Researchers say the ‘man flu’ might be for real

This Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 photo shows single dosage syringes of the Fluarix quadrivalent influenza virus vaccine in New York. There's not much flu going around in the United States so far _ unlike the last three seasons when doctors' offices were filled with patients before Christmas and the worst hit by late December. The government's latest flu tracking data was released Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

(WCMH) — Okay ladies, we know how it goes. Your man is laying in bed, and he’s complaining over and over about how bad he feels. You dismiss his bad cold as a case of the “man flu.”

Well, turns out, that might be exactly what he has.

Research just released in the American Journal of Physiology could confirm the existence of the “man flu.” That’s because scientists found female hormones better protect women against the worst symptoms of the influenza virus.

Researchers made the discovery after taking body fluid samples from both men and women and exposing them to the flu virus. The samples with higher levels of estrogen fought off the flu virus much faster than the male samples.

The longer you have the flu virus, the more severe the symptoms can become.

Researchers say their findings could lead to doctors prescribing estrogen as a way to help fight the flu. Other studies have also shown estrogen can have an impact in fighting HIV, Ebola and hepatitis viruses.

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