Ladies, I’d like to offer a heartfelt apology on behalf of the entire male population, because men have proven time and time again that they’re simply the worst.
Claiming to be the dominating gender and the breadwinner for their families, these he-men will become manbabies once the winter flu comes to town. Some would claim that men don’t cry, but if you’ve ever been in the vicinity of any male with something as small as the sniffles, you know all too well that it’s simply untrue. The term “man flu” has even made its way into the Oxford Dictionary to adequately describe just how annoying men can be when they get sick.
But while most women think their significant others might be over exaggerating their symptoms, science has come to the defense of men everywhere, proving once and for all that maybe (just maybe) it doesn’t all boil down to dramatics.
This past week, the medical world weighed in on the topic of the “man flu” thanks to a Canadian study published in The BMJ, which declared that men may actually get sicker than women when cold season hits.
Dr. Kyle Sue of the Memorial University of Newfoundland collected and analyzed all the relevant medical data he could find in regard to gender differences in the severity of flu symptoms.
Through his research, Sue concluded that there is substantial evidence to suggest that there is likely an immunity gap between men and women when it comes to cold and flu symptoms.
It was also revealed that a study from Hong Kong showed that men have a higher hospital admittance due to flu-related symptoms. Another study also found that regardless pre-existing conditions, men are more likely to die from influenza when compared to similarly aged women. “There are a couple of studies that show women having more local and systemic reactions to the flu shot than men,” he said.
Sue concluded that men are more likely to suffer from viral respiratory illness due to less-robust immune systems. The reason for these weaker immune systems might just be caused by testosterone levels. “It is not commonly known that testosterone is immunosuppressive… one study found that men with higher testosterone levels had less of an antibody response to vaccination,” said Sue.
Regardless whether you’re a man or woman, the combative measures to overcome the flu remain the same: take a break from life, stay in bed, drink lots of fluids, and take over-the-counter painkillers.