Archives for August 2016

Marla Ahlgrimm Discusses “Fountain of Youth” Hormones

Marla AhlgrimmIf you’ve been perusing the Internet for information about hormones that will help keep you young, read on for what women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm has to say on the subject.

Q: Is it true that human growth hormone can help me lose weight and reverse the effects of aging? 

Marla Ahlgrimm: Human growth hormone is essential to growth and development. It is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland and helps children grow taller and decrease infantile body fat. In adults, this is the hormone that stimulates metabolism. There is little evidence to suggest that synthetic human growth hormone – which may be prescribed by a doctor for muscle wasting and other legitimate health concerns – has any benefits for healthy adults.

Q: What are the risks of growth hormone use?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Short-term side effects include swelling of the hands and feet, muscle pain, and joint stiffness. Extended use can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and blood pressure problems. People who inject growth hormone derived from human cadavers put themselves at risk of developing Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a life-threatening brain condition.

Q: DHEA is safe and can increase my energy, right? 

Marla Ahlgrimm: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands and is converted by the body into estrogen and testosterone. DHEA may be useful in treating adrenal insufficiency, lupus, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, Crohn’s disease, infertility, complications with menopause, and obesity. DHEA may also help with weight loss but only under a doctor’s orders and in an appropriate dose. DHEA has been banned by the National Football League, the Olympics, Major League Baseball, and most other mainstream athletic organizations.

Q: How does DHEA affect women?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Women taking DHEA may experience an increase in testosterone which can cause irregular periods, increased facial hair, and acne.

Marla Ahlgrimm: Factors Impacting Endocrine Health

Marla AhlgrimmEveryone undergoes physical changes that affect their endocrine system, says hormone expert and retired pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm. Some of the factors that play a part in endocrine health include genetics, stress, and aging.

Genetics

The endocrine system can be altered before birth by genes. A “normal” human body contains 23 complete pairs of chromosomes – packets of genetic information contained in genes. However, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, sometimes chromosomes are damaged, incomplete, or missing altogether. Individuals with Turner syndrome may be missing one X chromosome, which can cause problems with ovarian function. Infants born with Prader-Willi syndrome have a deficit in chromosome 15, which can severely affect growth and metabolism and delay the onset of puberty.

Stress

Stress can also alter the way the endocrine system functions, says Marla Ahlgrimm. This is true of both physical and mental stressors. Physical stressors, however, are the most important where endocrine health is concerned. The adrenal gland must produce cortisol in order for the body to cope with physical stress. If this does not happen, it can trigger a number of life-threatening issues.

Aging

The endocrine system naturally changes over time. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that sometimes changes occur due to cellular damage related to the aging process. These changes can alter endocrine functions including hormone production and secretion, the menstrual cycle, and hormone metabolism. Age is thought to play a role in the development of type II diabetes and decreased growth hormone levels that affect heart and muscle function.

Environmental factors

The endocrine system may also be disrupted by factors directly relating to a person’s environment. Endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, are the most common environmental factors affecting the body’s hormone production. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that EDCs can disrupt sexual development, decrease fertility, reduce immune response, lead to birth defects, and induce neurological and behavioral changes.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Hypothalamus Facts

Marla AhlgrimmLike Hermes, hormones are tiny messengers that help the body communicate and maintain healthy systems. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that the hypothalamus, a part of the brain, is directly responsible for the regulation of many hormones. Understanding how these “brainy hormones” work can help you make better decisions regarding your health.

Q: What does the hypothalamus control? 

Marla Ahlgrimm: The hypothalamus produces certain hormones that control and regulate the pituitary gland. Together, the hypothalamus and pituitary gland send directions to the endocrine system, triggering the production and release of other hormones. The hypothalamus is important to overall hormone health.

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Hypoparathyroidism Q & A with Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla AhlgrimmHypoparathyroidism is a condition where the body does not produce enough parathyroid hormone (PTH). According to Marla Ahlgrimm, inadequate levels of PTH can cause a drop in blood calcium levels which leads to an increase in phosphorus. This can cause all sorts of health issues, says Ahlgrimm.

Q: What causes hypoparathyroidism? 

Marla Ahlgrimm: Hypoparathyroidism can be inherited, or may also be caused by damage during thyroid gland, neck, or throat surgery. Autoimmune diseases, radiation therapy to the neck or head, and low magnesium levels can also contribute to hypoparathyroidism.

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Stress and Your Health | Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla AhlgrimmStress is an unavoidable part of life but when it is left unchecked it can have unpleasant side effects – from depression to obesity and digestive issues. In the following brief question and answer session, women’s healthcare expert Marla Ahlgrimm opens up about the body’s response to stress.

Q: What is stress? 

Marla Ahlgrimm: Stress is a subjective feeling of strain or pressure. While stress itself is invisible, its effects can have very tangible consequences.
Q: How does the body respond to stress? 

Marla Ahlgrimm: The clinical term for the process wherein the body adapts to stress is called Allostasis. The “fight or flight” response is perhaps the best-known reaction to sudden stressors that potentially threaten a one’s personal, physical safety. This is when the body releases a sudden surge of epinephrine (adrenaline) into the bloodstream. It is a temporary response in the body that returns to normal over the course of a couple of hours. Long-term stress, however, can cause the body to overproduce cortisol which can cause serious health issues.

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