For some women, bloating before and after a monthly period is real. This uncomfortable condition may negatively affect self-confidence. According to Dr. Anna Cabeca, triple board-certified Emory University-trained physician, hormones like estrogen and progesterone fluctuate during this time thereby resulting in up to 5-10 extra pounds of fluid and sodium. Aside from this, inflammatory molecules called prostaglandins are another large factor, which isn’t easy to drop but manageable nonetheless, says Dr. Ashley Margeson, a board-certified naturopathic doctor with a strong focus on women’s health, hormonal regulation, and health optimization.
There are many lifestyle changes that a woman can make to reduce water retention. In turn, these changes may help relieve the symptoms of period bloating.
Dehydration can make us constipated thus making our belly bloat. Not having enough water in the system, makes our body hold onto whatever precious H2O that’s around, which is a recipe for puffiness.
In addition to eating lots of water-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, experts suggest that we should have around nine 8-ounce glasses per day.
Pack In The Potassium
Potassium is an electrolyte that helps keep sodium levels in check and stimulates the body to release excess water. Our body needs 2,600 mg daily. Some of its best sources are bananas, potatoes, lentils, cucumbers, oranges, and dried fruits like prunes, dates, and raisins.
Skip Alcohol And Caffeine
According to experts, caffeine and alcohol contribute to bloating and other symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Drink more water instead of these beverages. Less caffeinated drinks like tea can also be a good substitute.
Limit Salt Intake
Too much sodium in the body can lead to puffiness. When having a period try to at least have a lower sodium diet to keep belly bloat at bay. Avoid or limit takeout or restaurant food and packaged or processed snacks, which tend to be loaded with salt. Opt for whole, unprocessed foods like fresh fruits and veggies.
Stress causes disruptive PMS symptoms which include bloating. Avoid stressful situations and try to relax and unwind to stave off some puffiness. Hitting up yoga more often, having a massage, sniffing some calming essential oils, and meditation are just some of the best ways to relax our body and mind.
Regular exercise is the key to alleviate PMS symptoms. It keeps things in our gastrointestinal system moving, thereby making it a go-to bloat fighter in general. Aim for a few hours of moderate physical activity a week, an hour or more of vigorous activity a week or a combination of these levels of activity.