Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

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

Marla Ahlgrimm on Hormone Imbalances

Marla AhlgrimmWomen listen up! Esteemed health and hormone expert Marla Ahlgrimm answers common questions relating to female hormone imbalance in this short Q&A.

Q: What causes hormone imbalance?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are a number of reasons a woman may experience a shift in her natural hormone levels. One of the most common, however, is poor dietary and exercise habits. Our bodies, including the organs that secrete hormones, need a specific balance of nutrition. Eating too little or too much of the wrong foods can wreak havoc on our insides. Likewise, over- or under-exercising can throw things out of whack.

Q:  Do women have male hormones and if so what is the purpose?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Both men and women share similar hormones, although in vastly different proportions. Testosterone, the most well-known male sex hormone, helps regulate physical functions including fertility and the release of moisture in mucous membranes. Women with deficient testosterone may notice a low libido, severe fatigue, irritability, hair loss, and waning muscle mass.

Q: What are some symptoms of estrogen dominance?

Marla Ahlgrimm: External symptoms include acne, puffy eyes, excess belly fat, brittle nails and hair, weight gain, and acne. Internal symptoms can include vaginal dryness, incontinence, unusual carbohydrate cravings, bloating, night sweats, and migraines.

Q: How are hormone issues treated?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A doctor will perform a hormone test to determine what, if any, hormones are to blame for a woman’s symptoms. If chemical imbalance is the culprit, the first course of action is a change in lifestyle. A doctor may recommend a light fitness routine and have a woman increased her intake of healthy whole foods. However, if that’s not enough, hormone therapy, either via injections, creams, or other delivery method, may be prescribed. Hormone therapies are often custom-created to fill a woman’s specific needs and hormone deficiencies.


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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