Your Cold Versus His Man Flu

Your Cold Versus His Man Flu

Discover the difference between your cold and his ‘man flu’; from understanding the symptoms of flu to cures for a cold. Get your cold & flu advice here!

Do men actually suffer more than women when they get a cough and runny nose? Let’s look at the facts…

Gender differences

A recent study suggests that men may actually suffer more when they get a bout of influenza because high levels of testosterone can weaken their immune response. Studies have also found that while women may accuse men of exaggerating when they have flu, women are more likely to admit to having sniffles and sneezes. And men are less likely to seek medical advice.

Different pain thresholds

Researchers at the University of Glasgow found that men were more likely than women to overrate their common cold symptoms. The theory is that men and women have different thresholds for how they perceive and discuss symptoms.

A man’s need for nurture

A man with a lurgy is more likely to hole up under the covers sniffling for sympathy and insisting that it's "more than a cold," while women will soldier on with their daily routine. Social pressures on men to be strong and not show their emotions mean they may take advantage of being under the weather to get some care and nurturing from their nearest and dearest, as they perhaps used to get from their mum. A handy way to provide a little TLC is to introduce him to Vicks cough, cold and flu products that provide effective relief from symptoms.

Why symptoms are seen differently

A man with the same level of cold symptoms as a woman will dramatise his sniffles as if he were on his deathbed. While a man with the flu may take it as an opportunity to get waited on hand and foot, women with exactly the same symptoms will take pain relief and vitamin C and get on with life. It could be argued that men take the time to rest and fully recover while many women may not, putting themselves and their health under too much pressure.

Why men exaggerate the flu

Dr Charles Raison from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, says studies have shown that while women are more likely to experience depression under emotional stress, men are most vulnerable when they are sick, and have a rougher time with illness than women. Some experts suggest that even men who are normally tough do not feel threatened by making their cold symptoms known. It allows them to give into being miserable, while – ironically - more serious symptoms or health concerns will get ignored for fear of being at serious risk.

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