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Nothing To Sneeze At: Canadian Doctor Says The ‘Man Flu’ Is Actually Real

Man Flu

Photo: Josh McGinn / Flickr

While no one likes being sick, having a really bad flu can knock a person out of commission for a significant chunk of time.

In addition, scientists warned that this year’s flu could be the worst in history.

With that being said, there has been a long standing debate as to whether men actually get hit harder with the flu than women. While many people claim it does, just as many chock it up do particular men being whiney about being sick.

Indeed, CBC News reports that the term “man flu” even made it into the Oxford English Dictionary: “A cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms.”

Is the ‘Man Flu’ Real?

CBC spoke to Dr. Kyle Sue, who is a clinical assistant professor in family medicine at Memorial University in St. John’s, who thinks that it is.

His research points to men having weaker immune systems than women, which leads to more intense bouts of sickness. Not only do studies show that men get admitted into hospital more frequently with flu, but others indicate that there are more male deaths from flu related symptoms.

“Testosterone is a hormone that actually acts as an immunosuppressant. Whereas estrogen works in the opposite direction. They stimulate the immune system,” he told CBC News. “So men with higher testosterone actually end up being more susceptible to viral respiratory and tend to get them worse.”

While he admits that evidence is limited, he says that it definitely suggests that men get hit harder.

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