‘Woman flu’ on rise

Forget man flu, it's woman flu that's the real bore

Forget ‘man flu’, apparently it’s ‘woman flu’ that’s the real bore.

A new survey claims more woman moan and exaggerate colds than men, although those of us with partners at home currently clutching their Lemsip might beg to differ.

Of the 2,000 individuals polled, 85% of women admitted over-egging their symptoms to get more sympathy, compared to 76% of men (although we reckon that’s down to the fact men don’t think they’re exaggerating how they feel, when we’re convinced they are).

Consultant psychotherapist Gladeana McMahon is still surprised.

Women tend to talk more about their feelings generally, but men it seems, appear to vocalise more when they’re sick – that’s where the myth around ‘man’ flu originated,’ she notes.

‘So it’s surprising that these results show women to be the biggest complainers when it comes to colds and flu.’

However, the upside is that women are far more likely to try and tackle their symptoms head on, and often with a more holistic approach than their husbands or boyfriends.

‘A good healthy diet is essential to help lower your chances of catching colds and ‘flu,’ nutritionist Fiona Hunter told Actimel, who carried out the survey.

‘The evidence is increasing for consumption of food and nutrients such as zinc and vitamin C, and food like garlic and probiotic drinking yoghurts.

‘These can help strengthen the body’s defences and in turn make it easier to deal with viruses.’

The Royal London Hospital’s flu expert, Professor John Oxford, has more advice.

‘The best way to prevent either ‘man’ or ‘woman’ flu is probably to sleep in a separate bedroom to a suffering partner.

‘This close proximity is a sure way to spread the virus, much more so than a person just coughing or sneezing on a train – in this setting, holding an infected handrail is a more likely method of transmitting the virus.’

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