As I write this, I might just be coming down with a bout of “man flu”. I’ve got a headache. Congested sinuses. Itchy eyes. A growing need to complain and seek out validation for the fact that I’m sick and that I should go home and get into bed…
Not to get all high school essay on you but the Macquarie Dictionary defines the man flu as:
/ˈmæn flu/ (say ‘man flooh)
noun Colloquial (humorous) a minor cold contracted by a man who proceeds to exaggerate the symptoms enormously.
If you’ve ever experienced the man flu, you may think that there’s nothing minor about it. Some studies have suggested that testosterone weakens the immune systems of men, while oestrogen in women may have anti-viral qualities.
Whether or not you believe that man flu is the end of the world or a complete overreaction, here are some tips for beating it.
Beating the flu takes more than just sucking down a bunch of orange juice. While your parents may have extolled the benefits of OJ for its vitamin C-rich contents, studies have found that vitamin C only has modest preventative effects on colds and flus.
However, where vitamin C has been found to be effective is in improving our immune function, meaning that it can reduce the duration of colds and flus.
More important than just vitamin C are your vitamin levels as a whole. Making sure you eat a balanced diet full of all the right nutrients is far more important than dosing yourself with vitamins when you do get sick.
To check your vitamin levels, you might want to head to your local GP, who can perform a simple blood test and let you know what your levels are like.
If you don’t feel like going to the doctor or you just don’t like blood tests, there are tools like the VitaStiq, which allow you to check your vitamin and mineral levels at home using electro-acupuncture.
Australian Influenza Statistics
NSW Health has recorded almost 60,000 flu cases this year which is an all-time high and almost twice as many as the 35,538 cases diagnosed in 2016.
Get a flu shot
One of the best ways to avoid getting sick is by getting a flu shot. These shots take roughly two weeks to kick in after they’re administered and you only need to get one once a year.
Unfortunately, 85% of those who got vaccinated still got sick in 2017, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bother with it. The flu shot is the best preventative measure for avoiding getting sick.
What if you do have the flu?
If you do come down with the flu, there’s not a whole lot you can do. And while having some vitamin C might help to speed along the recovery process, there are really only three things to do:
- Stay home: Influenza is highly contagious, so the best thing you can do is stay home and avoid passing it on to others.
- Rest: Staying home will also allow you to get some rest, so that you can beat the infection.
- Drink plenty of liquids: If you’ve got the flu, chances are you’ve got a fever, which means you’re dehydrated. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids to replenish what you’ve lost.