Stress physiology has been an ongoing area of my research and I was STRESSED and put on the spot in Paris. It all began quite innocently actually.
I have always found Paris to be a friendly city and I was chatting with a quite handsome gentleman as we crossed the street toward the conference center and as we rode the escalator to the conference. It started with “Hi, you look familiar.”
It may have sounded like a pick up line, but we were familiar to each other because our pictures were in the brochure as we were both speakers. By the time we were up the escalator we were knee-deep in science and then parted ways.
About an hour later into the conference the organizer, Agata came up to me in the middle of a session and whispered:
Agata: “Dr. Mario Krause would like you to present on stress and oxytocin during his session, it’s an honor, will you?”
Me: “Pardonnez-moi? He doesn’t know me. Is he crazy?”
Agata: ”Really, no. It’s in an hour and you will have 15 minutes.”
Long pause, I tormented myself trying to decide…
Me: “Please let him know that while I am flattered, I am not prepared.”
[I was feeling a lack of self-confidence… insecurity won out]
Then I thought…and thought… I know the subject really well… I will be the last in his series of presenters and will have an hour to prepare… Should I , Shouldn’t I?
And I thought: “Carpe Diem! Right?” Then, more profoundly: “No one knows me here!”
So I jumped out of my seat, raced up to the conference director and gave her the message that of course I would be honored. Thank you for the invitation.
I gave a very passionate 15 minute presentation. The room was silent… I was sweating… polite applause. We broke for lunch. Physicians in Europe are very serious. I remained nervous as to how it was received but I later received an invitation to speak again at future conferences. Ahh, good news! Phew! I proceeded with my lecture later that day on oxidative stress and free radical damage from iron supplementation in fertile women. Oxidative stress ages us prematurely and we overlook the effect of iron supplementation. As an OB/GYN I commonly recommended iron therapy without giving thought to the ‘rusting’ that could be resulting. It is really important to use antioxidants along with vitamin C when taking iron. I showed how using a fermented papaya extract is very therapeutic for reducing oxidative stress and aging processes.
I enjoyed the rest of the evening sightseeing and enjoying delicious food in the fantastic company of my colleagues Dr. Asconio and Angela Polimeni and Dr. Francesco Marotta.
I then traveled the following weekend to Alachua Florida which is near Gainesville and the University of Florida for an ayurvedic retreat and to interview Richard Masla on traditional techniques for stress reduction based on ayurvedic medical principles which I will share with you in the coming weeks.
Last weekend I presented in Las Vegas on the topic I am certainly most fascinated with and that is the result of PTSD and chronic stress on inflam-aging and the cortisol-oxytocin disconnect connection. I enjoy this conference because of the many forward thinking physician colleagues that are there.
Dr. Anna, Dr. Mark Menolocino, Dr. Hyla Cass, Dr Filmena Trindade, Dr. Anna, Dr. Cass
Share with me on Facebook your favorite stress reducing strategies and stay tuned over the next few weeks as I will be giving some very special gifts away over the next few weeks.
Wishing you a vida pura,
Dr. Anna Cabeca, DO, FACOG, ABAARM