"However there has been some research to suggest Respiratory Tract Infections - as they are known - can present more severely in men than women and the best advice for anyone affected is to rest at home, drink plenty of fluids and to take over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol".
What do you call a common cold when it strikes down a man in his prime?
For example, a 2008 study found that women had a stronger immune response to the flu vaccine, meaning they produced greater levels of antibodies against the virus strains in the vaccine, compared with men.
Sue recommends additional research on the matter of "man flu" but reaches this conclusion: "The concept of man flu, as commonly defined, is potentially unjust" due to their potentially-weaker immune responses.
That skepticism led Memorial University of Newfoundland clinical assistant professor Kyle Sue to wonder whether men were just being wimps, or if their immune systems were actually inferior.
But there does exist, apparently, a scientific basis for man flu itself. Saying, "Studies of influenza vaccination suggest that women are more responsive to vaccination than men". He pointed to two studies that used human samples that showed exposure to estrogen and oestradiol (prominently found in women) weakened normal flu symptoms. According to him "there are already many physiological differences between men and women, so it makes sense that we could differ in our responses to cold and flu viruses as well", reported the Health Day.
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While the phrase "man flu" started as derision for what is seen as men whining about being sick, researchers say men's immune systems may be weaker than women's and respiratory illnesses may actually hit them harder.
However, till now, people weren't sure if it was real or men are just whiny wimps.
He notes there are numerous potential weaknesses in the "immunity gap" theory, including that it doesn't always 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. It also pushes back against the idea that men crumble at the first sneeze - pointing to a study which found women were more likely than men to cut down activities when it came to minor respiratory illnesses.
I wonder who funded this pointless #ManFlu research?
"Epidemiologic data from Hong Kong showed that adult men had a higher risk of hospital admission for flu", Sue said. Several studies in Sue's research suggest that testosterone has an immunosuppresive effect, while several others suggest that female sex hormones boost women's immune system. Sue asked. "I was surprised that there were far more female authors for the studies I cited than males".