The Entero-Endocrine System

by: Christine Kessler MN, ANP-C, CNS, BC-ADM, CDTC, FAANP

What organ has the greatest impact on overall health and chronic illness?  Here’s a hint—it’s NOT the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys OR (despite the beliefs of many) the gonads.   The true “Alpha-organ” is the gut!

More is being learned about the gastrointestinal (GI) system and its influence on our health and disease risk.  We now know that it is home to our primary immune system and is considered the “second brain” due to its hormonal and neuronal bio-directional connection with the central nervous system.  Indeed, emotions and mental health are intimately aligned with our GI system.  (Did you know that over 80% of the serotonin produced in our body is made in the gut?)  In addition, the stomach and intestines house a large and important bacterial ecosystem that interacts with what we consume and profoundly influences immunologic, incretin and GI neuropeptide responses.  The microbiome is now believed to be one of the biggest players (second only to genetics) in determining our risk for or against chronic disease.

The GAPA session titled, The Entero-endocrine System and Chronic Health, will explore the gut-brain-axis and the bioactivity of the microbiome  Those who attend this fascinating session will learn reality-based strategies to promote a healthy microbiome and metabolic health and critically evaluate the effects of pro- & pre-biotics and selected diets for disease prevention and intervention.


See Christine Kessler MN, ANP-C, CNS, BC-ADM, CDTC, FAANP speak in 2018 at the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants Summer Conference July 15-19.

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