Monday, 20 February 2017

Marla Ahlgrimm: Issues to Discuss with Teen Girls

Marla Ahlgrimm
Women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm says the unique needs of women are often overlooked until there’s an issue. She believes that much of this ‘body neglect’ could be circumvented if parents made a point to have open and honest talks with their young daughters. In the following brief conversation, Marla Ahlgrimm covers a few key topics that will help teenage girls feel more comfortable about themselves and their healthcare needs.

Q: Why is teaching a girl to respect and express her feelings important to overall health?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Girls are often conditioned to value happiness above everything else. This can lead to suppressed feelings or the inability to openly acknowledge other emotions. Women who are better able to understand their feelings will likely experience less stress and therefore fewer stress-related health concerns.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Thyroid Disease and Women | Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla Ahlgrimm
In today’s brief post, Marla Ahlgrimm answers common questions about thyroid disease, a hormone disorder that silently affects millions of women each year.

Q: What is thyroid disease?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Thyroid disease is a catchall phrase to describe disorders of the thyroid, a small gland that controls the body’s metabolism. The most common types of thyroid disease in women are hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, postpartum thyroiditis, and thyroid cancer.


Q: How do thyroid problems negatively affect women?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Women with thyroid disorders – which may be mistaken for menopause symptoms in women over 35 – may experience irregular menstrual periods and infertility. A pregnant woman with thyroid condition puts herself and her baby at risk for other health problems if her condition is not managed from the beginning.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Marla Ahlgrimm: Folic Acid Vital to Healthy Pregnancy

Marla Ahlgrimm
Retired pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm explains the benefits of folate and folic acid in the following brief discussion.

Q: What is folic acid?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Folic acid – a B vitamin – is the man-made form of folate and a vitamin necessary for making healthy new blood cells. Folic acid is derived from many ‘enriched’ carbohydrates including cereals and pasta. It is also found in beans and leafy greens. Many OTC multivitamins also contain folic acid.

Q: Why is folate important for women?

Marla Ahlgrimm: While a healthy diet includes folic acid for both sexes, it’s especially important for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Folic acid protects a developing fetus against neural tube birth defects and miscarriage. Neural tube birth defects are those limited to the brain, spinal cord, and spine. The most common are spina bifida and anencephaly, the latter of which is almost always fatal shortly after birth. As well, inadequate folate can lead to folate-deficiency anemia, which is most common in women between the ages of 18 and 35.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Marla Ahlgrimm Answers Questions about Bleeding Disorders in Women

Heavy periods are not uncommon, says Marla Ahlgrimm. However, up to 20% of women who experience substantial menstrual bleeding are affected by a bleeding disorder known as von Willebrand disease. Here, Ahlgrimm discusses this and other common bleeding issues in women.

Q: What is von Willebrand disease?

Marla Ahlgrimm: von Willebrand disease (VWD) is an inherited bleeding disorder that occurs equally in men and women. Women with VWD will likely experience long and heavy menstrual periods and may bleed more than normal after childbirth. VWD may make it difficult to heal after surgery.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Marla Ahlgrimm on Health Care Needs for Women over 40

Women of all ages have special healthcare needs, says women’s health expert, retired compounding pharmacist, and author Marla Ahlgrimm. In the following interview excerpt, Ahlgrimm offers advice to women in their 40s on how to take the first steps toward living a healthier lifestyle beyond the reproductive years.

Q: Women usually go through menopause in their 40s, so is birth control still necessary?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Women can still get pregnant even during perimenopause since the ovulatory cycle may continue, even if it is not regular. Birth control is recommended for those who do not wish to expand their families during this time.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Marla Ahlgrimm: March 10th National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 10th is National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, says Marla Ahlgrimm, a women’s health advocate and retired HRT specialist from Madison, Wisconsin. Ahlgrimm recently sat down to address a few common questions about HIV and AIDS.

Q: Who faces the most risk of contracting HIV?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Anyone can be exposed to HIV but it is especially prevalent among highly sexually active men and women, those who have intercourse with both sexes, and those who engage in unprotected sex with multiple partners or one who has the virus. People who use IV drugs are also at a more elevated risk than the general population.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Marla Ahlgrimm: Early Menopause Possibly Linked to Reproductive History

Marla Ahlgrimm
A woman’s age at the onset of her period, as well as the number of children she gives birth to, may influence when she enters menopause, says Marla Ahlgrimm.

According to a 2016 study, women who got their periods before 12-years of age and who had no children had a significantly higher chance of entering early menopause than women who started later and had two or more births. Marla Ahlgrimm describes premature menopause as the lack of a period for 12 months before a woman’s 40th birthday; early menopause occurs between 40 and 44 years of age.

Both a woman’s age at the onset of menses and beginning of menopause are indicative of her overall health. While it’s not certain exactly what this potential link means to women’s health on a broad scale, it’s worth further study, Ahlgrimm asserts. New research would open up the opportunity to monitor for issues, intervene as soon as possible, and help a woman prepare for the effects of early menopause.

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