'Man flu' is a real thing, study suggests

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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Study: 'Man flu' may be real. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at 5 a.m. on December 12, 2017.

Men have been criticized for overreacting when they become sick, but according to a doctor in Canada, the "man flu" is a real thing.

The researcher, Kyle Sue, reviewed several studies on the topic and found evidence that men may not be exaggerating symptoms.

Instead, he thinks men suffer more from viral respiratory illness than women.

"Tired of being accused of over-reacting, I searched the available evidence (box) to determine whether men really experience worse symptoms and whether this could have any evolutionary basis," Sue wrote.

Sue concluded that because the male immune system isn't as strong as that of their female peers, "man flu" is a manifestation of a biological truth.

The study goes on to suggest that men have a primeval reason for needing more respite during physical illness than women.

"The increase in male sickness may be a strategy important for survival since 'it promotes energy conservation and reduces the risk of encountering predators.' Classic modes of energy conservation may include lying on the couch, not getting out of bed, or receiving assistance with basic activities of daily living, which could all be effective for avoiding predators," Sue wrote.

"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."