(Believe it or not, it might just be a real thing)
While “man flu” is really more of a severe cold than a full-blown bout of influenza, there is growing evidence to support the theory that men experience colds worse than women.
Studies have found that testosterone actively weakens the body’s natural immune response to viral infections. Conversely, studies have found that oestrogen has anti-viral qualities, which can inhibit the spread of a virus.
Whether or not you want to believe these findings is up to you, but it’s worth considering the following tips to protect yourself from getting sick this cold and flu season.
Preventing flu symptoms
Eat a balanced diet
Making sure that you you’re eating right is a great way to stave off a cold or flu. This involves more than just having a big glass of OJ.
While many people believe that vitamin C is a cure-all when it comes to colds and flus, most experts agree that vitamin C won’t stop you getting a cold. However, vitamin C has been shown to reduce the duration of a cold.
Something that may actually help you fight off the flu is zinc. A 2011 study found that this mineral affected the replication of the rhinovirus. Head to your local GP and get a blood test to check your zinc levels, or use a connected health product, such as a VitaStiq, to check your vitamin and mineral levels at home.
Prevention is always better than a cure, so getting your flu jab each year is a crucial step in avoiding the flu. The flu shot is recommended for all Australians over the age of six months. You should make sure you go back and get the shot every 12 months, as the flu vaccine changes depending on what the most common flu strains are likely to be that year.
Getting a flu shot is quick and easy. The jab usually costs less than $20, so it’s not going to break the bank. Just pop into your local GP or immunisation provider and ask for the flu shot. If you are concerned about the costs associated with the flu shot, check to see whether you’re covered as part of your health insurance extras policy.
Exercise is key to your overall health. Keeping yourself fit and healthy will boost your natural immunity and help you stave off and fight the common cold or flu better than if you’re not in great shape.
What to do if you get sick
If you do come down with a cold or flu, there are various ways that you can help speed along your recovery:
- Rest up. The best thing you can do is rest and recover. Call in sick and try and get as much bed rest as possible.
- Drink up. Be sure to keep up your fluid intake, especially water. You can also throw in some green tea to mix it up, it never hurts to have some added antioxidants.
- Take your vitamins. As mentioned above, getting your daily dose of zinc can help minimise your symptoms and vitamin C can help to speed up your recovery.
This article has been provided by Richard Laycock, an Insurance Expert at finder.com.au.