It’s often been said that men tend to complain more about the common cold than women, now researchers want to know why.
People have used the term “man cold” for years now to joke about how men often complain about being sick more than women do. Women have been known to often push through illnesses in order to continue taking care of their children or fulfilling other daily duties. Meanwhile, when men catch the common cold, they could be found on the couch helpless until noon. Many women believe that men do not actually suffer more during illnesses than they do, they simply are more vocal about how lousy they feel. However, a Canadian researcher is claiming that studies show that some men really do suffer more than women from common illnesses, according to Today.
Researcher Dr. Kyle Sue was fed up of being told that men’s complaints regarding sickness are simply an exaggeration. Thus, he decided to look into medical history to see whether or not hormones play a role in men’s suffering during illnesses. He turned to animal studies to help prove that women’s bodies are more equipped to handle cold viruses. Sue argued that estrogen enables women to have a stronger immune system, thus making them less likely to fall victim to the common cold than men.
Sue’s studies went on to show that men are actually far more likely to die as a result of the flu than women of the same age group. However, this statistic is limited in that it only refers to women of a certain age group. When women enter their 50s they begin to enter menopause, a period in which estrogen levels typically drop. As a result, they no longer have the extra boost that estrogen could potentially provide to protect them against illness.
Sue concluded his research by trying to make the point that the man cold term isn’t always fair. In some cases, men might really be under more discomfort than women when they are recovering from the flu. Nevertheless, it will likely take more than one study on the phenomenon for most women to really be convinced of his medical reasoning. Dr. Sue hopes that his research will lead more people to stop teasing men for their complaints and have a little more sympathy.
“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,” he said of his findings.
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