Do men really suffer more from colds?

It’s the end. The hellish suffering on earth. Judgment day with a fever of 100 degrees. In short, the end of the world. The man sings the international male flu anthem: Mimimi. He lies on the couch, howling and wailing, drawing up wills and testaments, and has already made up a motto for his tombstone: “The will was strong, but the enemy was superior.”

Sure thing: Whining, complaining and heulitis, these are the typical symptoms of a male flu along with a cold, cough and some headaches. And, of course: You may listen to yourself over and over again that you as a woman simply don’t understand that men suffer much more than women during a normal cold. We will get to the bottom of the myth of the men’s flu here – and provide solutions.

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What’s male flu?

“Men’s flu” is merely an ironic term for the – allegedly – more severe course of colds in men. The term is at the same time half true, because of some hints from scientific studies (see below), and ironic-exaggerated – but it is also misleading.

For influenza is indeed a serious illness, and all those affected, men and women alike, generally suffer greatly from it. Symptoms include the usual flu-like symptoms such as headaches or colds, but also total fatigue and often high fever. Influenza requires urgent medical treatment; those affected often need up to 3 weeks to recover. This is not a joke – but it is not about the real flu. It is about the – mostly prize-worthy – suffering of men with a cold.


Is a man flu worse than women’s?

Yes and no. The ironic name for a harmless cold or flu-like effect in men is partly supported by some scientific research: According to one study, some men actually experience stronger symptoms than women when they have a cold. The possible reason: men’s immune systems react differently to pathogens. The reason for this is that the oestrogen level in men is lower than in women. The hormone inhibits the reproduction of viruses. So people with less oestrogen have a higher viral activity.

Another possible reason for male suffering is his higher testosterone level. This is because the more testosterone there is, the fewer antibodies are in the body. At least that is what a study conducted at Stanford Medical School shows.

But there are also enough other reasons why an infection can progress differently in different people: age, lifestyle, etc. There is no clear evidence that there is a male-specific course of colds. Women can also get badly affected – and conversely, there are certainly men who do not complain at all when they have a cold.


Is man flu dangerous?

No. No more dangerous than any other cold. Even if the unequal hormone distribution means that a man has to fight more with a cold – how much greater the suffering is supposed to be is questionable. It is strange that the World Health Organization has never warned of a men’s flu epidemic. Could it perhaps be that the suffering, with all understanding for the special hormonal situation of men, is not GANZ is so dramatic?

One thing is clear: If you have a cold, you should take it easy, rest a lot, drink plenty of fluids and eat a vitamin-rich diet. Men can do that, right? With all due respect and care, you shouldn’t be too sympathetic. Even if the “man flu” makes him suffer, he is not the only victim in the unfair distribution of symptoms in nature. Women suffer from PMS and abdominal cramps every month, and you don’t whine about it all the time.

We present here 5 (perhaps not completely serious down to the last detail) methods of how best to deal with a male flu victim. One thing in advance: never let him go to work! Even if you think that’s silly: You don’t want him infecting his coworkers and then having more man flu zombies stumbling around the country moaning.

10 simple household remedies for colds

1. the Reasoning Programme

You can take his suffering really, really seriously – and treat him accordingly. In other words: He gets only and exclusively TOTAL healthy food. Vegetables and fruit and chicken broth, for example. There’s nothing to drink but tea.

Doctors advise strict bed rest for colds. So he better not get out of bed without permission. Fresh air is also recommended, so open the windows and air out several times a day. And as soon as you catch him going to the toilet on his own, drag him outside for a walk. Oh, and by the way: if you have a fever, of course you can get the much-loved calf compresses. Believe us: He will be back on his feet very soon!

2. the ironic tour

If he overdoes it with suffering, adapt your behavior consistently to his apocalyptic whining. Hang on to the front door of your house and apartment, clearly visible “QUARANTÄNE “-signs on. At the door of the room in which he is staying, a pretty, big, yellow-black “BIO-HAZARD !” sign. Block the area around the room door additionally with red-white or yellow-black flutter tape. Also, fence the area around his bed so that he can get a taste of the fun.

Of course you can also take pictures of your precautions and show them to him. Or you can use WhatsApp to send them to friends and family – after all, they need to be warned about the threat of an epidemic! Oh, and very important: Only wear appropriate protective clothing when in his environment. If you don’t have an anti-epidemic suit, rain gear and goggles will do. You do this for exactly one day – after that his suffering will have evaporated to a bearable level. That’s a promise.

3. the loving number

You know him better. Maybe there’s no point in playing down his illness. Maybe everything will only get worse if you make fun of him. So keep your mocking him under control so there’s no relationship stress on top of the cold. Make him feel like you take his suffering seriously, as long as you can do it without giggling.

Bring him chicken broth, hot tea with lemon and ginger and cough sweets and let him get well. Stuff pillows in his back in bed and read to him in the evening. Remember, even the worst cold will pass. And: Even you will have a cold at some point – and then he will return the favour. You’re welcome.

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4. the deflection rail

Miraculously, the suffering of most men’s influenza sufferers is suddenly reduced when a new season of your favorite show suddenly appears. Or some new action movies. Then, it is suddenly possible for many plagued by the disease to sit upright for hours and stop moaning and groaning.

Some patients are even able to eat solid food (chips or similar) very quickly on their own during this treatment, which they have even bought on their own in the kitchen. Warning: Keep him and yourself away from reinforcing content such as the virus film “Outbreak”. Otherwise he will diagnose himself with Ebola. For sure.


Don’t overdo it with the distraction either: you should stop having sex for now, because during a flu every physical effort puts an additional strain on the body. However, the remark: “Oh, what a pity, I actually thought we could fuck again…” is a great way to find out how badly he is doing. WIRKLICH goes. If he’s wavin’ goodbye, you gotta be a little worried. If he shows interest, you put him off: “Of course you don’t want to catch snot fever from him.

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5. the normal number

Still the best: Leave him alone, do not comment on his suffering – but do not react to it in any other way. Ask him if he needs anything from the pharmacy, share your fruit with him and treat him as you would like to be treated yourself if you have a cold: Sober and friendly, but without too much fuss. He is an adult. He can take care of himself.

Meet everyone “Man Flu” with ironic detachment. It is not for nothing that the term originated from the witty preoccupation with the male cold. When this terrible illness breaks out, you too should keep your sense of humour. Do not take serious symptoms like high fever lightly …and his sniffles and whines are easy. Fortunately, every infection passes eventually.