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Man Flu - fact or fiction. Scientific facts and a guide to how to deal with it.

Updated on September 14, 2013

A funny video about how we see man flu.

What is man flu?

A modern day definition is given below for all those of you who are not sure. However most of society knows these things; I have even caught my 9 year old daughter saying "He only has 'Maaaaaaaan Flu' so he will be fine, there is nothing wrong with him really."

Does it only effect men?

The answer to that question, that millions of woman already know is, YES. However, saying that, we all know that when a man is sick he needs a nurse and someone to care for him. Whether this be his mum or his lover, he NEEDS help at this desperate time.

Below is a handy guide for all those woman who suffer because of this horrible, cruel disease:

Survival guide for woman when faced with man flu.

The man you love is 'dying' and you are not sure what to do so here is a quick guide for coping.

Step 1: You must check to see how severe it really is:

This is vital for your own peace of mind as well as his. Men know that women have their ways to do this but here are a few tricks to get you thinking:

  • Money lying at the end of the bed. If he reaches for it then you know he isn't as bad as he said. Yep that's right he is lying to you and just has the sniffles.
  • Put his favourite 'man telly' on in the front room. Make sure it is loud enough for him to hear and wait. If he joins you then you have foiled his plans to make out he is ill.
  • Act as a woman in distress, a usual trick of asking them to open a jar or something would suffice. This gives men the opportunity to show off their manliness. A real man would never leave a lady in distress unless he is 'dying'.

Step 2: You know it's real so what do you do now?

You have worked out that he is on deaths door - man flu is that serious to him. You know in your head that if this were you then you would just get on with things (because a woman's pain threshold is far greater than any mere man - high heels, waxing and not to mention childbirth prove all this.) But you also have to accept his failings. He is but a man and therefore can't cope anywhere near as good as you.

That means any tutting, sniggering or any comments about being a baby need to be left where they belong - in your head only. This will only show him that the one person he loves doesn't care that he is dying. He would do anything for you if he were not dying so now he expects payback - you need to be his Florence Nightingale and do anything you can to make sure the man you admire will survive the next few days and be comfortable as much as he can be while he feels sorry for himself. If you don't do this for him then who will?

Step 3: He will Regress, so be prepared.

The saying that 'men never grow up' is so true. However, in times like this a man will actually regress back to his boyhood. Yes you need to be prepared to be his nurse but you also have to be prepared to mother this poor soul who can't cope with this terrible illness.

Buy him comics; real books might strain his eyes! Buy him lollipops to soothe his poor throat, bring him food in bed, watch cartoons on tv with him, hug him and tell him everything will be ok.

If this stage is not done successfully then there is a danger he could regress even further, and burping him might not be the only thing you might have to do in order to help his recovery if this happens!

Step 4: Yes he needs a nurse, so make the most of it!

Take advantage of the situation - Make sure you get the day off work, blaming his weakness' and joking about man flu (everyone needs a good laugh).

Next you bad him from leaving his bed, give him a little bell to call you when you are needed and make sure he is comfortable.

After that is done then you pump him with every drug you can that will knock him out. He will not complain at this because as his nurse he will listen to every word you say and of course he wants to get better.

Then the place is yours to do as you wish.

Note: Any time you hear that little bell go, then you know its time for more drugs!

Step 5: When he is all better...

If you are lucky and have followed steps 1-4 correctly then you should have a fully recovered man by the end of the week, hopefully. You should know that he appreciates your efforts to save his life from dreaded man flu and hopefully he will have told you so.

However, appreciation of your talents has never been said any better than a nice big gift waiting for you when you get home from work. Flowers are nice, chocolate will never be wrong but you just saved his life so maybe something like a nice big diamond would be better in the way of saying how much he appreciates you.

Lets call it compensation for his nursing bills shall we!!!

Is man flu real or a figment of men's imaginations?

I would argue that the answer to this question depends on which sex you are.

As seen, man flu has a somewhat comic value attached to it however, there are scientists out there on the side of man!

Some experts do say it is a real thing though

There are experts who do confirm that man flu is real and give scientifical evidence to back up their theories. This has been placed in national newspapers and magazines all over the world but it is hard to get rid of a reputation and so man flu will be deemed a joke for a long time I am afraid.

Even some woman believe man flu is real

So yes, man flu is deemed as a joke, men have been mocked for generations about having simple colds however researcher Dr Amanda Ellison from Durham University argues that males really do suffer more from illnesses.

"Men run a higher temperature and feel rougher. And if they compain they feel rough, then maybe they're right." Neuroscientist Dr Ellison, 38, said.

Men experience the symptoms more acutely than women because they have more temperature receptors in the brain she explained. Testosterone, the male hormone, is the reason why this area of the brain enlarges so as children boys and girls experience colds in similar ways. When boys reach puberty that is when they experience hightened symptoms.

Dr Ellison did admit though, "My role is to put two and two together. There is no hard evidence that the feelings are worse in males than in females. This is a possible cause - but the argument will rage on."

Another scientifical theory ...

Scientists believe that in evolutionary terms that men have failed to build up their immune systems like females. They sited a 'live fast, die young' lifestyle for the cause behind this.

A team at the University of Cambridge came up with the theory by applying a mathematical model to incorprete the characteristics of both males and females. The conclusion was that men not only catch more diseases but they tend to suffer more seriously from it and for longer.

What is this all about?

Men tend to have more adventurous lifestyles and take more risks in life - maybe owing to their more competitive nature - and this means they are exposed to more disease.

You would think that if you are exposed to more disease that your immunity to it would be greater however, men invest more energy in maintaining the ability to reproduce while ill so they do not have such a strong immune system - typical men I hear woman saying!

"In many cases, males tend to be more prone to get infected or less able to clear infection," Dr Oliver Restif, of the University of Cambridge commented, " Proposed mechanisms include interference between male hormones and immunity, as well as risk-taking behaviour."

"An increase in male susceptibility or exposure to infection favours the spread of the pathogen in the whole population and therefore tends to select for higher resistance or tolerance in both sexes if the cost of immunity is essential," Dr Restif explained further, "But above a certain level of exposure, the benefit of rapid recovery in males decreases owing to constant reinfection.

These findings published in Proceedings of the Royla Society B: Biological Sciences suggest that 'man flu is real.

It is stated that across a range of animal species, males tend to be the 'weaker sex' due to hormonal differences when it comes to immune defences.

Dr Restif said, "Our results show that, under a range of genetic and exological constraints, males and females can evolve different levels of immune defences, sometimes at odds with intuitive expectations."

"Males are selected to decrease their immune defences and remain sexually active during infection if their exposure to infection is high, where females should try to clear infection rapidly, regardless of the relative risk of catching infection," he said.


To sum up this research then, erm, so men have more priority about having sex and therefore their immune system is lower than that of females. When a man is 'dying' of the man flu he can still perform (so this wouldn't be the best way to test if he was ill or not ladies!).

A man thinking with his d**k; who would have though it?!?!?!?

In conclusion

I don't think the question of 'is man flu real or myth?' will ever be truly answered. It is a question that will rage for as long as there is a battle of the sexes.

Men believe, woman don't. I think it might be as simple as that.

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    • Gypsy48 profile image

      Gypsy48 3 years ago

      Entertaining hub. When my husband gets sick I have to be prepared for nurse duty. Luckily he doesn't get sick that often.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      This was fun to read. And interesting to read what science says in reference to this topic. Shared.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 3 years ago from Midwest

      Very informative and clever hub. I enjoyed it very much. My teenage son seems to be afflicted with this, but my husband takes it in stride pretty well, so I am undecided ;).