Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

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

Caregiver Stress | Marla Ahlgrimm

baby-164897_1280As women, we often become caregivers not only to ourselves and our children, but of aging parents, as well. However, as women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm explains, we cannot be effective caregivers if we don’t take the time to care for ourselves first.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, caregiver stress takes an emotional and physical toll on many women, who are expected to be available 24/7 to meet the needs of aging or disabled parents. The condition can take many forms but often starts with the feeling of being overwhelmed, isolated, or alone. Insomnia, weight gain, a weak immune system, and depression are all also common.

Marla Ahlgrimm reports that caregiver stress puts women at a higher risk of chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Thankfully, there are ways to learn how to handle caregiver stress without succumbing to its effects. Marla Ahlgrimm recommends exploring classes online or in your local area to find out proper ways to take care of an aging parent. This is even more important if they are exhibiting signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Make a list of adult caregiver agencies that you can turn to for assistance when things become overwhelming. Marla Ahlgrimm says there is no shame in asking for help, especially from siblings and adult grandchildren.

Don’t forget your own medical needs. Talk with your doctor about healthy ways to mitigate stress, how to adjust your diet for prolonged energy, and let them know about any sudden changes to your sleeping pattern.

Marla Ahlgrimm says women in a caregiver position should get plenty of exercise and take “mental-health moments” each day. Read a book, listen to some music, or simply go for a walk to step out of your role as a caregiver. Breaking the monotony may not eliminate stress and duress, but it will certainly 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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