Marla Ahlgrimm On Stress And The Body

Marla AhlgrimmHormones do the body lots of good. But, their effects are not always convenient. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, your brain knows exactly which hormones to send and when. Unfortunately, in the case of stress, this can leave you feeling on edge and can have an unhealthy effect on your body. Keep reading for a few quick answers to common questions about stress and hormones.

Q: What triggers feelings of stress?

Marla Ahlgrimm: The answer to this question is unique for every person. Some people feel stressed out because of money, others because of family obligations. However, most people experience the natural stress response when faced with a sudden or extreme situation. An example would be a large dog running at you with its teeth showing while barking loudly. This would instantaneously trigger your adrenal glands to release a surge of cortisol and adrenaline.

Q: What happens when adrenaline and cortisol are released?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Each of these hormones works to elevate your heart rate and can give you a seemingly unnatural boost of energy. As the primary stress hormone, cortisol increases the amount of glucose (blood sugar) flowing through your veins. Cortisol has an effect on a few of your non-essential systems – suppressing digestion, for example. When these hormones are present, you likely feel fear, your heart rate will increase significantly. and your senses are heightened.

Q: Is the body’s response to stress self-limiting?

Marla AhlgrimmMarla Ahlgrimm: In most cases, yes. When you are faced with the threat, and that threat is no longer present, your hormone levels return to normal. Unfortunately, many women are under chronic stress, living with factors such as financial struggles, tumultuous relationships, and social pressures. This can lead to a chronic stress response, which can then in turn result in digestive issues, depression, sleep problems, and weight gain to name a few.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, women can reduce everyday stress through a combination of meditation, eating well, and getting enough sleep. While not all stressors can be eliminated, taking care of your mind and body is one of the best ways to be prepared to effectively deal with life’s issues.

Marla Ahlgrimm: Women And Headaches

Marla AhlgrimmDo women have more headaches than men? Not surprisingly to women everywhere, the answer is yes. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, this is due to everything from stress to hormones. Keep reading as the author and women’s health advocate answers a few questions on the topic.

Q: Are hormones the cause of headaches?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Often, yes. Estrogen, especially, can contribute significantly to headaches in women. Fluctuating levels of this female hormone can trigger tension headaches and even migraines.

Q: When are headaches most common for women?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Unfortunately, headaches are prevalent and sometimes frequent for women beginning at the onset of puberty. When a woman is getting ready to menstruate, her estrogen levels drop. This triggers migraines. Similarly, after giving birth, a woman’s estrogen levels dip dramatically as there is no longer a pregnancy to support. During pregnancy, and especially in the first trimester, estrogen levels soar significantly and quickly, which can also lead to headaches.

Q: What about menopause?

Marla AhlgrimmMarla Ahlgrimm: Menopause can also lead to fluctuating hormone levels. As the ovaries begin to say sayonara to their child-bearing years, the body can react in many different ways. Headaches are one of these.

Q: Hormones aside, what are some other headache triggers common in women?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Many of the most common include dehydration, taking certain medications, poor eating and sleeping habits, and anxiety. Similarly, women can also experience headaches due to both overexertion and living a sedentary lifestyle. It is also not uncommon for both genders to notice tension between their temples after consuming things like alcohol, Parmesan cheese, aspartame, caffeine, and chocolate. Poor posture, noise, and glare are also culprits women who experience frequent headaches should consider exploring.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Vaccines And Pregnancy

Marla AhlgrimmMarla Ahlgrimm says that an unfortunately small number of women are vaccinated against serious issues while they are pregnant. She explains that the flu and whooping cough vaccines may save lives when a woman is expecting.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, the Centers for Disease Control recommends a whooping cough vaccine, also known as a TDAP, at the beginning of the third trimester. The agency also suggests that pregnant women receive a flu vaccine. She explains that these vaccinations are not only to protect the mom but also the newborn baby. Antibodies built up after the vaccine are passed to the baby, which is then born with some level of protection against these diseases.

Marla Ahlgrimm explains that antibodies are built up after approximately two weeks. They are passed through the placenta to the baby.

Marla AhlgrimmThe flu vaccine can reduce the risk of hospitalization due to influenza by 40% for pregnant women. Marla Ahlgrimm notes that babies less than six months old are 72% less likely to enter the hospital because of the flu if their mother received the vaccine in utero.

When it comes to whooping cough, a vaccine lowers the risk of serious consequences on a baby less than two months old by nearly 80% and lessens the chance of being admitted in the hospital before eight weeks of age by more than 90%.

The bottom line is that vaccines are important for pregnant women. The flu vaccine and the whooping cough vaccine are two of the most important. Unfortunately, Marla Ahlgrimm explains that nearly 40% of pregnant women are not aware that these vaccines are available and necessary.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Menopause Symptoms

Marla AhlgrimmWe all know that irregular periods and hot flashes are signs of menopause. But, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, there are other symptoms that many women inadvertently ignore. A few of these are:

  • Insomnia. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, difficulty sleeping is extremely common in women going through menopause. This is because low progesterone levels – progesterone bolsters healthy sleep – are low. Women are advised to try to exercise for at least half an hour every day and to avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol in the late afternoon hours.
  • Vaginal dryness. Painful intercourse is one of the more devastating side-effects of menopause. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that vaginal dryness is typically the cause, and it’s due to a decrease in vaginal secretions. Further, as the skin of the vagina thins out like the rest of a woman’s skin, the area can become more sensitive. Many health professionals recommend an active sex life or ample self-stimulation to keep things “down there” in top shape.
  • Bone loss. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that osteoporosis, or bone loss, is another extremely prevalent symptom of menopause. It happens when the body’s estrogen levels begin to drop. A 1992 study found that around half of all postmenopausal women had lost around 50% of their trabeculae, which are nearly microscopic elements made of muscle and bone that support healthy bone structure.
  • Marla AhlgrimmMood swings. Sorry ladies, Marla Ahlgrimm says that mood swings are not exclusive to those with PMS. Estrogen is the culprit here, as well, and lower levels of this female sex hormones can also trigger stress, anxiety, and fatigue.

Night sweats. A night sweat is a hot flash that wakes you from a sound sleep. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, these include heart palpitations and skin flushing. Women who find themselves waking repeatedly because of hot flashes should sleep in cotton pajamas and keep their home between 60 and 70° at night.

Marla Ahlgrimm: Antibody Testing and The Coronavirus

Marla Ahlgrimm

Antibody testing has been in the news quite a bit lately, says Marla Ahlgrimm. But what is it? And is it a good indicator of whether or not a person is immune from the coronavirus disease?

For the last several weeks, people who believe they’ve been exposed to or have had the coronavirus have been flocking to healthcare offices and pharmacies for the newly-available antibody test. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, this is simply a blood screening that can determine who has been exposed and, hopefully, who has immunity from COVID-19.

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Marla Ahlgrimm on Ovaries

Marla AhlgrimmQ: What are ovaries?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Ovaries are a female’s primary reproductive organ. They are glands that release eggs for fertilization, protect these eggs while they wait to be implanted, and secrete sex hormones. Women are born with two ovaries, but they do not become functional until puberty. Then, they grow to approximately the size of a large grape and settle into their permanent home inside of the uterus against the pelvic wall. The ovaries are then held tightly in place by special ligaments, which are attached to the uterus.

Q: What did ovaries do?

Marla Ahlgrimm: In addition to secreting sex hormones, the ovaries release eggs during a female’s menstrual cycle. During this process, which is known as ovulation, a woman can become pregnant.

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