Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

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

Marla Ahlgrimm Applauds Star Wars Actress for Candid Post

Marla AhlgrimmLondon born actress Daisy Ridley is the new face of the ever popular Star Wars franchise and serves as a reminder that even Hollywood’s elite aren’t immune to health problems. Ridley recently shared a now viral tweet about her struggle with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In the following short conversation, Marla Ahlgrimm praises Ridley and answers questions about PCOS.

Q: Who is Daisy Ridley?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Daisy Ridley is a British actress who plays Rey in the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. Prior to this role, she had only been in a handful of productions but has since been catapulted into worldwide fame. In June, Ridley used her newfound status to bring awareness to two rarely discussed conditions, polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis.

Q: What is endometriosis?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Endometriosis is a reproductive disorder that triggers endometrial tissue growth outside the uterus. It is a common issue but one that can have devastating consequences. Women with endometriosis may suffer from chronic pain in the lower abdomen, feel constipated or nauseous constantly, and experience heavy or irregular menstrual periods. Infertility is perhaps the most troubling result of endometriosis.

Q: How does polycystic ovary syndrome mimic endometriosis?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Like endometriosis, PCOS can present with menstrual disturbances and infertility. However, it may also trigger weight gain, severe acne, uncharacteristically male features, and Type II diabetes. Polycystic ovary syndrome cannot be cured as the causes are not completely understood, though hormone therapy and self-care may help alleviate pain and discomfort.

Q: What lifestyle changes have helped Ridley control her symptoms?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Ridley tweeted that one of her biggest issues is acne. She is now seeing a dermatologist and has cut out dairy and reduced her sugar intake. One thing she has learned from her journey is to stay on top of how she’s feeling. She encourages other young women to take control of their own medical care and to seek help when needed without fear of being accused of paranoia.


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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