Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

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

Marla Ahlgrimm Offers Information Regarding Migraine Headaches in Women

Marla AhlgrimmMigraine headaches can affect a woman’s life in profound ways. It may lead to depression, relationship problems, and even stroke, says women’s health pioneer Marla Ahlgrimm. Today, Ahlgrimm offers information on migraines and suggestions on home care, which is often overlooked during treatment.

Q: What is a migraine headache?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Migraine headaches transcend the dull, aching pain many people associate with tension or cluster headaches. Migraines cause an intense throbbing sensation that is typically concentrated in one area of the head. Women who suffer from migraines often find their pain is accompanied by nausea, partial loss of vision,  and an intense desire to seek quiet, dark solace.

Q: How are migraines diagnosed?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A doctor will diagnose a patient with migraine headaches based on self reported symptoms. Typically, a migraine sufferer will describe four distinct stages of discomfort beginning with subtle changes in the days before the headache begins. Women may experience visual phenomenon or speech issues just prior to the onset of pain. During a migraine, pain on one or both sides of the head as well as blurred vision and nausea are common. The final phase begins when pain subsides, leaving a woman completely drained and occasionally a bit euphoric.

Q: Who is at risk for migraine headaches?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Women with a family history of migraines are most at-risk of suffering themselves. However, hormone changes related to age may also trigger migraines. Most people report having their first migraine between the ages of 11 and 15 or at the onset of puberty.

Q: Are there natural methods to combat migraine pain?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Although migraine sufferers require medical attention, self-care measures may offer some relief and insight. Muscle relaxation techniques as well as adequate sleep will keep the body in its best shape to handle the pain. Keeping a headache diary may also help a woman understand what triggers her migraines and which treatments are most effective.


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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