Not a harmless common ailment: allergies and intolerances

From skin rashes to watery eyes: the symptoms of allergies and intolerances are as varied as their causes. Allergies are one of the most common chronic diseases and are on the increase. In addition to actual allergies, food intolerances are also playing an increasing role. Although the terms «allergy» and «intolerance» are often used interchangeably, they are actually two different processes in our body.



Allergies are immune reactions to foreign substances. The immune system falsely recognises these substances as a threat and starts a defence reaction. The body reacts with sneezing, itchy eyes, skin rashes, asthma and, in severe cases, allergic shock, which can be life-threatening. The most common allergies are to pollen (hay fever), insect bites, food (e.g. nuts), animal hair, medication or house dust mites.



In contrast to allergies, intolerances are not immune reactions. In the case of intolerances, our body cannot process certain substances or cannot process them properly. Intolerances mainly affect the digestive system. Typical symptoms are abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhoea and nausea. Most intolerances relate to milk sugar (lactose intolerance), gluten (gluten intolerance), histamine and fructose.


Recognise early and prevent

It’s worth taking a closer look: do you regularly suffer from reddened skin, colds or digestive problems – or have you even had an allergic reaction? It is important to recognise allergies and intolerances in good time. If symptoms are ignored, this can have a negative impact on the body in the long term.

Helpful therapies:

  • You should definitely consult a doctor for more detailed clarification.
  • In the case of intolerances and allergies, an adapted diet, acupuncture, natural remedies or medication can be helpful, for example (the list is not exhaustive).
  • From a holistic point of view, alternative medicine helps to treat the cause so that no symptoms occur.
  • Allergies and intolerances: visit Helsana on Europaallee and find out more


Open day at Helsana

15. Mai 2024, 11 am to 7 pm

Lecture on allergies and intolerances
12.15 pm to 12.45 pm
Followed by an open Q&A session

Lecture on allergies and intolerances
5.15 pm to 5.45 pm
Followed by an open Q&A session

Lagerstrasse 44
8004 Zurich