Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm: Metabolic Syndrome Risk at Menopause

Marla AhlgrimmMadison, Wisconsin-based pharmacist and women’s healthcare expert Marla Ahlgrimm answers your questions about how weight, education, income, and exercise play a role in a woman’s risk of metabolic syndrome.

Q: What is metabolic syndrome?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Metabolic syndrome isn’t one specific condition. Instead, it is the compounded occurrence of high blood glucose levels, obesity, elevated cholesterol, and increased blood pressure. This cluster of conditions increases a woman’s risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Q: What are the symptoms of metabolic syndrome?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Unfortunately, many of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome don’t present with outward symptoms. However, having a larger than proportionate waistline is a visible sign. Women with high blood sugar may experience increased thirst, blurred vision, fatigue, and issues with urination.

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Marla Ahlgrimm: Bone Basics

Marla AhlgrimmOsteoporosis is a serious condition that affects the bones. Here, Marla Ahlgrimm, a women’s health advocate and pioneer in the field of hormone replacement therapy, answers common questions about this bone-weakening disease.

Q: What is osteoporosis?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Osteoporosis, a disease that affects mostly women over 50, is the weakening of bones to a point where even minor injuries may cause fractures. Without proper preemptive care, osteoporosis can cause bones to become brittle enough to break at even the slightest jolt – even from sneezing or coughing too hard. It’s particularly of a concern to women, as post-menopausal women can lose 20% of their bone mass in less than a decade. There are over 10 million people in the United States alone living with osteoporosis. Four out of five of these are women.

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Marla Ahlgrimm Offers Insight on the Common Symptoms of Menopause

Marla AhlgrimmMost people identify hot flashes as one of the first indicators that a woman’s body is gearing up for “the change.” Here, women’s healthcare specialist Marla Ahlgrimm answers questions about hot flashes and offers advice on how to keep cool when things heat up.

Q: What is a “hot flash?”

Marla Ahlgrimm: Hot flashes, or flushes, are the sudden feelings of intense warmth in the upper body and face. They are characterized by facial reddening, sweatiness, and when they are experienced in cases related to menopause, insomnia. Hot flashes occur when the blood vessels closest to the skin’s surface dilate rapidly. They may be accompanied by chills or a rapid heart rate. Scientists are as yet uncertain on why the changing hormones cause flushing, but it may be due to a change in the circulatory system.

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Q & A with Marla Ahlgrimm | Estrogen Dominance

Marla AhlgrimmA brief Q & A with Women’s Health America founder and women’s health pioneer Marla Ahlgrimm.

Q: What is estrogen dominance?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Estrogen dominance describes a condition in which a woman has levels of estrogen that far outweigh her body’s progesterone. Even women with low estrogen levels may suffer estrogen dominance if her progesterone levels are severely deficient.

Q: What causes it?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Estrogen dominance may occur naturally or be the result of estrogen derived from non-natural, external sources. These xenoestrogens are found in plastic and petroleum products, low-quality cosmetics, pesticides, and certain birth control devices.

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Marla Ahlgrimm Speaks About Panic Attacks

Marla-Ahlgrimm-Moods-HormonesStress is not the same as a sudden panic attack, according to Marla Ahlgrimm.

Q: What is a panic attack and how can I know the difference between that and stress?

Marla Ahlgrimm: While it’s possible that a panic attack is related to stress, a true attack is a sudden episode of concentrated fear that can last from just a few minutes to almost half an hour. Unlike sudden bursts of stress, someone experiencing a panic attack has more difficulty processing logical thoughts to calm down.

Q: What are the stages of a panic attack?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A panic attack usually plays out in three stages. First, without warning, an outside trigger will send an alarm to your brain that indicates something is wrong. Once the brain processes these feelings, the body chimes in with a physiologic response. These range from sweating and shaking to stomach discomfort and vertigo. The attack pinnacles with more severe physical and psychological responses. Continue reading

Women’s Rights Still Improving, Says Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla-AhlgrimmThe Affordable Care Act has done scores of good for women who now, regardless of income or insurability, have access to life-saving screenings that they may have otherwise foregone.

Q: Why is the Affordable Care Act important for women specifically?

Marla Ahlgrimm: As recently as just a few years ago, a woman must have had insurance or have paid out-of-pocket to receive certain healthcare screenings. With the exorbitant cost of medical care today, the screenings were not within reach of a large number of American women. As a result, many suffered unknowingly with diseases like breast or cervical cancer until it was too late. The Affordable Care Act made women a priority by offering screenings like these, and more, to women as part of their monthly health-care premiums.

Q: How has the Affordable Care Act affected maternity coverage?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Since the inception of the act, maternity coverage in America is now guaranteed. This coverage, which provides for the health of both the mother and unborn baby, was often not included in traditional insurance plans. Unfortunately, because of this, many mothers went without vital prenatal care. Continue reading

Q & A with Marla Ahlgrimm: Effects of Physical Activity on Cancer Risks in Women

Marla-AhlgrimmGet off the couch, away from the screen, and get moving! This is the message by women’s health expert and world renowned pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm who affirms exercise as a key factor to overall health.

Q: How much physical activity does a woman need to help reduce her risk of cancer?

Marla Ahlgrimm: In dozens of studies across the globe, researchers have found that women who exercise at least three hours per week are typically 20 – 30% less likely to receive a cancer diagnosis than their sedentary counterparts. These studies include breast cancer, which is one of the biggest fears of many women.

Q: How does exercise affect the body?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Burning calories helps the body regulate weight, and maintains a lower blood sugar level and body mass. Exercise also causes the body to act as its own anti-inflammatory and stimulates the body’s defense over foreign cells. Some scientists believe that cancer may be a natural response to over inflammation, so the more a woman can do to keep it at bay, the better. Continue reading


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