Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

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

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.

Q: When do hot flashes typically start?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Hot flashes can occur at any time during a woman’s life but they are frequently one of the first signs of menopause and begin at about the age of 45. Fortunately, though they may last for many years, the severity typically weakens as time goes by. Women experiencing early menopause can start having hot flashes and other symptoms in their mid-thirties.

Q: What’s the best way to avoid hot flashes?

Marla Ahlgrimm: The only way to prevent or eliminate hot flashes is to replace the missing estrogen. This is achieved through HRT, Hormone Replacement Therapy. However, many women find much-needed relief via simple changes in their daily activity and diet. This includes eating plenty of lean protein and wearing light, cotton clothing to bed.

Q: Are there any OTC medications that treat hot flashes?

Marla Ahlgrimm: It’s important to remember that hot flashes are not a disease and therefore they do not require treatment. They are a sign that the body is undergoing a perfectly natural change. If hot flashes are bothersome and cannot be controlled with diet and lifestyle changes, supplementation with vitamins E and B may help.


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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