Man flu real? Women will just have to get over it…
by Jennifer Cockerell
Despite the derisive Oxford dictionary definition of it as "a cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms", he found there is some truth behind the claims. Man flu, of course - a predicament suffered at some point each year by 99.7 per cent of the adult male population. But there does exist, apparently, a scientific basis for man flu itself.
Study author Kyle Sue has been quoted as saying that "there are already many physiologic differences between men and women, so it makes sense that we could differ in our responses to cold and flu as well".
He notes that there are numerous potential weaknesses in his review, including that it doesn't consider other influences on the flu such as the rates of smoking and whether men are more or less likely to take preventive measures against the flu.
Don't doubt it: "Man flu" is real, or so says one Canadian researcher who was "tired of being accused of overreacting".
"Lying on the couch, not getting out of bed or receiving assistance with activities of daily living could also be evolutionary behaviours that protect against predators", said Dr Sue.
And some evidence supports men suffering more from viral respiratory illness than women because they have a less robust immune system.
But are men really exaggerating, or might their experience of being sick actually feel worse than it does for women?
A number of studies conducted of cell samples found that differences in male and female sex and stress hormones may affect influenza outcomes to the benefit of women.
In short, women have stronger physical constitutions than men.
While the studies Sue cites are certainly reputable, that doesn't actually mean the man flu as it's commonly understood is real.
"Even 10 percent effective is better than nothing, and a lot of it has to do with herd immunity - the more people are protected from it, the more other people will also be protected", Dr. Pardis Sabeti, an infectious disease expert at Harvard told "CBS This Morning."
However, if, after three weeks, your symptoms do not improve, your condition deteriorates, or you have trouble breathing, she suggests you see a health care professional.
Calling it "man flu" is problematic, Dr Sue feels.