|Insomnia affects up to 40 percent of American adults and for women going through menopause, a drop in hormones, especially estrogen, can exacerbate sleeplessness, according to hormone expert Marla Ahlgrimm. Ahlgrimm explains that one of the first symptoms of the decline in estrogen is sleep disturbance. Estrogen affects the metabolic processes in the brain and promotes deep sleep as well as the so-called REM periods in which we dream and process experiences.|
The National Sleep Foundation has found that approximately 61% of menopausal women have sleep problems. But these problems can occur 10 years in advance of menopause, when a woman is in her early 40’s, explains Marla Ahlgrimm.
|Marla Ahlgrimm cofounded Madison Pharmacy Associates in 1982 when big box stores were overtaking the mom and pop business. Now we are starting to see a trend of small businesses rebounding. Pharmacies are one area where this is becoming profitable, according to Marla Ahlgrimm. A common question asked: How does someone start a pharmacy business? Though a lot is involved, it is an endeavor that more and more pharmacists are leaning towards, and the key is to do it right, says experienced entrepreneur Marla Ahlgrimm. Here, she offers some tips to help interested businesspersons get started.|
Research and listen
Before jumping into a venture, research and listen, says Marla Ahlgrimm. Get the facts from patients and talk to current pharmacy owners. No studies in the world can ever compare to what we learn by talking to those we serve.
|According to women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm, the lines between primary care physicians (PCP) and Ob-Gyns have been blurred for many women. With so many PCPs providing gynecological services, women can become confused. Further complicating matters, some Ob-Gyns offer primary care services, Marla Ahlgrimm adds. Certainly, this added convenience has made it easier for women to stay on top of health issues, but it’s more important than ever for women do their research before choosing a doctor.
A study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that more than 50% of women consider their Ob-Gyn as their PCP. As adults, many women choose to see their Ob-Gyn for their annual check-ups, says Marla Ahlgrimm. However, it is often necessary to have a primary care physician if health insurance plan requires one in order to make referrals. Marla Ahlgrimm suggests establishing relationships with both an Ob-Gyn and a PCP to have someone to turn to for any medical concerns that may arise.
Over time, many Ob-Gyns have become competent at outpatient medicine. Still, their skill set and knowledge base are limited to the female reproductive system. But there’s much more to a woman than that, says Marla Ahlgrimm. Women get sick and hurt in ways that have nothing to do with their reproductive systems. Primary care physicians can treat these problems.
|According to pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm, millions of women in the United States are suffering from hormonal imbalance, whether it is menopause, perimenopause symptoms, or premenstrual symptoms (PMS). In many cases, bioidentical hormone therapy is the solution. An expert in the field of hormone therapy (HT), Marla Ahlgrimm has helped more than 300,000 women manage their symptoms.
When choosing between hormonal treatments, a woman and her doctor selects between hormones that are natural or bioidentical and those that are synthetic. Bioidentical
hormones are an exact replica of the hormones naturally produced by the body, says Marla Ahlgrimm, founder and CEO of Women’s Health America. These may include estradiol, estrone, estriol, progesterone, and testosterone. In contrast, synthetic hormones are similar, but not identical chemically, to those produced naturally by the body. These hormones include oral contraceptives, Estratest, Premarin, and Provera, to name a few.
|A pioneer in the field of the treatment of PMS, Marla Ahlgrimm is well aware that most women have a hate-hate relationship with PMS. After all, what’s to like about premenstrual symptoms such as mood swings, bloating, uncontrollable food cravings, and atypical tears? These symptoms typically strike the week before a woman’s period starts due to an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone levels. Adding to the hormonal plunge are factors such as stress, lack of sleep, and unhealthy eating, says hormone expert Marla Ahlgrimm. But don’t automatically raid|
the medicine cabinet—no matter what your symptoms, you may be able to find relief with alternative treatments, says Marla Ahlgrimm.
Mild forms of exercise can alleviate several PMS symptoms, according to Ahlgrimm, founder of Madison Pharmacy Associates in Wisconsin. Working out not only releases pain-reducing endorphins but also triggers serotonin, a depression and anxiety fighter. Getting moderate exercise a few times a week can go a long way towards alleviating PMS symptoms. Stretching can increase blood flow to contracted uterine and lower-back muscles, reducing the tension that leads to cramps. Marla Ahlgrimm also recommends practicing daily yoga during the week before the period starts.
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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