The term 'man flu' might be something you're hearing for the first time - but probably isn't something completely unknown to you. A 'man flu' is when a man/ boy/ guy becomes over-the-top and exaggerative on the effects of their illness and severity of symptoms when feeling under the weather.
To legitimize the term even more, the man flu has even found its way into the Oxford and Cambridge Dictionary. Oxford defines the condition as, "A cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms." The Cambridge Dictionary outlines the 'man flu' as "an illness such as a cold that is not serious, but that the person who has it treats as more serious, usually when this person is a man;"
However, it's one Newfoundland doctor that has publicly stood up to say, yes the man flu is a real thing and there could be a real reasons as to why the opposite gender handles getting sick so differently from women.
Dr. Kyle Sue, a clinical assistant professor in family medicine from Memorial University of Newfoundland wrote the article on the aforementioned topic, and here's what he had to say:
"Men may not be exaggerating symptoms but have weaker immune responses to viral respiratory viruses, leading to greater morbidity and mortality than seen in women," he states.
Something he found when he tested his theory on lab mice of both genders. He noticed that female mice ended up having stronger immune systems than the male mice in the study. He acknowledges that his lab tests aren't 100% foolproof but backs his findings up with historical evidence.
He notes that in the past, women have seemed to fare better when it comes to responding to shots and vaccines. Saying, "Studies of influenza vaccination suggest that women are more responsive to vaccination than men. This is supported by the finding that women report more local and systemic reactions to influenza vaccine than men in questionnaires".
He ends on a joking note saying, "Perhaps now is the time for male friendly spaces, equipped with enormous televisions and reclining chairs, to be set up where men can recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety and comfort."