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Marla Ahlgrimm Reveals Surprising Facts About Rheumatoid Arthritis

February 19, 2016

Marla AhlgrimmRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful autoimmune disease that leaves joints stiff and weak. And it affects women three times as much as men. Women’s healthcare expert Marla Ahlgrimm says the reasons aren’t fully understood but researchers continue to seek answers. Here, Ahlgrimm discusses this common form of arthritis.

Q: What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Marla Ahlgrimm: RA (also known as atrophic arthritis) is a chronic inflammatory syndrome that presents with pain and swelling in the joints. It most commonly affects the feet and hands but may spread if left untreated. Severe RA may also cause bone erosion and deformities.

Q: Who gets RA?

Marla Ahlgrimm: RA, like other autoimmune diseases, is diagnosed in both men and women. However, women are identified as having rheumatoid arthritis three times more often than men. Of the 50 million Americans currently suffering from arthritis, 1.5 million of these cases are RA.

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Marla Ahlgrimm Discusses Menstrual Changes

December 1, 2015

Marla AhlgrimmFive common questions with straightforward answers on the most common causes of menstrual changes.

Q: What causes heavy bleeding during menstruation?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Uterine fibroids are one of the most common causes of a heavy flow. These non-cancerous tumors attach to the wall of the uterus and can grow as large as a melon, but are typically pea sized or smaller. They occur frequently in women in their 30s and 40s and often disappear without treatment.

When to see a doctor: If bleeding is heavy enough to change pads/tampons more than once an hour for an entire day.

Q: Are periods that last for more than a week normal?

Marla Ahlgrimm: It’s common with age to have periods that last longer than usual. As the body makes less progesterone (the pregnancy hormone), it doesn’t always get the signal to stop menstruation. An underactive thyroid may also be a trigger.

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Marla Ahlgrimm Answers Your Questions about Ovulatory Dysfunction and Infertility

November 9, 2015

Marla AhlgrimmWhen the ovaries fail, it becomes more difficult to conceive. Here, Marla Ahlgrimm answers questions about ovulation disorders and possible ways to counter infertility.

Q: What is ovulatory dysfunction?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Ovulatory dysfunction is a condition in which the ovaries do not release an egg regularly. Ovulation is a complex process dependent upon hormones being released at the precise time and in the right quantities during the menstrual cycle. Anything that interferes with hormone regulation can result in ovulatory dysfunction. Infertility is a major concern for women with irregular periods.

Q: What usually causes it?

Marla Ahlgrimm: For the most part, ovulatory dysfunction is caused by hormone imbalance. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus play a vital role in regulating Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). If these are out of balance, it can cause a disruption of the menstrual cycle.

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Women’s Healthcare Expert Marla Ahlgrimm Talks Endometriosis

October 15, 2015

Marla AhlgrimmIn this brief but informative Q & A session, Marla Ahlgrimm answers questions about a painful but common condition that affects many women.

Q: What is endometriosis?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Endometriosis is a condition where uterine tissue doesn’t grow where it’s supposed to. It commonly involves the tissue lining of the pelvis, bowels, and ovaries. Rarely, endometrial tissue may be found outside the pelvic region.

Q: What are the symptoms?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Endometriosis can cause a number of uncomfortable, or downright painful, symptoms. Extreme cramping that may spread to the lower back is common. Painful bowel movements and urination are likely and they often worsen during menstruation. Menorrhagia (excessive bleeding) and breakthrough bleeding are not unheard of as well.

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Q&A with Marla Ahlgrimm: Managing Pain During Menstruation

January 20, 2015

Marla Ahlgrimm According to women’s health expert and pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm, painful periods are the leading cause of absences at school or work among women in their teens and 20s.

Q: Is pain during menstruation normal?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes, most women have some discomfort during their periods, and more than half have some pain for one or two days each month.

Q: When is menstrual pain considered abnormal?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Menstrual pain is considered abnormal if the pain is so severe that it keeps a woman from her normal activities. Severe menstrual pain is known as “dysmenorrhea” and can be treated in most cases. Read more…

Women’s Health Expert Marla Ahlgrimm on Finding the Right Regimen for HRT

January 18, 2015

Marla AhlgrimmAccording to pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be prescribed in a number of different ways, depending on the individual needs of each woman. While some women require estrogen, many receive both estrogen and a progestogen.

Q: How does hormone replacement therapy work?

Marla Ahlgrimm: When estrogen and progesterone levels drop, some women may benefit from artificially boosting hormone levels to reduce certain menopausal symptoms. HRT increases the estrogen and progestin levels in the body.

Q: HRT can be prescribed in different ways. What are the main types of hormone replacement therapy?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are three main types of HRT. Hormone replacement therapy with only estrogen is for women who have had a hysterectomy and their uterus and ovaries have been removed. They do not need progesterone, because there is no risk of endometrial cancer. Cyclical HRT is for patients who are still menstruating but have menopausal-like symptoms. These patients are given an estrogen daily and estrogen plus a progestogen for 14 days. Continuous HRT is used for post-menopausal patients. They take a combination of estrogen and a progestogen daily. Read more…

Women’s Health Expert Marla Ahlgrimm Addresses Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

January 15, 2015

Marla AhlgrimmMarla Ahlgrimm recently answered some questions about one of the most popular prescribed treatment methods for menopause, HRT. Below is a summary of the Q&A session.

Q: Do all women need hormone replacement therapy?

Marla Ahlgrimm: No, hormone therapy helps women whose menopausal symptoms are severe and affecting their quality of life. Women need to discuss with their doctor whether their symptoms are serious enough to warrant taking hormones.

Q: Which factors determine whether hormone therapy is right for me?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are several factors, including age, personal or family history of breast cancer or clotting disorders, and whether or not you’ve had a hysterectomy. Read more…