Marla Ahlgrimm: New Research Suggests Estrogen May Protect Against PTSD

Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla AhlgrimmEstrogen is well known for its role in the sexual development and physical maturation of women. However, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, new research indicates that it may also serve to protect the female brain from trauma.

There are a number of research papers which suggest that women develop posttraumatic stress disorder more often than men, despite lesser exposure to harrowing traumatic events.

A recent study performed by Emory University in collaboration with Harvard Medical School indicates that estrogen may play a role in reducing the development of PTSD. Estrogen, which is essential for its role in female sexuality and pregnancy, may have further reaching effects than originally believed, says Marla Ahlgrimm.

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Women Affected Differently by Common Health Problems, says Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla AhlgrimmMen’s and women’s bodies are not the same, says women’s health advocate, Marla Ahlgrimm. For this reason, many health issues common in both sexes affect women differently. Even when symptoms are the same, women may require significantly different care than their husbands, brothers, and sons.

Below, Marla Ahlgrimm lists a few health conditions and how they affect women.

Alcohol abuse

More than 5 million US women put their health and safety at risk by over-consuming alcohol. And though men are much more likely to become alcoholics, the effects of alcohol abuse are more pronounced in women. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, women who abuse alcohol are at a greater risk of heart disease and breast cancer as well as fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause brain damage to their unborn babies.
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Marla Ahlgrimm: Signs of a Hormone Imbalance

Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla AhlgrimmWhen people think of hormones, the first thoughts that usually come to mind are the hot flashes and mood changes associated with menopause. But, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, hormones affect women from the day they are born until the day they die. Here, Ahlgrimm notes a few common symptoms of hormone imbalance that can strike at any age.

Weight gain

Diet and exercise certainly play a role in maintaining a healthy weight, says Marla Ahlgrimm. However, for some women, that simply isn’t enough. Insulin resistance is one of the most common unaddressed issues affecting women’s waistlines in America today.

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Marla Ahlgrimm Discusses Cravings and How to Beat Them

Marla Ahlgrimm

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 Ahlgrimm

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 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 Ahlgrimm

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 Ahlgrimm

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 Ahlgrimm

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.

Marla Ahlgrimm on Managing Adrenal Insufficiency

Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla AhlgrimmAdrenal disorders can cause a number of disparaging symptoms, says women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm. When the adrenal glands – glands that control cortisol and aldosterone – fail to produce, essential life functions take a hit.

Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency (AI)

Marla Ahlgrimm explains that AI may cause excessive fatigue, dizziness, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and severe joint pain. Untreated, AI may eventually lead to weight loss, insatiable salt cravings, and darkening of the skin.  People with adrenal disorders may feel fine one day and barely have the energy to get out of bed the next.

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