Approximately 40 percent of women ages 14-50 experience PMS symptoms, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, co-founder of Madison Pharmacy Associates. Ahlgrimm, who was instrumental in bringing the term premenstrual syndrome to the United States in the late 1970s, has helped women manage their PMS symptoms for the past three decades, both through Madison Pharmacy Associates and Women’s Health America, a company she founded in the early 1990s.
According to the Madison Pharmacy Associates founder, PMS is a hormonal disorder that occurs prior to the beginning of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The symptoms usually begin to decrease after the menstrual period begins, and are typically gone by the time the woman’s period ends.
In a recent interview, Ahlgrimm related that the most common symptoms she saw during her tenure at Madison Pharmacy Associates included mood swings, forgetfulness, cramps, and water retention, among many others. She frequently observed that symptoms in some women worsened as they got older, although the Madison Pharmacy Associates founder added that each woman’s PMS experience can drastically differ.
According to the Madison Pharmacy Associates’ founder, PMS cannot be discovered through laboratory tests. For this reason, Ahlgrimm recommended that women document their symptoms for two or three cycles before seeking medical assistance. “Your daily symptom record will help your doctor decide on the most appropriate form of treatment,” the Madison Pharmacy Associates founder would tell clients, noting that “it will also help your doctor determine if your prescribed treatment is working by comparing pre-treatment cycles to current cycles.”
While hormone replacement therapy proved to be extremely effective in reducing PMS symptoms for many Madison Pharmacy Associates clients, Marla Ahlgrimm often sought to help patients by making lifestyle modifications. Over the years, the Madison Pharmacy Associates co-founder found that a diet that incorporated six smaller meals, each of which include starchy foods, could help reduce symptoms.
Referencing research that began in the 1950s in England, Madison Pharmacy Associates helped clients understand that low blood sugar could cause a woman’s adrenaline to be released too abruptly, moving sugar from the cells into the bloodstream. According to Madison Pharmacy Associates’ Ahlgrimm, this would prevent progesterone from being metabolized, leaving the cells empty, which then caused them to fill with water – the cause of bloating and weight gain normally associated with PMS.
By eating six small meals, a women’s blood sugar becomes more stable, according to the Madison Pharmacy Associates co-founder. Large meals can cause progesterone levels to drop. While some women may be concerned about eating more meals, Madison Pharmacy Associates’ Ahlgrimm worked to help clients understand that by eliminating the water weight gain that often comes with PMS, a woman might actually lose weight.
The information in this article has been previously published by Madison Pharmacy Associates and is provided as a reference resource by Marla Ahlgrimm, R.Ph. Madison Pharmacy Associates and Women’s Health America were sold in 2011. Marla Ahlgrimm is also the co-founder and President of Cyclin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The company sells proprietary products for the women’s health market as well as ProCycle PMS and ProCycle Gold products. For more information, go online to www.cyclinpharma.com