Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Marla Ahlgrimm: Advancements in DNA Sequencing and Health

Marla Ahlgrimm
Genetic testing has become available to the masses thanks the companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com. Marla Ahlgrimm says this has given individuals more power to take control of their health since many of the tests are FDA-Approved to screen for genetic markers associated with health conditions, such as deep vein thrombosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. In 2018, Michigan State University researchers took things one step further.

Q: What can DNA predict?

Marla Ahlgrimm: People inherit DNA from both of the parents, who, in turn, inherited DNA from their parents and so on. It’s widely accepted that children inherit approximately 50% of their genes from their mother and 50% from their father. These genes share markers with certain populations that can help predict things such as eye color, skin tone, and an individual’s region of genetic origin. But they can also offer insight into more important subjects, such as medical risk.

Monday, November 26, 2018

HVP, a Common STD with a New Vaccine | Marla Ahlgrimm


Marla Ahlgrimm
Medicine has come a long way since Marla Ahlgrimm began her career in women’s health back in the 1970s. PMS is now an accepted medical condition, women have access to breast cancer screenings at any time, and there are new vaccinations to help prevent common diseases. Here, Ahlgrimm touches on one of the newest additions to women’s sexual health, the HPV vaccine.

Q: What is HPV?

Marla Ahlgrimm: HPV, or human papillomavirus, is not one but a collection of 150 (or more) viral infections. It is a sexually transmitted disease that is so commonplace that virtually all sexually active people will have an infection at some point in their lives.

Q: Is it dangerous?

Marla Ahlgrimm: While many HPV infections are benign, there are forms of the virus that can cause noticeable issues. Genital warts is one example. Thankfully, the dozen or so viral infections that cause genital warts are low-risk. Higher risk strains can cause cancer but are are less common. HPV can be detected during a PAP exam.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Marla Ahlgrimm: The Mentor That Never Knew Her Impact

Marla Ahlgrimm
Marla Ahlgrimm says that there were many women who inspired her throughout her career. None, however, made such an impact as a British physician named Katharina Dalton.

Katharina Dalton, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, is the mother of modern women’s medicine. Dalton, who was one of the first women to obtain a medical degree from the Royal Free Hospital in London, “discovered” PMS at the most unlikely time in her life: when she was pregnant. At the time, Dalton was 32-years-old and had been suffering with migraine headaches for more than a decade. Halfway through her pregnancy, she realized the headaches had disappeared.

Marla Ahlgrimm explains that Dalton, in cooperation with an endocrinologist named Dr. Greene, concluded that progesterone deficiency was the cause of her recurrent pain. Progesterone levels are elevated during pregnancy. Together, the two physicians were published numerous times in British medical journals. They coined the phrase “premenstrual syndrome” in 1953.

Dr. Dalton dedicated her entire career to treating women with hormone issues surrounding their menstrual cycle. In conflict with popular opinion – and her mostly male coworkers and colleagues – Dr. Dalton asserted that women’s cyclic symptoms were not simply psychological. At the time, explains Marla Ahlgrimm, male physicians tended to diagnose women with “hysteria” when presenting with these recurrent symptoms, which include epilepsy, asthma, migraines, depression, fatigue, and irritability.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Marla Ahlgrimm: Winter Sun Remains Dangerous to Skin

Marla Ahlgrimm
Winter has a way of sneaking up on us and so do the dangers that come along with UV exposure, says author and women’s health advocate Marla Ahlgrimm. Keep reading as Ahlgrimm sheds light on the issues of winter UV exposure.

Q: How does snow affect a person’s exposure to ultraviolet radiation?

Marla Ahlgrimm: All it takes is one look at a winter wonderland to see how much brighter things look with fresh snow. Snow, which is primarily made up of tiny ice crystals, can reflect back up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays. This essentially doubles your exposure to UV radiation.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Women’s Health with Marla Ahlgrimm: Bleeding Disorders

Marla Ahlgrimm
Retired pharmacist, women’s health expert, and entrepreneur Marla Ahlgrimm explains bleeding disorders, which affect up to 10% of women.

Q: What is a bleeding disorder?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A bleeding disorder is a health condition that affects the body’s ability to properly clot blood. People with bleeding disorders tend to bleed for extended periods and bleed out more so than those with normal clotting abilities.

Q: Are bleeding disorders unique to women?

Marla Ahlgrimm: No, anyone can be affected with bleeding disorder. However, reproductive-age women are at a greater risk of complications due to menstrual periods and childbirth.

Q: Are heavy periods an indication of a bleeding disorder?

Marla Ahlgrimm: While a heavy menstrual period is not always a sign of a bleeding disorder, it can be. A woman with a bleeding disorder may experience bleeding for seven or more continuous days and may need to change their pad or tampon every 60 to 120 minutes. While clotting is normal with menstrual blood, clots larger than a bottlecap may indicate abnormalities. A woman with a bleeding disorder may experience a significant disruption in her day-to-day life while on her period.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Q&A with Marla Ahlgrimm: HPV

Marla Ahlgrimm
HPV, or human papilloma virus, is, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, the most widespread form of sexually transmitted disease in the US. Approximately eight out of 10 women will contract at least one form of HPV throughout their lifetime.

Q: What is HPV?

Marla Ahlgrimm: The human papilloma virus is a blanket name for more than 100 different types of viruses, 40 of which are passed via sexual contact. It is estimated that approximately 79 million people – including 80 percent -- of all women currently have or will have an HPV incident.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Marla Ahlgrimm: Anxiety

Marla Ahlgrimm
Contrary to popular belief, it is perfectly normal to feel anxious from time to time. But according to Marla Ahlgrimm, when anxiety becomes difficult to control, it can become a problem. Approximately 20 percent of the adult population suffers with anxiety and women are more than twice as likely to experience this potentially debilitating condition as men.

Q: What is anxiety?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Anxiety is simply a sense of fear, nervousness, or concern regarding a specific situation or event. It is a normal reaction to things such as an exam, upcoming childbirth, or job change. At its most extreme, anxiety may result in an inability to complete day-to-day tasks.

Q: What are the different types of anxiety disorder?

Marla Ahlgrimm: The vast majority of anxiety disorders fall in the category of generalized anxiety (GAD). This results in constant worry about things others perceive as normal. For instance, a person with GAD may experience a virtual inability to cope with minor issues, such as a higher-than-expected water bill. Panic disorders are another common type of anxiety disorder and is typified by sudden sense of doom and panic in situations with no danger.