For a long time, men have been accused of exaggerating the severity of the symptoms when they catch a flu (a man flu). This accusation has mainly been from their wives and women in general
However, research has shown that flu is usually harder on men than women, takes longer to be treated, and experts have explained why this is the case.
When we are ill, between the symptoms and the hectic hours of staying in bed and taking medication, it is common to feel overwhelmed with discomfort. However, men have especially gained a reputation for exceeding the level of complaints when they are ill, and even more so when they have the flu.
The Oxford and the Cambridge dictionaries define the term “flu” as a disease similar to a cold, that’s not serious, but that could be stronger if the person who suffers from it is a man. For illustration, the dictionary says: “John has a touch of man flu and he won’t get out of bed”.
It’s because of this definition that this research emerged, to provide a more precise explanation for whether this is true and why it could happen.
Mice are the subject of this study because they serve as good human models for medical research. In this six year study, the rodent immune system was analyzed, taking into account gender, age and influenza responses. Scientists have concluded that female mice have a stronger immune system than male mice due to the female hormone estradiol. Also, the stronger sex has more temperature receptors in the body, especially in the brain, so the symptoms of the disease are more severe.
There is a difference between men and women when it comes to their immune system. This research reveals that men have more severe problems when suffering from respiratory diseases. The fact is that male testosterone has an immunosuppressive effect that can interfere with the proper administration of the flu vaccine, making men more likely to be hospitalized.
The role of hormones in our immune system is one of the main focuses of this research. In women, estradiol acts as an immunoprotective agent, making them less prone to flu or colds.
In the meantime, testosterone in men acts as an immunosuppressant, which makes them more likely to have the flu and suffer from it at a different, higher degree than women.
For these reasons, it is safe to say that the meaning of the terms published by these two dictionaries is correct. Men suffer more from the flu than women. And that is why it is believed that men over-monitor their symptoms when they are ill