Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

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

Marla Ahlgrimm: Diabetes and Infertility

Marla AhlgrimmAccording to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 12% of women of childbearing age struggle with infertility. There are a number of causes of infertility, says women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm. Diabetes, while not often linked with reproductive issues, may contribute to some cases.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, women with both type I and type II diabetes have a slightly shortened window of fertility. Diabetes may extend the onset of menses and can trigger premature menopause. Additionally, diabetes often goes hand-in-hand with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition associated with reproductive issues. PCOS is common in in women with type II diabetes as the condition is known to trigger insulin resistance. Insulin resistance essentially means the body’s insulin levels are elevated, which will negatively affect ovulation.

In order to further understand the link between diabetes and infertility, Marla Ahlgrimm notes that we must look at what causes diabetes in the first place. Adults diagnosed with type II diabetes, a condition triggered by a poor diet and linked to obesity, may have higher instances of infertility for other reasons. Having a body mass index of  30 puts a woman at a higher risk for infertility as well as miscarriage and pregnancy complications, says Marla Ahlgrimm. The National Institutes Of Health report that weight loss often provides women with more favorable reproductive outcomes.

Since obesity and diabetes are associated with poor food choices, Marla Ahlgrimm suggest starting at the dinner table before resorting to drastic infertility treatments. She explains that the body needs specific conditions in order for pregnancy to thrive. Reducing sugar intake and avoiding trans fat while trying to conceive may help. Eating trans fats can further increase insulin resistance.

A diet rich in protein and complex carbohydrates along with dietary fiber and other vital nutrients is essential for women trying to conceive and will also help mitigate the effects of diabetes and other health conditions, says Marla Ahlgrimm.


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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