Marla Ahlgrimm Discusses Cravings and How to Beat Them

Marla AhlgrimmDon’t let your monthly cravings overpower your willpower. In the following Q&A, Marla Ahlgrimm offers advice on how to beat cravings and keep yourself on track, even when your hormones want you to jump headfirst off the health train.

Q: Is it possible to indulge in sweet or salty snacks without hurting my diet?

Marla Ahlgrimm: It’s not only possible, but may be better for you in the long run. The key is to enjoy a small portion of your favorite treat after you’ve had a healthy snack. Don’t give up what you love, but learn to consume it in moderation. If chocolate is your weakness, go for a fun-size bar instead of a full-size treat.

Q: Should I keep a stash of snacks for “emergencies?”

Marla Ahlgrimm: I would suggest only buying the “bad” foods when you are going to eat them. If they are not in the house, you’re going to have to work for it and just might find that you don’t want it bad enough to put forth the extra effort. You can, however, keep a variety of sugar-free gums, which might satisfy your sweet tooth without the calories or crash.

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Marla Ahlgrimm: Your Fingers Can Nail Down Health Issues

Marla AhlgrimmIf you’ve ever made an appointment with a dermatologist, you might have noticed one of their pre-appointment instructions was to remove your nail polish. But why? According to women’s health expert and advocate Marla Ahlgrimm, it is because your fingernails say a lot about your overall health. Read on as Ahlgrimm answers reader questions about the fingernail/health connection.  

Q: I’ve recently noticed a dark streak underneath my fingernail. Should I get that checked out?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes, dark streaks that run from the cuticle to the tip may indicate a potentially deadly skin cancer known as melanoma. Some fungal infections can also turn the nail bed dark green or gray. A blue tint underneath the nails could be a sign of a circulatory problem involving the lungs or heart.

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Hormone and Mental Health Q&A with Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla AhlgrimmRenowned women’s health and hormone expert Marla Ahlgrimm answers common questions about mood swings, depression, and other mental health issues related to cyclic hormone changes.

Q: Is it true that many young ladies experience their first exposure to mental health issues at the onset of puberty?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A vast majority of girls first experience the mood-changing impact of hormones when their bodies begin to mature. In fact, for some of the most severely affected, puberty is an uncertain and constant state of emotional ups and downs. Moodiness, anxiety, depression, and irritability are all common during puberty.

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Marla Ahlgrimm | Women’s Health News for January 2017

Marla AhlgrimmAn early 2017 study published by the US National Library of Medicine reveals that PMDD, an extreme form of PMS, may be linked to a response by certain genes to female sex hormones, reports women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm.

Q: What is premenstrual dysphoric disorder?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, is what I would describe as a severe form of PMS. Unlike PMS, PMDD doesn’t respond as well to traditional forms of therapy and may include extreme depression, mood swings, and debilitating anxiety.

Q: What causes it?

Marla Ahlgrimm: We know for sure that PMDD and PMS are both caused by issues surrounding female reproductive hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone. However, according to Dr. Peter Schmidt, a researcher for the National Institute of Mental Health, scientists now have evidence at the cellular level that indicates certain women may have sudden cyclic behavioral changes due to a sensitivity to these sex hormones.

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Marla Ahlgrimm Answers Women’s Health Questions: Body Image and Pregnancy

Marla AhlgrimmNationally acclaimed women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm answers common questions about pregnancy and body image in the following question and answer session.

Q: What kind of physical changes can I expect when I become pregnant?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Aside from an expanding belly, many women tend to break out more often while pregnant. Some women notice their feet get larger and they start to see prominent varicose veins. During pregnancy, swelling of the hands and feet are common and some women even experience nosebleeds and frequent urinary tract infections. No two women are alike and your body will change in ways that are unique to you.

Q: How can I cope with body image issues during pregnancy?

Marla Ahlgrimm: I find it helpful to remember that your body is changing for a very good reason – your growing baby. Talk with friends, especially women who have had children, and don’t hide your concerns or bottle up your emotions. Learn as much as you can about pregnancy so you’ll know what to expect in the coming months.

Q: Will I ever get my body back?

Marla Ahlgrimm: It’s very likely that your body will never be exactly the same after giving birth. You may find that your formerly toned and tight tummy may look a little softer. If you got stretch marks during your pregnancy, they may not fully go away. However, while your “new” body may be different, it is just as beautiful as the one you enjoyed prior to motherhood.

Q: Can I diet during pregnancy?

Marla Ahlgrimm: While it’s important to eat a healthy variety of foods, most women should actually increase their caloric intake while pregnant. Talk with your doctor if you’re concerned that you’re gaining too much weight. Understand that nutrition is vital to your baby. Some women, unfortunately, develop eating disorders that results in malnutrition while pregnant. This can trigger a number of complications, including low birth weight, delayed fetal growth, intrauterine growth retardation, gestational diabetes, respiratory problems, and, in extreme cases, stillbirth or fetal death.

FAQ with Marla Ahlgrimm: Physical Fitness for Women

Marla AhlgrimmAcclaimed women’s health and hormone expert Marla Ahlgrimm discusses the many benefits of physical activity for women.

Q: What are the advantages of staying active?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Physical activity has a host of benefits for girls and women of all ages. Staying active increases muscle strength and flexibility as well as helps you maintain your weight and energy levels. Physical activity further helps your body develop and maintain strong bones and protects against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, and insomnia.

Q: Are there certain types of exercises that are best for women?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Women should strive for a combination of aerobic and strength training activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most healthy adults should strive for around two hours of moderate physical activity each week, including two to three days of muscle strength training exercises.

Q: Should I talk to my doctor before beginning a new physical fitness program?

Marla Ahlgrimm: No matter your physical condition, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting something new. Your physician may have insight on your chosen exercise routine that could impact how it’s executed. During this conversation, your doctor will address any medical conditions that may inhibit your ability to exercise. Never began a new exercise regimen if you’re pregnant without speaking to your doctor first.

Q: How do I know when I’ve done too much?

Marla Ahlgrimm: As with all good things, moderation is the key where exercise is concerned. This is especially true for women who are not used to intense workouts. If you notice that your muscles are extremely sore or you experience pain in the hours and days following an exercise, that’s a good sign that you should take it easy. Respiratory issues and extreme fatigue as well as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and an irregular heartbeat are a few ways your body expresses that it has had enough.

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