Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

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

Are Your Meds Causing Weight Gain? Marla Ahlgrimm says They Might Be

Marla AhlgrimmIf you are taking certain kinds of medication, including those for diabetes and arthritis, you may have noticed a spike on the scale. According to retired pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm, weight gain is a common side effect of steroids, hormones, insulin, and allergy medication – Benadryl included.

Throughout her decades long career, one question Marla Ahlgrimm heard almost daily was, “Will this medication make me gain weight?” Unfortunately, she laments, there’s no way to know in advance because people’s bodies are different. She reports that many drugs that cause weight gain in some may actually work in reverse as an appetite suppressant in others.

Diabetic patients often experience weight gain, due both to their condition and to insulin. Marla notes this is a difficult situation as obesity is a trigger for diabetes.

Fortunately, most medications have alternatives that won’t increase the numbers on the scales. However, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, patients who are unable to utilize an alternative medication should continue to use their prescriptions, at the recommendation of their doctor, even if it means packing on a few pounds.

So, what’s a woman to do to combat the effects of weight gain related to treating health conditions? Marla Ahlgrimm says to start by talking to your doctor. Most women can tell within a month if a new prescription is going to affect her negatively. Those concerns should be discussed with the prescribing physician. Further, a woman can examine her diet and exercise patterns to see where she can make improvements that may counter the effects of the medication.

Marla Ahlgrimm acknowledges that weight gain may exacerbate certain medical conditions and says it is up to each patient and their doctors to come up with a plan that not only treats a diagnosed condition butt also takes into consideration overall health and quality of life.


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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