The best medicine for your illness might just be a placebo

Placebos have been getting a bad reputation. Yet, new research into the placebo effect suggests that our expectations and beliefs can play a much bigger role in healing than previously thought. In a study , patients with irritable bowel syndrome were given fake pills that were clearly labeled “placebo,” but the group showed startling results, experiencing twice as much relief from their symptoms of pain and inflammation as the control group that did not receive any pills. “The higher the expectation in patients, the more likely they are to experience a placebo effect,” says science writer Jo Marchant, author of the new book Cure. Here’s an interesting analysis, written by someone how admits to “a lifelong, irrational distrust of doctors—which may influence my ability to recover in their care.”

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The best medicine for your illness might just be a placebo

Placebos have been getting a bad reputation. Yet, new research into the placebo effect suggests that our expectations and beliefs can play a much bigger role in healing than previously thought. In a study , patients with irritable bowel syndrome were given fake pills that were clearly labeled “placebo,” but the group showed startling results, experiencing twice as much relief from their symptoms of pain and inflammation as the control group that did not receive any pills. “The higher the expectation in patients, the more likely they are to experience a placebo effect,” says science writer Jo Marchant, author of the new book Cure. Here’s an interesting analysis, written by someone how admits to “a lifelong, irrational distrust of doctors—which may influence my ability to recover in their care.”

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