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Man Flu – Myth or Reality?

| By: Dr Robert Stevens

It’s cold season.  Literally everywhere you look, men are falling at the wayside with the sniffles.  There’s a reason for this, I’ll try and explain but I’m sure most of you girls won’t understand what us men go through.  It’s not easy being a man but there’s a reason we get ‘man flu’, a flu that is far worse than regular flu.  We have pressures and responsibilities that you couldn’t comprehend, it boils down to survival of the human race.  If you read this article, it would have you believe that you, the common female, are superior.  It concludes that you have stronger immune systems, you can cope with ‘regular’ flu, which means you can soldier on in the face of adversity whilst we are laid up in bed suffering.

It’s no secret, boys ARE better than girls.  Despite this fact, I have an ever-circular argument with my PA, Lydia Hughes, who, in protest, will no doubt refuse to upload this blog, so forgive the grammatical errors and poor punctuation.  I hope you can get on board with this one, so you can at least present a theory to the female in your life, as to why you are close to death with a simple virus. I for one would like to silence the mocking in my ears, but denial is strong in the fairer sex.

Ok, a long time ago, when man was a hunter gatherer, the alpha male brimming with testosterone lead his hunting tribe out into the wilderness to hunt prey.  He risked life and limb so he could provide for his family.  It would make sense that only the strongest hunted to maximise the chances of a successful hunt.  Nature is a cruel mistress, predators need to be at the top of their game when hunting prey.  The odds are normally stacked in favour of the hunted, survival is supposed to be hard.  If food was plentiful then the balance of mother nature would be disrupted.  There would be too many predators and not enough prey.  It’s supposed to be tough at the top.

There is a definite survival benefit to humans living together in communities.  Much like lions, we often hunt in packs.  That’s probably a bad analogy as it’s the female lions that track and kill prey, not the male.  However, he has first spoils because after all, he is the King of the Jungle, it’s not Queen of the Jungle.  It makes sense therefore that you send out your fittest, strongest hunter so that you as a species have the best chances of a successful hunt and hence survival.

It is a primitive survival instinct for a man to recognise he is ill, it is a strength, not a weakness.  I think it is by design that we have a weaker immune system.  The man must rest and recover so that when the time comes, he can successfully hunt and allow you women to survive and produce more babies for him.  Survival of the fittest!

It’s science *****

Dr Robert Stevens MBChB MRCGP Dip.FIPT