The Man Flu Is Real
A new study released by the American Journal of Physiology (and conveniently summarized in this article) shows that the flu virus replicates more rapidly in men, producing a stronger illness faster.
The man flu -- defined by Urban Dictionary
as the condition shared by all males wherein a common illness (usually a mild cold) is presented by the patient as life-threatening -- is such a widely accepted phenomenon, Someecards
has a whole category dedicated to the issue.
And now, turns out it's real. UGH. BOOOO.
I've seen it myself. Once, when I had the flu, I drove my husband to the ER because he also had the flu - only worse. And while I sat waiting with a blazing headache and wracking chills, my husband was doted over by nurses - reclined in a bed and hooked to a morphine drip. I seriously almost left him there.
I'll be honest, I really don't want this to be true. No woman wants to hear that when dudes get the flu it might actually -- scientifically -- be worse. Especially considering that Google searches for flu reveal that peak influenza season conveniently coordinates with Valentine's Day. (Tell me again conspiracy theories aren't real.)
HOLD UP though ladies, because here's the twist: it's our estrogen - and men's lack thereof - that makes us more resistant to the virus. Conclusion: WE STILL HAVE THE UPPER HAND ON THIS ONE...in more ways than one.
And guess what else? Our estrogen super-power probably also makes us more resistant to other viruses like HIV, Ebola, and hepatitis. BAM.
Not sure how this accounts for the same-sex couples who've told me this dynamic exists in their relationships as well. I'm no scientist, but I'd hazard a follow-up study on how patterns and personalities impact our immune systems would verrrrrrrryyyy interesting.
Good luck out there this flu season. Don't forget to pick up your copy of: