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.

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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.

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Marla Ahlgrimm on Birth Control Options

Marla AhlgrimmFrom the patch to the pill, many women struggle with which birth control option is best for their situation. Here, retired pharmacist and women’s health entrepreneur Marla Ahlgrimm explains the pros and cons of the most common type of contraceptive.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, the pill comes in multiple forms. A combination product, which is often sold under the brand names Ortho Tri-Cyclen and Yaz, is an effective option for non-smokers under the age of 35. The combo pill is known for helping reduce the symptoms of hot flashes and regulating menstrual cycles. A progestin-only pill, which is most often referred to as the mini pill, is a safer option for smokers and heart disease patients. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that the mini pill may be taken by breast-feeding women as well as diabetics and those with blood clot disorders. The mini pill must be taken at the same time each day.

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Marla Ahlgrimm Describes Common Infertility Treatments

Marla AhlgrimmIn the following brief post, retired pharmacist and women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm offers information on the most common infertility treatment medications.

Clomiphene citrate: According to Marla Ahlgrimm, clomiphene citrate, which is sold under the brand names Clomid and Serophene, are typically prescribed with a starting dosage of 50 mg each day. Over the course of three to six menstrual cycles, this medication is expected to increase the amount of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in a woman’s pituitary gland. Potential side effects include increased risk of multiple births and miscarriage. Hot flashes, headaches, and mood swings are also common.

Synthetic human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG): Sold under multiple brand names, hCG is given as an intramuscular injection and is used to trigger ovulation. Marla Ahlgrimm reports it is often a second step when prior medications to induce ovulation have failed. There are currently no known side effects of taking this medication by itself.

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Marla Ahlgrimm on Drug Safety for Women

Marla AhlgrimmMillions of women benefit from FDA-approved medications, says retired pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm. However, when these drugs are used incorrectly, they can be dangerous and even deadly. Here, Ahlgrimm opens up on a few questions you should ask your doctor before opening a new medicine.

Q: Should I talk to my doctor if I’m planning to become pregnant before starting a new prescription?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Absolutely. Although many drugs are safe for pregnant women, there are many that can cause issues including infertility, birth defects, and fetal death. Talk to your doctor about any potential issues or if you believe you’ve become pregnant while taking any medication.

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Retired Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm Looks at PMS Treatments

Marla AhlgrimmA retired pharmacist with over 40 years of experience in treating women’s health issues, Marla Ahlgrimm is intimately familiar with the pain and discomfort of premenstrual syndrome. Here, Ahlgrimm touches on a few of the most common pharmaceutical treatments for PMS.

Q: My doctor recently diagnosed me with PMDD and has prescribed an antidepressant. Why don’t I have to take it daily the entire month?

Marla Ahlgrimm: When antidepressants are prescribed for depression, they are taken every day. However, women with severe PMS and PMDD may not need medication during the time when their hormones are least active. It is common for doctors to prescribe antidepressants only to be taken the two weeks prior to menstruation, at which time symptoms typically subside on their own.

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Marla Ahlgrimm: Andropause

Marla AhlgrimmThe general consensus is that women are the only sex affected by age-related hormone shifts and swings. However, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, this simply isn’t true. The hormone replacement therapy expert explains that around 20% of the male population experiences a decline in hormones known as andropause.

Marla Ahlgrimm explains that andropause, like menopause, begins sometime after a man’s 50th birthday and presents with symptoms including decreased muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, and cognitive impairment. The effects of andropause may be countered with testosterone replacement, but this treatment is not without concern. Pushing higher levels of testosterone throughout the body may pose an elevated cardiovascular disease risk and will serve as fuel for any existing or undiagnosed prostate cancer.

Men with sleep apnea may be at a greater risk of complications as are those with existing blood disorders, says Marla Ahlgrimm.

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