the Bridal Show.

Dr. Whitney and Dr. Kerri show off their new PCOS tea at the Bridal Show.

We had a fun time at the Timpano Bridal show this past weekend meeting lots of brides, moms and even some future husbands! We thought it might be a unique way to reach out to women to let them know that we are experts in fertility and offer natural solutions to improving PMS, irregular cycles and fertility. We polled the women and found out some interesting statistics about when they want to start trying to conceive.

Of the ones who said YES they are planning on starting a family:

  • 23% said they have already started
  • 12% want a honeymoon baby
  • 23% said they plan to start trying 6-12 months after the wedding
  • 42% were other – 1-2 years after the wedding or unsure

What are PMS symptoms?

Do you suffer from PMS (premenstrual syndrome)? It’s shocking that up to 40% of women will have to manage their symptoms!

PMS symptoms include:

  • mood differences (depression, hostility, irritability, weepy)
  • swelling (breasts, feet, hands, bloating, weight gain)
  • headache
  • anxiety (palpitations, agitation, restless)
  • insomnia or disturbed sleep
  • cravings for salt or refined carbs (bread, chocolate)

What causes PMS?

PMS is caused by a variety of factors and is different for each women.  It could be hormone imbalance (like prolactin, aldosterone, estrogen or insulin), dietary factors, your exercise, or it could be a nutrient deficiency (like B6 or magnesium).

What can you do about it?

  1. First start by tracking your symptoms – get a calendar or piece of paper or an app to track all your symptoms that aren’t normal.
  2. Rate them on a scale of 1-10
  3. Record how long they last for e.g. 1 hour, 6 hours, 2 days

Then tweak something in your life and watch the next cycle and do the 3 steps to record again. Just being aware is the first stage.

Natural treatments for PMS do exist.  Herbs, supplements, and lifestyle changes can dramatically improve your cycle.

Talk soon!

Drs. Kerri & Whitney,