A highly respected expert in women’s health, pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm has assisted over 300,000 women and their doctors in alleviating symptoms of menopause and perimenopause, as well as PMS.
Q: How do estrogen levels factor into a woman’s overall health?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Estrogen is extremely important to several of the body’s natural processes, including hair and skin condition, brain health, heart health and bone density. When administering hormone replacement therapy, the type and amount varies depending on each individual woman. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) often consists of progesterone and estrogen, as well as a form of androgen.
Q: Can estrogen levels vary depending on the woman’s age or health condition?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes, and here’s why. By definition, estrogen is a category of three different hormones: estrone and estradiol, as well as estriol. Estradiol is the predominant estrogen in a premenopausal woman, estrone is acknowledged as the primary form present in the female body after menopause. On the other hand, estriol is present in mass quantities during pregnancy.
It isn’t fun, states pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm, but menopause is a time in a woman’s life that brings many interruptions to her daily – and nightly – routine. Here, women’s health pioneer Marla Ahlgrimm offers information on how to deal with a mid-night crisis.
Causes of Insomnia During Menopause
While experts cannot pinpoint an exact cause of all instances of menopausal insomnia, Marla Ahlgrimm explains that the falling estrogen levels during this time may have a lot to do with it. Most women experience hot flashes during menopause, notes Marla Ahlgrimm. This can increase a woman’s chance of waking up in the middle of the night covered in sweat and unable to go back to sleep. Additionally, Marla Ahlgrimm believes that the emotional toll associated with this transitional stage of life can invoke sleeplessness.
According to women’s health expert, Marla Ahlgrimm, the half-century mark is often the beginning of joint and muscle pain for many women. However, joint pain is not an inevitable part of the menopausal transition–many women do not experience this symptom, adds Marla Ahlgrimm.
For those suffering from achy hands, knees, hips, or other joints, here are recommendations on preventing and managing joint aches and pains.
Marla Ahlgrimm attests that regular exercise is the key to avoiding stiffness, soreness and joint pain. Stretching before each exercise is important too. Yoga or stretching is an excellent way to build flexibility and strength without pain.
A diet high in protein, fiber and vegetables is part of an overall plan for good health. A healthy diet is the fuel a body needs, says Marla Ahlgrimm.
Marla Ahlgrimm is a pharmacist based in Madison, Wisconsin, who specializes in women’s health. Here, the founder of Women’s Health America answers questions about relaxation and premenstrual syndrome.
Q. Is relaxation important when treating severe premenstrual syndrome?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Humans have an inherent “relaxation response.” This is the body’s ability to relax and rejuvenate when necessary. For women experiencing moderate to severe PMS, relaxation is vital as it reduces stress and may help her cope with the physical demands of her cycle.
Q. What is the stress response?
Marla Ahlgrimm: The stress response refers to the physical manifestations of emotional trauma. This could be from a particular event or the result of long-term inability to relax and release negative feelings. Women who consider themselves as leading stressful lives tend to have more severe PMS symptoms than their more content contemporaries.