Marla Ahlgrimm, Pharmacist, Separates Fact From Fiction in Managing Menopause

Marla AhlgrimmMarla Ahlgrimm has pioneered advances in women’s health that have been life changing for thousands suffering from the symptoms of menopause. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm has seen products come and go, as the promise of easing menopause symptoms has been disproven. Alongside the latest and greatest products come far-flung tales of how certain natural foods and extracts virtually eliminate menopausal symptoms. In this Q&A, Marla Ahlgrimm separates fact from fiction in menopausal treatment options.

Q: What are the major symptoms of menopause?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Women frequently suffer from hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and vaginal dryness.

Q: What causes these symptoms?

Marla Ahlgrimm: During menopause, women undergo huge shifts in hormone levels in the body. When hormone levels are imbalanced, the body is affected.

Q: How long do these symptoms last?

Marla Ahlgrimm: These symptoms can last up to five years, while women are going through menopause and then after menopause.

Q: How are menopause symptoms treated?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are three major ways to address these symptoms: prescriptions, nutritional supplements, and lifestyle choices.

Q: What types of prescriptions impact menopausal symptoms?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Prescription hormones are the most commonly prescribed by physicians. Hormones can either be synthetic or bioidentical.

Q: What’s the difference?     

Marla Ahlgrimm: Synthetic hormones come in one-size-fits-all dosages, assuming all women have the same needs. Bioidentical hormones exactly match hormones made by the body and can be compounded to treat the specific needs of each woman.

Q: How are hormone tests administered?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A simple saliva test can tell exactly where insufficiencies occur.

Q: Which nutritional supplements ease menopausal symptoms?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are a series of vitamins, minerals and herbs available to manage symptoms, including the tried-and-true, bone-building calcium supplementation. Soy, black cohosh, and red clover all come in dietary supplement form as well.

Q: How does soy impact symptoms?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Soy has been found to have similar, yet weaker, estrogenic effect. Limited studies have found that soy may help prevent bone loss, reduce hot flashes, and alleviate vaginal dryness. Women should be aware that the impact on hot flashes is short-term.

Q: What other natural supplements are helpful?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Black cohosh has been found to ease hot flashes, joint pain, and vaginal dryness. Red clover has been somewhat effective in managing hot flashes.

Q: Are black cohosh or red clover dangerous?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Not if the dosing is followed correctly. Just because something is an herb, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s free of side effects. You should always tell your doctor what herbs you are taking.

Q: What lifestyle choices impact symptoms?

Marla AhlgrimmRegular exercise and a healthy diet go a long way toward making women feel better.

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