Can Inhaled Pollens Cause Intestinal Symptoms?

Allergies to certain foods are more common in individuals with respiratory allergic reactions to airborne pollens. In some cases, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms do occur. Why and how this happens has been puzzling researchers for some time. But interactions between allergic reactions in the respiratory tract and the GI system are still poorly understood.

Researchers at the University of Gotenborg, Sweden studied 9 subjects with birch pollen allergies who had experienced both oral allergy syndrome (OAS) and GI reactions to foods that cross-reacted with birch pollen. During the study, a high percentage of subjects reported GI symptoms as well as OAS symptoms, despite a diet that avoided suspect foods.

The researchers suggest that inhaling pollen allergens led to a systemic reaction involving both the GI tract and the respiratory system, and that there is an immunological interplay between the two. More investigation is warranted.

No. 20, 2005
Source: WellnessOptions

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