Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

Q & A with Marla Ahlgrimm – Migraine Headaches and HRT

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Marla AhlgrimmAs if mood swings and hot flashes weren’t enough to deal with, the last thing a woman in menopause wants is an excruciating migraine headache. Migraines are often driven by intense fluctuations of hormones, notes Marla Ahlgrimm. Here, the longtime pharmacist discusses some of the medical solutions that may help deal with this issue

Q: What are the most troublesome symptoms associated with migraine headaches?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Migraines are generally marked by sensitivity to noise and light, vomiting, nausea and painful throbbing near the temples. As with most medical matters, an appointment with a primary care physician should be the first course of action when experiencing a migraine for the first time.

Q: Are there particular methods that may be useful in curbing these feelings of discomfort and pain during menopause?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Hormone replacement therapy, often referred to in the medical community as HRT, has been shown to alleviate perimenopausal migraines in certain situations. Consulting with a specialist can shed light on all of the available options. If HRT is prescribed, the estradiol transdermal patch would be the most likely form.

Q: What other causes could result in migraine headaches?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Besides hormone fluctuations, a lack of sleep or food, flashing or bright lights, and stress may also be contributing factors to migraine headaches.

Q: How may women adjust their regular routine to ensure proper health and alleviate their risk of debilitating pain from migraines?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Eating small meals throughout the course of the day should be the first priority. Try to include foods with protein and complex carbohydrates like starchy vegetables, legumes and whole grains. It may also prove beneficial to use dietary supplements such as magnesium, co-enzyme Q-10, and riboflavin. Exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep is crucial, as is cutting back on alcohol and caffeine. One last note: drink enough water each day to avoid dehydration.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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