If you’re a woman, you know all about “man flu.” At the first sniffle or two, your guy starts to look downcast and lethargic. You know from past experience, he’s soon going to be sacked out on the couch for the next week or two, hoping you’ll be there waiting on him as if he’s on death’s door.

Men have always insisted that they really do get sicker. And now, they have a champion, a man who says science backs them up. Canadian researcher Dr. Kyle Sue, tired of hearing men’s complaints derided as exaggeration, decided to take a tour of the medical literature to see if there was any evidence to show that men actually do suffer more than women when they get the flu.

Don’t doubt it: “Man flu” is real, or so says one Canadian researcher who was “tired of being accused of overreacting.” They discovered men are more vulnerable to respiratory illnesses than women.

What is the man flu?

Man flu refers to the idea that men tend to overreact or exaggerate the severity of their symptoms when they have a minor cold from a flu infection.

Until now, there hasn’t been any medical review that shows whether this idea is truthful or not. However, in a new review published in The British Medical Journal, Dr. Kyle Sue decided to delve deeper into the scientific literature in order to find out the truth of this matter and the reasons behind it. Sue is the author of the review and a clinical assistant professor at the Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada.

Scientific Literature

Sue said that there is a reason why adult men complain when they become sick from the common cold. The reason is they may have a weaker immune response to the virus compared to women.

The author of the study added that the body’s immune response is how one’s body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and, other harmful substances. As a result, men may also develop more serious symptoms, which could lead to death.

Weaker Immune Response

According to the review, it’s unclear why men have a weaker immune response than women. However, it may be due to the fact that the female sex hormone can provide an effective defense against respiratory viruses. Researchers believe that men’s weaker immune response can be explained from an evolutionary perspective.

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