Thursday, 25 November 2021

Marla Ahlgrimm: Viral Variants

Marla Ahlgrimm

We’ve all turned on the news lately and heard about variants of the coronavirus that are starting to concern doctors. As a retired medical professional, Marla Ahlgrimm is often asked by friends and family what it all means. Keep reading for a quick Q&A with the women’s health expert. 
 
Q: What is a variant? 
 
Marla Ahlgrimm: A variant is essentially a mutated virus. Mutations happen naturally as any living organism replicates. Humans, for example, mutated over millions of years, and we are no longer genetically the same as our Neanderthal ancestors. The same is true of viruses. The flu, for example, mutates year-to-year, and it is almost impossible to predict exactly how these mutations will affect the virus. 

Sunday, 7 November 2021

Marla Ahlgrimm: Self-Breast Exams Are Important

Aggressive breast cancer directly affects more than one in eight women in the United States. Unfortunately, without early detection, prognosis is often dismal. But, Marla Ahlgrimm says that women can increase their chances of early detection by simply performing a self breast exam. 
 
According to Marla Ahlgrimm, a self-breast exam begins by looking in the mirror. Expose both breasts in their entirety and look for any unusual shape, size, or color changes. Next, lift your arms above your head, clasping your fingers together. Aside from visible changes here, you’ll also want to look for any type of discharge if you are not actively nursing. 
 
Marla Ahlgrimm explains that the next step in a self-breast exam is to lay down on the bed flat on your back with one arm resting behind your head. You will then want to firmly move your fingers across the breast that corresponds with this arm to feel for any changes not visible. This might be a lump, dip, or a soft spot. 
 
The final step in a self-breast examination is to repeat the physical exam while standing up, alternating arms above your head. It is easiest to do this in the shower when the body is wet. 

Monday, 25 October 2021

Marla Ahlgrimm | Cervical Polyps

Marla Ahlgrimm

Women experience many health conditions that men can’t. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that cervical polyps are one of these. But, what are they, and how do you know if you have them? 
 
According to Marla Ahlgrimm, cervical polyps are small benign growths inside of the cervical canal. The cervical canal is the passageway between the uterus and vagina. Cervical polyps can come in many different shapes and can grow up to a couple of centimeters long. They are extremely common but mostly so in women that have had more than one child. 

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Marla Ahlgrimm On HPV

Marla Ahlgrimm

HPV, or the human papilloma virus, is, without question, the most prevalent STD in the world. The vast majority of people (around 90%) who engage in sexual intercourse will contract HPV at some point. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, however, most of these will never know it. 
 
HPV is largely considered a low risk virus. In fact, most people who get never have symptoms and those that do often only find out because of an irregular Pap smear. There are more than 200 types of HPV, and some people who have never had sex will come into contact and carry the virus, which can cause warts on the hands and feet. 

Monday, 27 September 2021

Marla Ahlgrimm | Probiotics Q&A

Marla Ahlgrimm

Did you know that your body isn’t your own? You are made up of billions of bacteria, yeasts, and other organisms. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, there are likely more microorganisms in your body than there are humans on the planet. What are they? Some of them are probiotics. 
 
Q: What are probiotics? 
 
Marla Ahlgrimm: Probiotics are essentially good microbes. The term is a catchall for the protozoa, fungi, yeast, viruses, and bacteria that live within your body, mostly inside of your gut. They are a diverse community, and one that your body needs to function correctly. They make up your microbiome. 

Monday, 6 September 2021

Marla Ahlgrimm: Do Vaccines Raise Miscarriage Rates?

Marla Ahlgrimm

Everyone age 12 and older is eligible for the coronavirus vaccine. However, many women are reluctant to accept this potentially life-saving injection. Why? Marla Ahlgrimm says that this stems from fears that the vaccine may spur a miscarriage. 
 
According to Marla Ahlgrimm, this is, very fortunately, not true. Data collected from December 2020 through June 2021, suggest that, although miscarriages happen in approximately 13,000 of 100,000 pregnancies, the rate was not higher in women who received the vaccine. 

Monday, 30 August 2021

Marla Ahlgrimm | Women and Oral Health

Marla Ahlgrimm

Obviously, men and women both need to worry about their oral health. However, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, because of pregnancy, menopause, and the menstrual cycle, women are prone to more health problems associated with poor oral health than men. Keep reading as the author and women’s healthcare expert answers a few questions about oral health and the fairer sex. 
 
Q: How does the menstrual cycle affect a woman’s oral health? 
 
Marla Ahlgrimm: Each month, your menstrual cycle causes a spike in progesterone, a sex hormone. This can lead to swelling in the gums. During this time, your gums may be red, irritated, and they can bleed unexpectedly. Some women also experience canker sores, which are painful spots in the mouth. Hormone fluctuations throughout a woman’s life can also affect inflammation, which can potentially lead to periodontal concerns. 

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