Thursday, February 29

Placebo Medication: What If Your Doctor Tricks You With Fake Meds?

Photo by fizkes from Shutterstock

What causes the placebo effect?

Even if researchers know very well that the placebo effect is real, they don’t fully understand how and why it happens. Apparently, there are various factors that might contribute to this specific phenomenon:

Hormonal response

One explanation might be that a placebo triggers the release of endorphins in your body. As we all know, endorphins have a very similar structure to morphine and many other opiate painkillers. Endorphins are basically the brain’s natural painkillers.

Also, research has proven the placebo effect in action by using brain scans and pinpointing specific areas within the brain with tons of opiate receptors that are automatically activated in both placebo and treatment groups.

For instance, naloxone is an opioid antagonist that can block both natural endorphins and opioid drugs. After patients receive naloxone, placebo pain relief is reduced.

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