May I eat this candy?. I was astonished when I received this… | by Giovanna M. Gatti | Feb, 2024

May I eat this candy?

I was astonished when I received this WhatsApp message: one of my patients asked me if she could eat a small piece of candy, and she sent me the picture to be sure I could give an appropriate answer.

The diet issue is a primary need for patients who had or have cancer, but another primary issue is neurosis, which can increase the levels of a hormone called cortisol. The cortisol elevation is a consequence of a stressful event; one of the effects is the increase of the glucose levels in the blood. Going on with physiology, high glucose is a direct risk factor for the development of several diseases, mainly diabetes and cancer. To be more precise, the high glucose stimulates insulin production: this hormone is considered a risk for cancer.

After a cancer diagnosis, fear, shock, and the need to do something to reduce the risk of disease are quite common. Adopting a healthy habit includes choosing better food: this is good, but neurosis and stress are not good and can arise from a wrong perception of what “prevention” means. We should be careful to transmit the dietary message in a clear and soft language: data on this topic are positive, but it is not true that the prognosis depends on this.

  • Stress related to the need to maintain a healthy diet stimulates cortisol.
  • Cortisol enhances the glucose level in the blood.
  • High glucose levels in the blood are responsible for a higher risk of cancer.

In this cycle of events, it is evident that the dietary indication to prevent cancer relapse should consider patients’ pleasure in eating and cultural, familiar, individual habits. From the psychotherapy point of view, adopting a healthy diet is an excellent way to know ourselves and take care of ourselves in a loving mood. Still, the priority is to guarantee inner harmony and the reorganization of the psychic and physical levels on a conscious level.

Being conscious means, i.e., that the dietary habit impacts the probability of health but is not THE unique and absolute solution: we should know it and sagely apply this principle. Life is not under our control or health: every procedure is a matter of probability.

May I eat this candy? The answer can be yes or no, but never an obsession.

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