Q: What is hypothyroidism?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid fails to produce enough thyroxine (T4), or the pituitary gland produces inadequate levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Hypothyroidism is characterized by excessive weight gain, constant fatigue, painful joints and movement, confusion, and depression, among other symptoms.
Q: What causes hypothyroidism?
Marla Ahlgrimm: A person may be born with hypothyroidism, although that is rare. Usually, hypothyroidism is caused by an autoimmune disorder where antibodies produced by the immune system attack a person’s thyroid tissue. Hypothyroidism may also be caused by treatment for hyperthyroidism or thyroid surgery, iodine deficiency, or hormone imbalance. Certain radiation treatments may affect the thyroid gland, as can many known medications. One notable chemical that may adversely affect thyroid function is lithium, which is used to treat certain psychiatric disorders.
Q: What is C-reactive protein (CRP)?
Marla Ahlgrimm: CRP is a protein found in the blood.
Q: Why do doctors test for CRP?
Marla Ahlgrimm: The presence of CRP in the blood indicates an increased state of inflammation in the body.
Q: What is the significance of elevated levels of CRP?
Marla Ahlgrimm: A rise in the level of CRP has been associated with an increased risk for peripheral arterial disease, heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
What is PMS?
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), says pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, is a hormonal disorder characterized by (1) a regularly recurring group of symptoms which occur from two to fourteen days before a woman’s menstrual period, followed by (2) a symptom-free time in each monthly cycle. PMS isn’t just another name for menstrual cramps or simple premenstrual tension, says Ahlgrimm. The difference is easy to understand when you consider the element of time: PMS occurs before the menstrual period, and its
symptoms (which vary from woman to woman) improve once the period begins. According to pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm, menstrual cramps usually begin at the onset of the menstruation, disappearing by the end of the flow. Premenstrual tension, which occurs before the period, may be a symptom of PMS, but is usually just one of many symptoms a woman suffers, reports Ahlgrimm.
|According to Marla Ahlgrimm, pharmacist and founder of Women’s Health America, a woman may experience physical and emotional symptoms as her hormone levels change beginning in her mid-thirties. Perimenopause is the time around menopause. Peri, which means “enclosing” or “surrounding,” is paired with menopause to encompass the years leading up to menopause, when a woman’s monthly cycle stops. As a woman ages, says Marla Ahlgrimm, subtle shifts in hormone levels occur that she may not even notice at first.|
Marla Ahlgrimm, an expert in women’s hormonal health, explains that during the perimenopausal transition, a woman’s ovaries begin to produce decreasing amounts of estradiol and progesterone. She may notice the symptoms of sleep disturbances, hot flushing, stress incontinence and experience an increased…
|Marla Ahlgrimm, pharmacist, is a pioneer in the area of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and hormone imbalance. She has made educating women and their doctors about individualized healthcare choices her personal mission.|
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