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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

What is a Leaky Gut?

Apr 29, 2023 12:37PM ● By Kenneth Haas, DC, CCSP

A leaky gut is a syndrome in which the protective barrier of the small intestine is compromised and allows undigested foods and anything else that happens to be in the gut to cross into the body.  When this occurs the immune system attacks the leaked material that doesn’t belong where it is because it assumes that it may be a virus or bacteria.  The result is inflammation at the location where this material is present.

There are certain things that we consume that irritate the lining of the small intestines causing the very tiny absorption “holes” to get bigger. When these “holes” enlarge substances in the intestines can make their way into the bloodstream where the immune system will try to destroy them. This is an inflammatory process. Wherever these substances travel in the body inflammation will occur.

The key to avoid a leaky gut is to avoid medications and irritating foods whenever possible. Medications including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve,) and antibiotics are intestine irritants.

Drinks such as coffee, black tea, red wine (all contain tannins) and soft drinks (phosphoric acid) also have an irritating effect and should be avoided. Chocolate, which also contains tannins, can also contribute to leaky gut.

Foods that can be helpful are blueberries, raspberries, artichokes, turmeric and ginger.

Kenneth Haas, DC, CCSP, is the founder of Haas Wellness Center, located at 3315 Springbank Ln., Ste. 102, in Charlotte. For appointments, more information or to set up a no-charge consultation, call 704-837-2420, email or visit

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