By Victoria Q
What is period bloating?
Period bloating means your body is retaining water. Your belly will feel heavy or swollen 2 to 4 days (some people experienced a week) before and a few days during your period. This could include feeling tighter or gaining weight. If the symptoms continue for a long period of time (over 2 weeks), you should check with a doctor.
What causes period bloating?
Period bloating is caused by hormones. PMS occurs when the hormones estrogen and progesterone fluctuate during the luteal phase, which is the last stage of your menstrual cycle. The high levels of estrogen in the weeks prior to your period that leads to an increase in water retention while progesterone causes a slower digestive tract.
How to reduce period bloating?
There are some easy steps you can do to de-bloat before and during your period. Just scroll through the options below and I’m sure some of the remedies on the list work for you.
- Avoid Salty Foods
Foods that are high in salt cause your body to retain water. This is because when you eat a lot of salt, your body reacts by retaining more water so you don’t get dehydrated. Avoiding salty foods during your PMS and period may help decrease water retention and improve period bloating. This remedy can also reduce breakouts during your period. Instead of grabbing a bag of potato crisps, switch to a bag of unsalted popcorn or unsalted vegetables crisps.
2. Pick Potassium-rich Foods
Researchers show potassium decreases sodium levels and increases urine production, which may help reduce water retention and improve period bloating. High potassium foods include sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, spinach, asparagus, tomatoes and cantaloupe help promote a good balance of fluids. Remember to fill your fridge up with these potassium-rich foods for your next period.
3. Cutting Out Caffeine And Alcohol
We do love coffee, I mean, who doesn’t love waking up in the morning with a cup of coffee? But, this may not be a good option when you’re on your PMS or period. Caffeine can dehydrate you, which causes you to retain water and overstimulate the digestive tract and irritate the bowels. Meanwhile, alcohol can worsen PMS symptoms like breast tenderness, mood swings, and bloating. So, take a pass on your morning latte and go for a cup of chamomile tea.
4. Get Rested
Sleep is crucial for the body to be able to function properly, including dealing with period bloating. When we’re sleeping, our bodies repair themselves, and that includes moving any excess fluid (a.k.a peeing). Some people tend to sleep more during this time, just like me, I sleep 9 to 10 hours or else I’ll get so low in energy. This totally depends on individual body condition. However, try to aim for at least 8 hours of sleep.
Sure, it’s probably the very last thing you want to do. But exercise enhances blood circulation, which is one of the best ways to relieve PMS symptoms including period bloating and constipation. The good news is, you don’t have to do high-intensity exercises like Crossfit as it can promote inflammation, which worsens period bloating. Go for lighter like pilates, yoga or just a brisk walk around the block. Double the good news, exercises can boost your endorphins, special chemicals in your brain that improve your mood.
6. Stay Hydrated
Many people believe drinking more water may increase bloating – the body feels heavier and swollen. Drinking water can actually help improve water retention, by improving kidney function. If your body is not getting enough water, it will go into panic mode and hold onto as much water as it can, instead of letting flow through like normal. So, drinking plenty of water is the key to flushing out any liquid in your body to decrease water retention. Keep a water bottle by your side and sips throughout the day.
7. Minimize Carbs
Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice, and anything made with white flour cause spikes in blood sugar levels. This increases the level of insulin in the blood, which causes the kidneys to retain more sodium. So, if you cut down on these foods, your bloat will likely diminish. You’ll probably need to make some changes to your carbs during this time. Switch to oats, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, banana and apple.
8. Avoid Sugary And Carbonated Drinks
We all know during this time of the month – craving for a sweet drink. Fizzy beverages might make you feel better temporarily, but they’ll leave you way more bloated later. The same goes for all sugary drinks. They’ll cause you to puff up like a blowfish. Instead, aim for eight glasses of water a day. Mix in green, peppermint, or chamomile tea to help eliminate inflammatory. If you really want something sweet, go for oranges, which are packed with calcium and Vitamin D that helps regulate mood.