Live Better

We put ‘man flu’ to the masses

Here, we ask Aussies whether they believe the infamous man flu is a myth or not.

Do you believe in ‘man flu’? Chances are your opinion is based on whether you’re male or female.

We recently released findings from the Medibank Better Health Index, which suggested that the long-debated ‘man flu’ might not actually be a myth. According to the Index, 21% of men came down with the flu in 2015, compared with only 19% of women– indicating males may be more susceptible than women.

Based on this, we took to the streets to ask Aussie men and women whether they agreed or disagreed with the discovery. Watch below to see what they thought.

Why might men be more susceptible?

The potential existence of man flu is supported by external studies which have been seeking answers for years. What have they found? According to Medibank Medical Director Dr Kevin Cheng, not only are men more susceptible to influenza – they may also experience more severe symptoms than women.

“Recent studies have shown that men may experience more severe flu symptoms than women, with testosterone being found to potentially weaken their immune response at a cellular level. Conversely, the female oestrogen hormone has been found to hold anti-viral qualities that could help women limit the replication of the virus in the body,” says Dr Cheng.

What can you do?

There are lots of things you can do to boost your immunity and fend off the flu or common cold–some may be considered ‘old wives tales’, while others are tried and true. Our experts share tips for avoiding catching a cold or flu here, as well as what you should do if you fall victim.

But of course, if you’re struggling to overcome a perky cold or flu, the best thing to do is see your GP.

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