Why You Get Period Bloating
As Dr Penelope Law, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at HCA UK’s The Portland Hospital, explains: “The uterus contracts daily in a mild, almost imperceptible manner.”
“As you get closer to your period, these oscillating waves – usually from the fundus work their way down to the cervix – with a frequency of about every 40 minutes. During your period these are more intense – they originate from the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, and are responsible for the pain some women feel,” she explains.
Although menstrual bloating is linked to these ‘contractions’, the expert explained how it’s actually your digestive system, and not your reproductive system, that causes the swelling of your lower abdomen during your monthly bleed.
“During menstruation, the bowel works more slowly because the increased contractions, waves, of the uterus have an impact on how quickly food moves through the digestive system, known as peristalsis,” Dr Penelope said.
“This leads to the familiar swollen feeling many women experience whilst on their periods and can also be linked to why you can feel more constipated during menstruation.”
Why Do You Get Bloated On Your Period
There just isnt much that is pleasant about being on your period. And reallyeven the days leading up to it can be just as annoying. For many women, its not just bleeding, cramping, and psycho mood swings: it also means bloating. You might be one of the 70 percent of women who deal with bloating during their cycle. If you look in the mirror and feel like your boating makes you look pregnant, you are not alone.But why is this happening? Is there anything you can do? Thankfullyyes! Well give you our favorite tips and tricks, but its also good to understand what is happening to your body so you can give yourself the best chance of feeling like a human being during your period.
Sugar = Sodium Retention
Sugar is as craved, if not more, than salty foods during a PMS, and that can equal twice the bloat! If you really want to know how to stop bloating during PMS, the first place to look is your sugar intake! Sugar obviously raises blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels increase your bodys sodium retention. Sodium retention leads to bloat! So, if you increase your sugar intake, even while lowering your sodium intake, all that minute amount of sodium that are naturally found in foods are still going to cause bloat! And, if you are still indulging in all that salt, expect bloating to become even more unbearable!
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Score A Little More Shuteye
Sleep is often impacted by the pain of menstruation, bloating, and feeling out of sorts, says Roy. Its during these crucial hours, though, that the excess fluid in your belly is able to move back into the body and be eliminated, she explains. So aim to get eight hours a nighthere are tips to help you drift off.
Changes In Levels Of Progesterone And Oestrogen Levels
Period bloating may occur as a result of changes in levels of progesterone and oestrogen levels. The change in the balance of these sex hormones, which occurs about a week before your period starts, causes the body to retain more water and salt/ As a result of this, the bodys cells become swollen with water thereby giving you that feeling of being bloated.
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Hold Off On Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol can directly damage the digestive tract and research has also found it to mess with the good bacteria in your gut. But more importantly for when you’re trying to reduce bloating in 24 hours or less, alcohol inhibits digestion, as well.
“Alcohol inhibits digestion and causes dehydration, causing the digestive tract to slow downwhich results in constipation,” says Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN. When you drink alcohol, your body switches to processing the alcohol out of your system first before digesting any food, which can leave you with a bloated stomach. It may be tough, but avoid the hard stuff while you’re trying detox.
Drink Some Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has anti-spasmodic and therapeutic properties that are helpful in relieving various symptoms of PMS . Consider keeping some chamomile tea handy when you know your period is just around the corner.
Apart from these home remedies, you can also try some other remedies that involve OTC medicines.
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I Have No Motivation To Workout
If you think you need motivation to train youre already half beat.
What you really need is meta motivation: the motivation to train even when youre not motivated. If you rely on your feelings to decide whether to workout or not, you never will. As you know, your feelings are designed to keep you caged up in your comfort pit. Your feelings want you to be safe, not successful.
That said, there is a trick you can use to get yourself motivated to workout, and its backed up with research. Its called the few minutes principle.
The basic idea is that procrastinators often put off doing certain things because the size of the task in front of them seems too overwhelming. By deciding to just go to the gym for a few minutes youll often see the workout through to completion.
Are you motivated enough to train for two minutes? Thats all you need.
These Steps Will Show You How To Reduce Bloating
When you’re trying to ease the pressure off of your bloated tum , you’ll want to rely on these digestion-promoting methods to help you reduce bloating in just 24 hours. Here, we help you identify which habits and foods can help reduce bloating and rev up your metabolism along the way.
Hopefully, after you follow a few of our 25 tips on how to reduce bloating there will be minimal instances of trying to squeeze into your favorite pair of jeans.
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Causes Of Period Gas Pain
Period gas pain is caused by a buildup of gas in your gastrointestinal tract. The gas produced from the digestive process travels along with the food as it is digested. Since your digestive system has slowed down, the food you eat doesnt travel as fast as it usually does through your system.
Gas is also the result of swallowing air from eating and drinking.
If you tend to eat or drink more during your period, you might be swallowing more air. This, combined with gas from digesting, can cause pain if too air much accumulates.
Easy Exercises For Bloating Youtube
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Menstrual Bloating Remedies To Feel Better Fast
When bloating comes on strong and all you want to do is live in yoga pants and stay in bed, there are things you can do.
Here are four natural remedies to help you get back to your life, bloating be gone:
1. Make Some Diet Modifications: The power of nutrition is incredible, and with just a few dietary modifications prior to and during your period, you may be surprised at how much less bloated you feel. Here are some nutrition hacks to beat period bloating.
2. The Power of Plant-Based Healing: We cant downplay just how amazing Traditional Chinese Medicine and potent, healing herbs are for countless ailments and symptoms like period bloating. And Elix can help with your menstrual bloating. Our Cycle Balance formulas not only help balance hormones and help get to the root of all your symptoms, but the herbs in our formulas can help reduce the water retention that often leads to that uncomfortable bloated feelingso you can feel better, faster.
In need of a natural remedy right away? Try using a chasteberry tincture or sipping on some chasteberry tea. Studies have found this berry to be incredibly beneficial for easing PMS symptoms including water retention and even cravings.
Dandelion leaf tea can also be great for period bloating. It acts as a natural diuretic to help reduce some of that uncomfortable fluid retention while also giving the body a little extra potassium boost.
Know When to See a Doctor
Common Causes Of Stomach Bloating
Bloating and excessive gas problems can be traced back to digestive alignment. Often, its caused by a difficulty in digesting high-fibre foods in the small digestive tract. Direct causes may include the following:
Swallowing excessive air whilst eating or drinking. You may be able to get rid of bloating by eating slower and drinking through a straw. Health conditions such as Crohns sickness, ulcerative colitis or even diabetes. Intolerance to certain foods such as lactose and gluten . Artificial sweeteners in gums or confections. xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol can cause excess gas that leads to bloating. Constipation build-ups make it difficult to release gas and can lead to bloating.
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Pack In The Potassium
Like magnesium, potassium is an electrolyte that helps keep sodium levels in check and encourages the body to release excess water.
Most of us dont get as much as we need, so hitting the recommended amount of 2,600 mg daily is a good habit to get into.
Bananas are a pretty good source, but youll actually get more bang for your potassium buck from dried fruit, lentils, acorn squash, and potatoes.
Here Are The Things That You Should Reduce:
- Salty Foods: Salty as well as processed food should be reduced. Along with these, food which is high in sodium, consumption of those should also be reduced.
- Refined Carbs: The intake of refined carbs like maida and processed sugars should be reduced. These cause spikes in blood sugar levels. This increases the level of insulin in the blood, which causes the kidneys to retain more sodium.
- Alcohol and Caffeine: These should be reduced as well.
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When Does Period Bloating Occur
Youll likely experience bloating well before the start of your period. Bloating is considered a very common symptom of PMS. Symptoms of PMS can begin a week or two before your period starts. You may bloat every month, once in a while, or not at all. Relief from bloating may occur immediately after you start your period or a few days into it.
You may have other PMS symptoms. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that up to 85 percent of women report physical symptoms related to their period. Besides bloating, other common symptoms include:
You should talk to your doctor if your bloating:
- does not go away after your period
- is severe enough to affect your daily activities
Severe bloating may be a sign of a medical condition or may need to be treated differently.
Say So Long To Stress
Women with higher perceived levels of stress are more likely to have disruptive PMS symptoms, bloating included. Finding ways to relax and unwind can help tame the tension, and as a result, stave off some puffiness.
Start hitting up yoga more often, carve out time for meditation or journaling, schedule a massage, or get in the habit of sniffing some calming essential oils. If it helps you feel more chill, it works.
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Stay Away From Foods That Cause Gas
Yep, were looking at you, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. They may inspire your favorite healthy-eating Pinterest boards, but they also contain a complex sugar called raffinose. Humans lack the enzyme to help break it down properly, which leads to gas and bloat. Other dietary culprits in this category include beans, cabbage, cauliflower, and lettuce, says Dr. Ross.
Dont Suddenly Overdo It On The Fibre
If youre feeling shitty, it might seem like a good idea to load up on as many fruits and veggies as you canbut that tactic might backfire.
Dont get me wrong, its certainly good to have a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, but if you suddenly begin eating them in mass quantities during your period, you may experience increased bloating simply because your body isnt used to the fibre, says Dr. Sara Twogood, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com
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Check Your Salt Intake
Having too much sodium in your system can cause your cells to hang on to more water, which can lead to puffiness. Sticking with a lower sodium diet, at least around your period, can go a long way toward keeping belly bloat at bay.
Make it a point to eat more whole, unprocessed foods like fresh fruits and veggies, which are naturally low in salt. Try to cut back on takeout or restaurant food and packaged or processed snacks, which tend to be salt bombs.
Nix The Carbonated Or Sugary Drinks
Chugging fizzy beverages might make you feel better temporarily, but theyll leave you way more bloated than before, says Dr. Smith. The same goes for sugary drinks like Gatorade. Dont let brands that use artificial sweeteners fool youthey too cause you to puff up, says Dr. Smith.
Instead, rely on your good buddy water, and aim for eight glasses a day. Mix in some green, peppermint, or fennel tea to help eliminate inflammatory mediators, says Dr. Ross.
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Avoid Rapid Weight Gain
Rapid weight gain is linked to bloating for several reasons.
First, a buildup of fat in your stomach area may constrain your bowels, increasing tension and contributing to bloating. Additionally, fat may have inflammatory effects, contributing to hypersensitivity in your gut .
Finally, unwanted weight gain may cause you to focus attention on your stomach area, which may increase your perception of bloating .
If you have overweight or obesity and are experiencing bloating, trying some healthy strategies for weight loss such as exercise and limiting portion sizes may be beneficial.
Rapid weight gain may contribute to bloating by increasing bowel tension, inflammation, and mental focus on your stomach area. Conversely, weight loss may help reduce these effects.
How To Beat The Bloat: Ways To Reduce Period Bloating
Now that youve understood the factors behind period bloating, how do you tackle it? Fortunately, there are different ways to reduce bloating during your period. As you explore these different methods which we will discuss in details, we encourage you to seek medical advice from your doctor especially when the bloating continues to happen after your menstrual flow. Since the causative factor of bloating dwells more on the digestive system, a review on your eating habits or the type of foods you eat can go a great way to reduce your bloating.
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When Should We Call The Doctor
If your daughter’s PMS is severe, her doctor can help with other treatments, including medicine. Call the doctor if your daughter:
- does not feel better after trying home treatments
- seems very sad or hopeless
- ever talks about hurting or killing herself
- can’t do her usual activities because of her PMS symptoms
- has PMS symptoms that don’t go away after the first few days of her period
Things To Do To Ease Period Bloating
Drink lots of water
As above, drinking enough water is key here. “On the days leading up to your period, make sure youre increasing your water intake,” advises Dr Chichi. Drinking lots of water while youre bloated may seem a bit odd, but actually, it will help get your digestive system moving and prevent wind and constipation, it will also help to flush out any excess water and sodium, and reduce swelling. Sounds easy enough, right?
Increase your physical activity
Again, probably not something that’d spring to mind, but this is also key. Dr Chichi explains that exercise can help with all symptoms of premenstrual syndrome , but particularly any pains, cramps, or discomfort around your digestive system. “Dont underestimate how effective exercise can be for bloating,” he shares. “It helps to expel gas and get your digestion working normally.”
Visit a GP
If lifestyle changes arent working for you, Dr Chichi points out that there is the option of the contraceptive pill. “The pill can reduce PMS symptoms, such as period bloating, but its about finding one that suits you and it may not work for everyone”.
Do note here: some women find that bloating is a side effect of the pill, however, for other women it can help. If at all interested, it’s worth booking an appointment with your GP for some expert advice.
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