When anyone catches the flu, man or woman, the first couple of days are plain awful. A new study, however, points out that cold and flu symptoms may actually be harsher (and last longer) for the females.
It’s the Most Germ-Filled Time of the Year…
The cold and flu season has begun, and contagious germs are making their rounds. Generally, when someone in the office gets sick, look out, it’s coming your way. If someone at home comes down with a cold or virus, you might as well stock up on the tissues and chicken soup now.
But according to recent research, it’s the women in the house who suffer the most and the longest.
Research Coughed This Up
Between 2009 and 2015, a study was conducted with over 700 participants at five specific military treatment centers. At the facilities, those serving in the military, along with their family members, were tested when they presented signs of a cold or flu.
The participants were swabbed so their illness could be identified. They each kept journals, rating the severity of the symptoms daily. After analyzing the results of all the journals, the researchers discovered that women suffered more.
Both men and women became infected at the same rate, but women’s symptoms lingered. For day one and two of the illness, both male and females reported similar aches, pains, fever, or discomfort. But by day three and beyond, the women’s symptoms tended to continue.
Slippery Slope and a Runny Nose
Because so much of the research was based on self-reporting, the results could be a tad incongruous. Were women more apt to be honest about their condition, while men “braved it out” and underreported symptoms? Were women simply more keen and in-tune to their symptoms? Some medical experts suspect that hormonal differences can play a part in how the body fights infections.
Avoid Being Part of the Research
Sometimes the seasonal bug is going to catch us regardless of how well we take care of our health. Thrive posted suggestions a couple of months back to help you avoid falling ill from the latest cold or flu. The key is to boost your immune system. Here are some ways of doing so:
1) Sleep. When you get tired, take a nap, or just tuck yourself in for the night. If you absolutely cannot, muddle through, get done what you must, try to get to bed as soon as possible. Do not pump up on coffee or other caffeine. That will falsely revive you and weaken your immune system.
2) Stay calm. It’s the time of year when stress builds; it could be the foreboding holiday worries, finances, kids and school, etc. When you feel yourself stressing out, remind yourself to shake it off. Do you want to get sick? No? Good. Then breathe, smile, take a bath, hug someone you love—and rest your weary self.
3) Drink lots of water and other non-sugary beverages. Keep flushing out. Stay hydrated.
4) Wash your hands with soap and water several times a day. Germs are everywhere. You can seriously avoid getting infected if you wash them away before they get you.
5) Eat fresh foods high in vitamins A, B, and C and zinc. Take supplements if you’re feeling especially vulnerable.
Best of health to you and your family this season!