Tag Archives: Marla

Marla Ahlgrimm on the Prevention of Falling

Marla Ahlgrimm National Falls Prevention Awareness Day is observed each September to encourage safety and security in the home, notes pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm. As a women’s health leader, Marla Ahlgrimm has analyzed the subject and learned a great deal about alleviating potential risks. Here, Marla Ahlgrimm shares her knowledge about preventing falls with the ZRYLW readership.

ZRYLW: Hello and welcome!

Marla Ahlgrimm: Good morning – how have you been?

ZRYLW: Just fine, thank you. It’s wonderful to speak with you about National Falls Prevention Awareness Day.

Marla Ahlgrimm: It’s an important cause.

ZRYLW: How many people suffer falls each year?

Marla Ahlgrimm: According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, up to 30 percent of people who fall suffer injuries such as head traumas, hip fractures and lacerations.

ZRYLW: That’s troubling.

Marla Ahlgrimm: It’s an issue, too, that we need to examine even for those who are not in the senior demographic.

ZRYLW: In general, what’s the first step in avoiding a fall?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Consulting with a physician is always an intelligent choice. By reviewing medications and nutritional supplements, a physician can help with fall prevention.

ZRYLW: Is there certain information that the physician may require during this appointment?

Marla Ahlgrimm: It can be a great benefit to keep track of instances of falls or near-falls.

ZRYLW: Could your health conditions cause a fall?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Oh, certainly. In fact, some ear and eye disorders increase a person’s risk as a result of compromised balance.

ZRYLW: What specific symptoms should be of concern to the individual?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Some people feel shortness of breath, numbness, joint pain or dizziness when they walk.

ZRYLW: As one method of fall prevention, would it be wise to select a particular brand or type of shoes?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Shoes with slick soles, floppy slippers and high heels can make a person fall, slip or stumble.

ZRYLW: What’s the best choice: Nike, Adidas….?

Marla Ahlgrimm: The brand name does not matter in the long run, but make sure to select a pair of shoes that are comfortable.

ZRYLW: What about socks?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Wear sturdy, properly fitting shoes instead of walking around in socks or slippers.

ZRYLW: What other suggestions might the doctor provide?

Marla Ahlgrimm: With a doctor’s permission, try activities like swimming, tai chi, water aerobics, or walking. Building an exercise routine can improve flexibility, coordination, balance and strength.

ZRYLW: How else can a person improve their health?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Some men and women opt for a physical therapist who can develop an exercise program designed to improve their muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.

ZRYLW: Thanks so much for your insight on this subject!

Marla Ahlgrimm: You’re quite welcome!

Currently residing in Madison, Wisconsin, Marla Ahlgrimm has traveled the country as a guest speaker on women’s health issues. Marla Ahlgrimm is the author of two popular books on hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

A Vision is Born: How Madison Pharmacy Associates Revolutionized the Field of Women’s Health

Madison Pharmacy Associates’ founder Marla Ahlgrimm saw the need to start a pharmacy specializing in women’s health when she realized her own boss was unsupportive of the work she and her associates were doing to help women manage the symptoms of PMS. “Women are all neurotic anyway and should be on tranquilizers,” Madison Pharmacy Associates’ Marla Ahlgrimm recalls the manager saying.

Still, starting a new business isn’t easy. When she and a colleague decided to found Madison Pharmacy Associates, a Madison, Wisconsin based business focused on women’s health, she found almost everyone tried to talk her out of it. Financial institutions balked at the idea and the Madison Pharmacy Associates founders learned they’d have to interpret state and federal regulations to meet their own business’ specialized focus.

According to Madison Pharmacy Associates’ Ahlgrimm, most Americans had never heard the term premenstrual syndrome or PMS, although research had been done in Europe on the syndrome. Madison Pharmacy Associates focused on developing unique treatments for women dealing with irritability, mood swings, depression, headaches and other moderate to severe symptoms each month.

Because PMS was a new field, Madison Pharmacy Associates had to develop all of the educational materials. The staff at Madison Pharmacy Associates introduced customized natural hormone prescription compounding which is now provided from pharmacies through out the country.

Madison Pharmacy Associates’ Marla Ahlgrimm, R.Ph. recalls the challenges of starting a new business. “Gearing up to start a small business means confronting questions about financing,” states the co-founder of Madison Pharmacy Associates.  “How will I know how to do everything from bookkeeping to managing employees? What if I make a wrong decision?  Will I have the energy to make the business grow?”

Over time, Madison Pharmacy Associates worked through all of these issues and more, becoming one of the country’s foremost leaders in the field of women’s hormonal health. Beginning small—in the early days, Madison Pharmacy Associates was only 700 square feet—Madison Pharmacy Associates gradually added experienced pharmacists, nurses, and health educators who added to Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision.

“In contemplating starting a business, the most important challenge lies in evaluating and following your personal values which, while tangible and immeasurable, not only define your path to success, they insure it,” Marla Ahlgrimm, co-founder of Madison Pharmacy Associates, concludes.

The information in this article has been previously published and is provided as a reference resource by Marla Ahlgrimm, R.Ph. Madison Pharmacy Associates was sold in 2011. Marla Ahlgrimm is also the co-founder and President of Cyclin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The company sells proprietary products for the women’s health market as well as ProCycle PMS and ProCycle Gold products. For more information, go online to www.cyclinpharma.com

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm Explains the Process of Screening for Thyroid Problems


As a woman gets older, she may dismiss symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, and painful joints as a natural part of the aging process. But Marla Ahlgrimm, founder of Women’s Health America, regularly sees patients suffering from these very symptoms and, in some cases, hormone therapy can return a woman to a happy, healthy life. Marla Ahlgrimm reports that, according to the National Thyroid Institute,

millions of women have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and many more remain undiagnosed. A pioneer in the field of women’s health, Marla Ahlgrimm explains that thyroid related symptoms can mimic some symptoms of PMS and menopause making treatment frustrating if symptoms don’t improve. Several tests are available to identify thyroid problems early and begin treatment, Marla Ahlgrimm says.

The better way to test, Marla Ahlgrimm explains, is to use the sensitive serum TSH test combined with a “free T4 and free T3” test. This is the most thorough and accurate test, and according to Marla Ahlgrimm, it’s sensitive enough to identify thyroid disease even in its earlier stages. “TSH is thyroid stimulating hormone, produced by the pituitary gland,” pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm, co-founder of Madison Pharmacy Associates, states. “TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to produce triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which regulate the metabolism of fat, protein, and sugar.” Hypothyroidism happens when the TSH level is high, T4 level is too low, or when the T4 level is normal and T3 level is low.

The thyroid testing test can be expensive, but Marla Ahlgrimm points out that the price has decreased over the years. The test involves a blood sample which must be analyzed by a laboratory and most clinic laboratories perform this test. The test should always be done in women of menopausal age, Marla Ahlgrimm recommends, and three main factors should be taken into consideration before undergoing the sensitive serum TSH test: family history, presence of an autoimmune disease, or enlarged thyroid or goiter.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, co-founder of Madison Pharmacy Associates, additional tests are available, such as a “free T4 and free T3” test. But this test measures the amount of T4 and T3 that is “free” or available to act in the thyroid receptors as compared to total T3 and Total T4 where much of the thyroid hormone is bound to protein and unavailable.

Hypothyroidism: Underactive Thyroid

Hypothyroidism has two forms, says Marla Ahlgrimm, primary and secondary. In primary hypothyroidism, the thyroid itself malfunctions, producing too little T4 and causing symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and depression, explains Marla Ahlgrimm. Primary hypothyroidism can be caused by disease or an autoimmune condition, according to Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm. Secondary hypothyroidism has several causes. One can be that the pituitary gland isn’t producing enough TSH. Unlike primary hypothyroidism, the pituitary gland is malfunctioning instead of the thyroid, Marla Ahlgrimm says. While the causes may be different, the results are similar—you may feel lethargic and depressed, among other symptoms. The thyroid test can detect both primary and secondary hypothyroidism, signaling your doctor to do further tests, adds Marla Ahlgrimm.

Probably the most common cause of thyroid deficiency symptoms in aging women is due to subclinical hypothyroidism when TSH is slightly elevated and T4 and T3 are low.

Prescription Options

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm says many doctors will prescribe Synthroid, which is a synthetic form of T4 but many others prefer natural thyroid or desiccated thyroid.  One brand is called Armour Thyroid which contains T3 and T4 as well as other thyroid hormone derivatives naturally found in the thyroid gland. Your doctor also can prescribe a customized thyroid hormone prescription prepared by a pharmacist for you. Available both in a prescription tablet and capsule form, thyroid must also be closely monitored, cautions Marla Ahlgrimm.

For more information, contact Marla Ahlgrimm at ahlgrimm.marla@gmail.com


Marla Ahlgrimm Discusses Effective Over the Counter Relief for Women with PMS

You are in the drug store or supermarket and a product labeled “PMS Reliever,” or “PMS Vitamin” catches your eye. Which vitamins and minerals are most useful for PMS patients? That’s a question pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm hears almost daily. Some studies, says Ahlgrimm, emphasize that vitamin B6, when taken as part of a B-complex vitamin that also contains magnesium, is helpful in relieving certain PMS symptoms, especially bloating and depression. Here are some additional facts provided by Marla Ahlgrimm to keep in mind about over the counter products.

Eating six smaller meals May help with PMS and weight loss, says Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm. Ahlgrimm is a compounding pharmacist, not a doctor, but that doesn’t stop her patients from referring to her that way. As part of her lauded treatment for PMS, Ahlgrimm often works with women to minimize symptoms by making changes to their diets. Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm recommends a balanced diet, split between six snacks rather than three regular meals. Women should not see considerable weight gain by doing this. In fact, says Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm, eating smaller meals and healthier foods may help relieve water retention and stop bloating which will lead to minimal weight gain and possibly even weight loss.



Adequate levels of magnesium in the body, notes Marla Ahlgrimm, are important to regulate muscle relaxation, blood sugar, and to promote sound sleep. Furthermore, Ahlgrimm says that magnesium may have a role in reducing the chance of heart attack, stroke and hypertension, while preventing migraines, especially in pregnant women. Magnesium is also used to prevent pregnant women from developing toxemia (pregnancy induced high blood pressure), which can be threatening to the mother and her developing fetus, reports Marla Ahlgrimm.

Helping patients battle PMS with proper nutrition, Marla Ahlgrimm believes women can reduce PMS symptoms through diet. “Dr.” Marla Ahlgrimm, who is a pharmacist rather than a physician but is often mistaken for one, recommends a diet emphasizing complex carbohydrate snacks every 3 hours. This, says Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm, is absolutely essential to manage fluctuations in blood sugar. Adrenalin is known to be released when blood sugar levels dip, causing anxiety, irritability, mood swings, cravings for sweets, and fluid retention. Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm, author of Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome, points to her own recent findings that low blood sugar has an effect on the progesterone receptor.


Magnesium and calcium have a reciprocal relationship in the body, says Marla Ahlgrimm. When muscles lose magnesium, it is replaced by calcium, which contracts or stiffens the tissue. Magnesium acts to increase calcium absorption in the body, while calcium can interfere with magnesium absorption. Although some calcium/magnesium tablets contain twice as much calcium as magnesium, Ahlgrimm notes that women with PMS benefit from reversing the ratio  – two times the amount of calcium vs. magnesium. Procycle PMS is a nutritional supplement specifically developed for women with PMS – Marla Ahlgrimm points out that it contains the beneficial 2:1 ratio of magnesium to calcium.

Do you crave chocolate during PMS? Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm advises against giving into the urge. While not a physician, Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm is often referred to by the title “Dr.”, as a result of her years of pioneering work in the field of women’s health. She says that chocolate can cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly and fall, making PMS symptoms more intense. According to Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm, simple sugars can cause a roller coaster effect on blood sugar levels. In fact, many of the sugary snacks and beverages women consume during PMS create a self-induced hormone imbalance. Six small meals per day, notes Ahlgrimm, can help PMS sufferers.


Oil of Evening Primrose

Oil from the evening primrose flower contains linoleic acid, which boosts the body’s output of a hormone like substance called PGE1 prostaglandin, notes Marla Ahlgrimm. There are studies that suggest the PGE1 lowers the hormone prolactin, which helps to alleviate symptoms or breat tenderness. Ahlgrimm suggest taking the oil of evening primrose capsule with at least 600 mg of vitamin C daily and a B complex vitamin for best absorption.

“Dr.” Marla Ahlgrimm recommends well-Balanced diet for hormonal balance

Ahlgrimm, who is actually a pharmacist rather than a doctor but is often called Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm by her patients, has found that a well-balanced meal has benefits beyond general overall health. For women, Ahlgrimm says, a diet filled with a balance of lean-cut meats, low-fat dairy products, vegetables, whole grains, and fresh fruit is essential in gaining control over your PMS symptoms. Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm is quick to emphasize, however, that fruit should be limited, since it is high in sugar. Sugary foods and beverages can cause blood sugar levels to rapidly rise and fall, making PMS symptoms more intense.


Making your choice

According to PMS Access founder Marla Ahlgrimm, “Controlled studies show that the balanced combination B vitamins, magnesium, and calcium found in Procycle PMS significantly reduce PMS symptoms. This supplement formula has been used since 1982 by women and health practitioners to help manage PMS with good results.” When adding vitamin/mineral supplements to a PMS self help plan, Ahlgrimm suggest comparing the ingredients, price and quality of the other nutritional supplements with Procycle PMS. “A nutritional supplement is an important part of the foundation of any PMS management program,” concludes Marla Ahlgrimm, noting that 65 percent of women with PMS find relief from their symptoms using self-help methods, diet and exercise, stress reduction and vitamin/mineral supplementation.

Women should limit chocolate and alcohol during PMS, says world-renowned leader in women’s health issues.

Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm (as her patients call her) has bad news for women. Chocolate and alcohol can exacerbate PMS symptoms and should be avoided during the time women traditionally crave them most. While not a medical doctor, Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm is well respected in her field and is often mistakenly called “Dr.”, mostly due to her pioneering work in the field of PMS. Controlling your PMS, Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm explains, simply means to enjoy chocolate and alcohol in moderation, not that they are completely forbidden. If you do give in to these cravings occasionally, make sure to have some other food in your stomach first to avoid a drop in blood sugar.