Curbside Consultation in IBS: 49 Clinical Questions

Brian E. Lacy, PhD, MD

Question 33: What is the Placebo Response and why is it so High in Patients with IBS? (continued)

W. Grant Thompson, MD, FRCPC

Have you pondered, as I do, the positive response of 20% to 40% of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) subjects in the “placebo control group” of randomized controlled clinical trials? Or wondered how it was that blood- letting was commonly used over centuries to treat a host of mortal diseases, when a rationale is lacking and the dangers are obvious? Why do people patronize purveyors of alternative medicine who need not prove the efficacy nor define the dangers of their treatments? Why does a child with a scraped knee cease crying when comforted by his mom? Faith, hope, and…