Men May Suffer More When Infected By Man Flu
When men complain of flu and cold symptoms, it is commonly believed the case is one of a normal flu and is mostly dismissed as a typical problem. The facts of the case are different because men may actually be experiencing symptoms that are worse than the ones appeared in women after being infected by the respiratory virus suggests a new review.
The review which was published just a week ago, takes into account that men may usually exaggerate symptoms of minor illnesses such as colds which is commonly referred to as “man flu.” This term is quite commonly used in the United Kingdom despite no scientific evidence being provided to show whether it is accurate or appropriate.
Weaker Immune System Of Men Blamed For Man Flu
Researchers conducting the review observed that men have a weaker immune system to the viruses that have the potential to cause the common cold and the flu and therefore, they could be at a higher risk to develop concerning symptoms which could even lead to fatalities.
Studies conducted in 2008 revealed that women responded better to the flu vaccine and produced higher levels of antibodies to combat the virus strains in the vaccine when compared to men. Other studies conducted in Hong Kong and the United States have also stated that men were at a higher risk of being admitted to hospitals as compared to women if they were infected by man flu.
Defining the concept of man flu as an exaggerated one, may be unfair, simply because men have weaker immune systems which respond differently to respiratory viruses which can lead to higher morbidity and mortality in them as compared to women. The reasons why men have a weaker immune system is not clear until this date but it is believed that hormones could be playing a role in respiratory viruses. It is quite possible that the hormone estrogen which is present among women would be providing them a protective shield against these viruses.
How Did The Researchers Conduct Studies About Man Flu
Researchers used a novel method to study the immune system of men to understand the concept of man flu. In 2016, they exposed the human nasal cells to estrogen in a laboratory before exposing infected cells which contained the flu virus. The researchers noticed the estrogen, lowering the flu virus from the cells of female donors but the results were different for men. Moreover, studies have also suggested that testosterone, which is the male hormone, may actually lower the immune response of the body to the flu viruses.
A definite conclusion had not been provided by the researchers who have mentioned that more studies need to be conducted because factors like smoking and other problems which could affect the overall health of people and their ability to respond to the viruses of colds and flu, had not been considered. The review which was conducted did not include research on respiratory viruses and the results were not separated by gender.
Speculations have been expressed by some researchers about the weaker immune response of men to certain viruses could possibly have an evolutionary explanation. They have taken into consideration the fact that the effects of testosterone which generally increased muscle and bone mass could perhaps have ‘sled men to believe they could easily handle such matters although they have confirmed they need to conduct more studies to explain the hypothesis mentioned.
Men are usually trying to conserve energy and they are affected by the flu and seem to require additional assistance with activities of daily living. They can be seen lying down on the couch or even in bed but this could again be an evolutionary behavior as a protection against predators. The researchers mention that it may now be time to create some man-friendly spaces which are fully equipped with modern amenities such as large-screen televisions and even comfortable chairs to be established to ensure the recovery of men from the harmful effects of man flu and doing so in safety and comfort.
This study gives a clear indication that just because men are complaining more about colds and flu it must not be considered as just a reason to draw attention. It could be the weaker immune system of men which could be exposing them to the strains of viruses which lead to the development of man flu which can have concerning symptoms and even lead to fatalities.
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