Man Flu: Is It Real Or Imagined?

Man flu has often been described as an illness which causes the male of the species to be helpless and sicker than any other family member. In females; a cold. While women struck down by the flu simply remedy it by popping a Codral and then carry on, men who develop flu-like symptoms suddenly turn into helpless toddlers in need of some serious babying. Honestly, it’s as if man flu is life-threatening! Do men just really need to harden the f*** up?

Should you ever be accused of dastardly man-flu neglect, went in search of answers to these age-old questions and quandaries: Is man flu real or imagined? Why do men fall to pieces over a few sniffles? Do men deserve more sympathy when sick? Man flu does in fact exist, says Australian Medical Association Queensland president, Dr Shaun Rudd.

“Man flu is a term that describes when men develop flu-like symptoms – men are not as tough as women,” Dr Rudd says. “Men are very different to women – men seem to go down quicker [with the flu]. Women just seem to battle on when they’re sick.

“I must be the exception to the norm because I can battle on – all men don’t suffer the man flu the same. But I’m not as tough as my wife, for instance. Men should always do as they’re told! When we doctors are prescribing man flu, we like to tell people to go to Bunnings, and we tell them to take a spoonful…”

Meanwhile, low and behold, a recent UK study suggests men may actually suffer more when sick. The study, by Stanford University School of Medicine, revealed that this is because when men are struck down with flu their high levels of testosterone can weaken their immune response.

The study examined the reactions of men and women to flu vaccinations. It found women generally had a stronger antibody response to the jab than men, giving them better protection against the virus. Hmm, my jury’s still out.

What do you think? Is man flu real or imagined?

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