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Dr Kyle Sue, a Canadian doctor who conducted this research after getting tired of being made fun of, attributes it to men’s weaker metabolism. He calls it an “immunity gap”. According to him, the immunity gap is modulated by hormonal differences.
The term ‘Man Flu’ is used to make fun of men who tend to get a tad bit dramatic when suffering from minor cold or flu. In the recent years, the term ‘Man Flu’ has become so ubiquitous that it has been included in dictionaries like Oxford and Cambridge. According to a recent study, published in the British Medical Journal , what seems to be an excuse for women, is actually a real ailment and men experience more severe complications from illness than women.
Dr Kyle Sue, a Canadian doctor who conducted this research after getting tired of being made fun of, attributes it to men’s weaker metabolism. He calls it an “immunity gap”. According to him, the immunity gap is modulated by hormonal differences. “It is not commonly known that testosterone is immunosuppressive,” he states. In his paper, he reports that the masculine hormone—testosterone—suppresses the immune system and the feminine hormone—estradiol—protects it. Dr Sue has been quoted by The Guardian as follows: “This is shown in the fact that they have worse symptoms, they last longer, they are more likely to be hospitalized, and more likely to die from it.”
Apart from this, Dr Sue highlights that women have a different response to vaccines that protect the body against flu. “There are a couple of studies that show women having more local and systemic reactions to flu than that of men.” He further points out that overall women may be “more responsive to vaccinations than men”. In his research, he also found out that men are not only more prone to respiratory diseases but are also more likely to die from them.
He concludes by saying, “However, neither study differentiated men and women based on other differences, like smoking and drinking rates, and willingness to seek medical help. These factors might have influenced the results.”
Well, if this study by Dr Kyle Sue is accurate, it’s time that dictionaries must redefine the platitudinous term called the ‘weaker sex’!
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