Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

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

Marla Ahlgrimm Offers Information on Bulimia

Marla AhlgrimmBulimia is an eating disorder that affects millions of women every year, says Marla Ahlgrimm. It is characterized by binging on foods then purging them from the body by way of forced vomiting. Here, Ahlgrimm answers a few of the most common questions about this treatable condition.

Q: How are anorexia and bulimia different?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Anorexics are people, often women, who do not consume enough calories for their age and body shape. They are extremely thin and may be malnourished. People with bulimia, by contrast, often look healthy and fall within their normal weight range. Bulimics eat a normal diet, but go through periods of purging what they eat to “get rid” of the calories.

Q: Is bulimia a mental disorder?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes. Bulimics have an irrational fear of gaining weight but typically do not eat a balanced diet or will not exercise. They often experience depression and anxiety of their imperfect body shape. Body-biased media drives many young women into feelings of guilt over not having a shape like those displayed online and in advertisements. These women strive to live up to an often unattainable “airbrushed” reality.

Q: How does bulimia affect the body?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Women with bulimia are at a higher risk of hormone disorders and irregular periods. Constant self-induced vomiting may result in dehydration, intestinal issues, weakened heart muscles, esophageal tears, swollen cheeks, and ulcers. Bulimics may have poor dental hygiene and tooth sensitivity due to exposure to stomach acids.

Q: Is bulimia treatable?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes! Bulimics are treated by a combination of behavioral therapy, nutrition counseling, and prescription medications. Sometimes, antidepressants are prescribed to help the patient overcome feelings of depression and anxiety. It takes time but, with help and support, women can get better and experience better physical and mental health.


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.

Comments are closed.