Did you know that your intestines play an important role in combating allergies? Our intestine is an underestimated organ. Its surface area of around 400m2 is 10 times larger than that of the lungs and 100 times larger than that of the skin. This surface is home to 100 trillion bacteria from thousands of species. Their composition is unique to each person.

Home - Gut-Related Problems - Allergies


allergy blocked nose development symptoms

How do allergies develop?

Allergies can arise when the mucous membranes in the body (nose, lungs, intestines) are damaged. In this case, the substances entering the body with air or food cannot be properly controlled and released as harmless, but immediately and uncontrollably enter the blood or the lymphatic channels. This uncontrolled overload can lead to an overshooting of the immune system. Allergies and food intolerances are the consequence. 

Allergic reactions

Despite the different allergic symptoms that can occur, the course of all allergic reactions is the same: on contact with allergens, antibodies against this allergen (lgE) are formed. Upon renewed allergen contact, these IgE antibodies mediate the release of histamine, which triggers the typical allergic symptoms: e.g. itching, watery eyes, swelling, rashes or asthma

If an allergic reaction takes place, this means that the allergen has been able to pass the first barrier intestinal mucosa undetected. This is because the intestinal mucosa contains a special antibody, sIgA, which normally prevents the penetration of harmful substances and allergens. sIgA is produced by the cells of the intestine and released into the mucus layer. As a “mucosal antibody”, this antibody is a kind of protective coating of the intestine. This antibody protects against allergies in that it attaches itself to substances even before they are absorbed into the body and marks them. When allergens have been marked in this way, they can no longer be absorbed by the body. This prevents the allergic reaction before it can occur.

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What can you do about allergies?

allergies symptoms treatment blocked nose running eyes itching

Treat symptoms

This method treats the effects of the allergy. The symptoms can be treated in the short term by means of drops, sprays and tablets to reduce swelling and histamine release. 

However, the cause of the allergy is not treated by these measures.



Here, the body is gradually accustomed to a certain substance that triggers the allergy and a tolerance is built up.

This method is suitable for allergies to individual known substances, but it takes a long time and does not protect against new allergies.

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Mucous membranes

This form of therapy targets the origin of the allergy and is especially suitable for people who are allergic or intolerant to several substances.

Finally, every allergy-triggering substance is warded off via this pathway. Whether this substance comes from plants or animals (e.g. grass pollen, animal hair), from food (e.g. flavours, preservatives) or from care products is not decisive. 

Children and Allergies

The risk of an allergy depends strongly on the genes. If there is a family history of hypersensitivity to environmental substances such as pollen, animal hair or a certain food, there is a high probability that the child will also develop an allergy.

Anita Frauwallner's Allergy Advice

Mag. Anita Frauwallner
© Photo Fischer Graz

Which allergies can start in the intestine and why do they develop there?

Frauwallner: Nowadays, practically any substance can become an allergen and trigger allergic reactions. People with a weakened immune system often experience this because an allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to substances that do not cause any reactions at all in non-allergy sufferers.

If you know that 80% of the immune cells are located in the intestine, it is immediately clear to everyone why allergies occur more frequently when things are not right in the intestines. More technically correct: when the intestinal barrier no longer functions properly. The reason for this may have been an antibiotic treatment that has largely wiped out our important intestinal bacteria, or because you are currently suffering from massive stress. This high stress inhibits blood flow in your gut, causing inflammation to flare up. This creates an intestine with high permeability (= “leaky gut“) – meaning that food components as well as toxic substances or pollen allergens that you have licked from your lips can make their way through your intestinal barrier.

Start where the allergy begins - in the gut!

- Anita Frauwallner

If your immune system is overstimulated, allergic reactions can occur, for example, to milk, wheat or apples, because you eat them more often, or to substances that you touch. It is terrible when allergic reactions to birch or hazel pollen also occur because of cross-reactions. The more allergic reactions you have, the more susceptible you are to further allergies. It all started in your gut!

Can you cure your allergies by supporting your gut? What is helpful for allergies?

Frauwallner: I am the best example of how you can combat allergies. Start where the allergy originates – in the intestine!

Try to reduce stress and, above all, repair the inflamed intestinal mucosa. This works by taking the right anti-inflammatory intestinal bacteria.
Increase your resistance. During the pollen season, it is better not to do strenuous exercise but to build up a strong intestinal mucosa. In turn, the good intestinal bacteria help with this. I myself like to use a combination of six bacterial strains that colonise the entire intestine from top to bottom.
If your nose is running and your eyes are watering, you need to stop the formation of histamine in the intestines. Zinc is excellent for this. Additionally, B vitamins, amino acids and various trace elements are necessary for the development of a strong intestinal mucosa.

Which allergies have nothing to do with the gut? Or do all allergies actually have something to do with the gut?

Frauwallner: Both type I-III allergies mediated by antibodies and type IV reactions triggered by T-cells are always due to an error of the immune system. In a completely healthy person with a functioning intestine and optimal bacterial colonisation, the immunological “malfunction allergy” and especially food intolerances which many more people are known to suffer from today, would hardly exist.

Even in children who are genetically predisposed by both parents, it is possible to prevent the occurrence of allergies, neurodermatitis and asthma by 80% by administering the right intestinal bacteria during pregnancy and in the first year of the baby’s life. We published the PANDA study on this 10 years ago. Only now are paediatricians and allergologists slowly beginning to exploit the potential of probiotic therapy.

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Why do people feel that more and more people have allergies?

Frauwallner: It is not just a feeling – it is a fact that many more people suffer from allergies today than 50 years ago. But that is no wonder, you just have to look around: every child is given antibiotics several times already in the first years of life – and unfortunately often unnecessarily. Our food contains more sugar, colourings, preservatives and artificial flavour enhancers, and a large proportion of the population suffers so much stress that they are at massive risk of burn-out. We need to go back to ancient healing science – from Ayurveda to Hippocrates to Paracelsus, as they clearly expressed: “The intestine is the centre of health and disease“. My vision is very clear, especially in the case of allergies – don’t just look at the symptoms, but fight the causes. Allergies are caused by a poorly functioning intestine and the resulting misguided immune system.