Placebo Effect: Definition, and How It Work – A placebo is a medical treatment that seems real, but it’s not actually a drug at all. This could be pills, injections, or some other type of “fake” treatment. The similarity of everything is that this “drug” contains no active substances and cannot affect health, this is why placebo is referred to as an empty drug. Scientists often use placebos during studies to help them understand the effects of new drugs and distinguish which drug effects actually occur, and which ones are actually just suggestions.
For example, some people in a study may be given a new drug to lower cholesterol, while others get an empty drug or a placebo. No one in the study would know if they were getting a real drug or a fake drug. The researchers then compared the effects of empty drugs and drugs to all study participants. That way, they can determine the effectiveness of the new drug and check for side effects.
What is the placebo effect?
The placebo effect is the response or impact given from an empty drug consumed. The use of placebos or empty drugs may provide a specific response. Although often referred to as empty drugs, placebo can have an impact on people who consume it.
The placebo effect can have a positive impact, but it can also be negative. This means that people who experience a positive placebo effect will experience progress in recovery. Meanwhile, the placebo negative effect will be at risk of complications.
However, there are some conditions where empty drugs can have a positive effect. In fact, when a person finds out that the drug he is taking is actually just a placebo.
Studies show that the placebo effect can occur in conditions, such as:
- Sleep disturbances.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Erec**tile dysfunction.
- Parkinson’s disease.
In one study involving asthmatics, people who used placebo inhalers did not show better respiratory test results than patients who sat down and did nothing.
However, when researchers asked for their response as to how they felt, placebo inhalers were reported as drugs that could provide improvements in asthma symptoms.
How does the placebo effect work?
Research on the placebo effect focuses on the relationship between mind and body. Many studies have suggested that there is a real relationship between the mind and a person’s illness.
So, if a person is experiencing psychological stress, various diseases can show worsening of symptoms. But it could also be the opposite, where the symptoms of the disease actually improve thanks to psychic interventions.
One of the most common theories is that the placebo effect is caused by a person’s expectations. If one expects pills to do something, then it is possible that various chemical compounds in the body can arise and cause effects similar to those caused by drugs.
Another example of the effectiveness of placebo therapy is when a person is given a placebo, but told that the therapy is a stimulant drug. After taking the pill, their pulse speed and blood pressure also increased.
Conversely, when a person gives the same pill and told it to help them sleep, they experience the opposite effect.
This shows that the human mind plays a role in the occurrence of various effects on the body. However, this placebo effect did not necessarily show the same results in everyone. This is due to differences in mind response between individuals.
After getting to know the placebo effect better, you now know that many physical disorders are affected by psychological processes, or more familiarly known as psychosomatic. So, take care of your psychic health, just like you take care of your physical health.