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Irritable bowel syndrone (IBS) relief - using the power of the ‘placebo effect’

IBS is one of the top ten reasons why people seek medical care worldwide accounting for millions of lost working days. If you suffer from IBS you will know that the symptoms last for two to four days when, the symptoms usually improve but do not disappear completely. The most common symptoms of IBS are: abdominal pain and cramping; diarrhoea or constipation, or sometimes both; bloating and swelling of your abdomen; flatulence; a feeling you have not fully emptied your bowels; passing mucus. Because of the pain and discomfort IBS sufferers often experience, feelings of depression and anxiety often manifest themselves.

Self help for IBS concentrates, as you would expect, on getting your diet sorted - Eat three regular meals each day - don't be tempted to skip meals. make meals using fresh ingredients; Chew food well, don't rush; sit to eat; Drink plenty of fluid - at least 8 cups of water, sugar-free squash or herbal teas; Take regular exercise e.g. walking, cycling, swimming; Make the most of YOU time and relax. Stressful environments can make IBS symptoms worse. Discover what affects you. Use relaxation, meditation and the power of the 'placebo effect' to reduce your symptoms

Placebos without Deception: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

A group of leading placebo researchers tracked the health of 80 volunteers with irritable bowel syndrome for three weeks as half of them took placebos and the other half didn’t. The volunteers in the placebo group knew that they were getting only inert pills — which they were instructed to take religiously, twice a day. They were also informed that, just as Ivan Pavlov trained his dogs to drool at the sound of a bell, the body could be trained to activate its own built-in healing network by the act of swallowing a pill.

Tthe volunteers were educated on the 'placebo effect'. They also received the care and attention of clinicians, which have been found in many other studies to be crucial for getting the best from the placebo effects. The combination of the story and a supportive clinical environment were enough to prevail over the knowledge that there was really nothing in the pills. People in the placebo arm of the trial got better — clinically, measurably, significantly better — on standard scales of symptom severity and overall quality of life. In fact, the volunteers in the placebo group experienced improvement comparable to patients taking a drug called alosetron, the standard of care for IBS.

TJ Kaptchuk, E Friedlander, JM Kelley, MN Sanchez, E Kokkotou Placebos without Deception
Disclaimer: The information concerning the use of placebos on the placebo-world.com website are not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. Placebo World is not responsible for the content of third party websites.