Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

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

Marla Ahlgrimm | Eating for Heart Health

Marla AhlgrimmFood is what drives every system in the body, says women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm. What we put into our bodies plays a significant role in how we look and feel from the inside out. Here, Ahlgrimm talks about heart-healthy foods and ways you can change your diet today for a healthier heart tomorrow.

Q: What are some foods that help prevent heart disease and stroke?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A diet rich in a variety of different foods is a great first step in reducing your risk of heart-related conditions. Fruits and vegetables should comprise at least half of every meal. Whole grains, such as wild rice, sorghum, whole-wheat, and oatmeal, are an essential part of a healthy diet. Stick with low-fat dairy products, lean meat, and other forms of protein such as beans and eggs.

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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.

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Hysterectomy FAQ | Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla AhlgrimmWomen with certain health reproductive health concerns, such as cancer, may be advised to have a hysterectomy – a surgery to remove the womb. Here, Marla Ahlgrimm offers answers to common questions about the procedure.

Q: What is a hysterectomy?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure where a woman’s uterus, and sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes, are removed. It is considered a major surgery and may require hospitalization.

Q: What are some conditions that might warrant a hysterectomy?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Hysterectomy surgery is not something to be considered unless extreme circumstances are present. Women with painful uterine fibroids, heavy or unusual vaginal bleeding, and uterine prolapse may be advised to have a hysterectomy to prevent other medical conditions. Endometriosis and adenomyosis, both conditions characterized by abnormal uterine tissue growth, may become severe enough that a hysterectomy is the only viable treatment. Women who cannot have radiation or chemotherapy or have persistent cancer of the cervix, ovaries, or uterus, may be advised to have a hysterectomy to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.

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STDs and Pregnancy | Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla AhlgrimmSexually transmitted diseases (STDs), sometimes called sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or venereal diseases (VDs), are illnesses passed through sexual intercourse. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, many STDs can transfer from mother to child in utero and through the breastfeeding process. Syphilis, a common STD, is passed to a fetus while still in the womb. Others, such as hepatitis B, genital herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea, are transmitted as the baby exits the birth canal. HIV, which is commonly associated with AIDS, may cross the placenta and infect the baby during delivery.

Having a sexually transmitted disease while pregnant may cause preterm labor or uterine infection. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that STDs can cause low birth weight, pneumonia, eye infection, blood infection in the baby, poorly developed motor skills, brain damage, deafness, blindness, hepatitis, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, and meningitis. Severe, untreated sexually transmitted infections can lead to stillbirth.

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Marla Ahlgrimm Explains Pregnancy Depression Connection

Marla AhlgrimmGreater than one in 10 women experience depression shortly after giving birth, says Marla Ahlgrimm. The “baby blues” are nothing to be ashamed of and, with treatment, will not impact a woman’s bond with her baby.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, depression is a collection of feelings – sadness, anxiety, emptiness – that interfere with daily life and can have real physical ramifications. Many women with depression may experience fatigue, insomnia, and memory impairment.

It is not uncommon to feel down and out within the first few days and weeks after having a baby. However, as Marla Ahlgrimm explains, when those feelings simply won’t go away, depression may be the culprit. A doctor can diagnose depression based on self-reported symptoms. These include:
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Marla Ahlgrimm Explains Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Marla AhlgrimmIrritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, isn’t a single symptom, but a collection of painful symptoms that affect the digestive tract. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, IBS is characterized by cramping, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain for a period of at least three months. Though uncomfortable, IBS is not linked to cancer or colonic damage.

Currently, there is no specific known cause of irritable bowel syndrome, but it is most common in women under the age of 35 with a family history of the condition. IBS may be linked to hormones, since symptoms are often more bothersome during a woman’s menstrual cycle, says Marla Ahlgrimm.

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Marla Ahlgrimm: Hysterectomy Basics

Marla AhlgrimmSometimes, it becomes necessary for a woman to have her uterus removed due to injury or disease, says acclaimed women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm. The procedure to do this is called a hysterectomy. Most often, the entire uterus is taken, though a doctor may choose to only remove part of the womb and may also remove the ovaries and/or fallopian tubes.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, greater than 500,000 women each year undergo hysterectomy surgery. It’s the second most common surgical procedure for women, surpassed only by cesarean delivery.

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