Why a negative covid test seems to cure your symptoms

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More than two years after the pandemic, many people are familiar with the anxieties and fears that can cause sore throats, odors, or fatigue: Do I have covid-19? This often leads to rushing to get a coronavirus test kit at home or to find a test site. But sometimes when the test is negative, the result can have a miraculous effect.

“I’m tired this morning. Maybe my throat hurts. Is that a sign of a headache?” wrote on Twitter Senior writer and deputy writer Shaila Love said her boyfriend recently passed a positive test. “Passed the test, was negative, immediately felt 100% good.”

“It’s interesting that you started to feel better after that covid test came back negative,” says another wrote on Twitter.

For some experts, this experience reflects the connection between the body and the mind. “We learned that social, emotional, and behavioral factors affect health,” said Kaz Nelson, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. “This mental-physical connection cannot be underestimated. It’s real and very powerful. “

However, before we study mind-body communication, it should be noted that in connection with these coronavirus tests, Nelson and other experts ask us that test methods are not 100 percent reliable and that commonly used rapid antigen tests at home may produce falsehoods. The negative phenomena that lead to the mistaken belief that people are not contagious.

In addition, it is important to keep in mind that covid symptoms, whether from acute infections or from “chronic covids,” are not “imaginary symptoms we can only imagine,” Nelson said. “There is a real problem with health, it is a real consequence of the neurological system and other organ systems of the body.”

The key question, he said, is “how do we understand this strong mental-physical connection” in the context of all the other sources of information we have?

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To “understand” the nuances of people’s reactions to testing and other realities of life with Covid-19, it is important to recognize the impact of the pandemic on our lives, writes clinical psychologist Lekeysha Sumner. email.

“The public has had to deal with the effects of serious uncertainty, mixed public health messages, stigma and fears associated with infection, changes in our social and economic circumstances, prolonged fears of infectious diseases, changes in daily habits and shocking grief. The level of morbidity and mortality – everything is expected to work at pre-pandemic levels, “wrote Sumner.

In particular, the fear of developing coccidiosis is a significant source of stress for many people and the human body can respond to certain stresses through physiological reactions, said Rosalind Dorlen, a clinical psychologist and member of the psychiatry department at Overlook Medical Center. At the summit, NJ

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“Covid’s entire climate responded to stress,” Dorlen said, because of the effects of the infection. However, a positive or negative outcome may be the difference between survival or the need for isolation and the severe consequences of the infection, such as long-term covid.

“When our brains anticipate the consequences of something and then assess the risk and then focus on or focus on that risk, it actually affects the risk. [physical] symptoms, “Nelson said.” When this threat is eliminated, it actually leads to relief and a decrease in sensitivity to the body and symptoms. “

According to Nelson, certain areas of the brain are responsible for detecting unpleasant stimuli, such as pain, while other areas are involved in responding emotionally to those feelings and how much attention is paid to them. This emotional response, he said, can increase or decrease a person’s sensitivity to physical emotions. He added that a negative coronavirus test is a “sign of social-emotional behavior that promotes relief” and can alter someone’s emotional response to symptoms.

For example, Dorlen said that if you take a few deep breaths or say to yourself after a negative result, “Oh, I’m fine,” you may feel your stress and anxiety increase.

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Another possible explanation for why you feel better after a negative test may be the nature of the symptoms, said Albert Co., head of the microbial epidemiology department at Yale School of Public Health. Common mild symptoms, such as sore throat, runny nose, or fatigue, can have a variety of causes – many of which are “very temporary,” he said.

“You wake up in the morning with a runny nose. You get the next drip from the nose. Your throat will hurt, ”he said. “Then you get tested, and then the symptoms may go away because the sore throat and most of the nasal drops improve during the day.”

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However, Co said, just because you pass a negative test and feel good doesn’t mean you can’t be sure you don’t have a covid. “If you have a negative test, but you suspect it has been detected, you should have another test in a day or two,” he said.

Among those who use rapid antigen tests, Nelson said, “a lot of people invent false negatives even when they’re covid.” “If your symptoms go down and it’s a false negative test, then of course it works against our goal of reducing and controlling the infection.”

According to him, the action should be reported by several sources other than testing, including physical symptoms, risk of exposure and the speed of the spread of the community. “These are all sources of information you want to take into account when choosing your behavior.”

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