If Its Carbs You Crave
Reaching for simple carbs when youre feeling tired and icky can make you feel better because of the increase in serotonin, but the effect is short lived. Have too many and you could end up feeling even more sluggish.
Instead of simple carbs, like chips, bread, or pasta, choose complex carbs that increase serotonin but make you feel better longer. These include things like beans and lentils, brown rice, and oats.
What Is Period Bloating
Period bloating represents the condition in which the woman feels the abdomen swollen and rather heavy just before her period.
Bloating is also considered one of the many PMS symptoms which might take place 1 or 2 weeks before the period of a woman. Other PMS signs than bloating include:
According to the ACOG, up to eighty five percent of women have PMS signs.
Bloating During Period And Weight Gain
Gaining weight and bloating before and during your period is mostly contributed by the retention of water and overproduction of gas.
As the body experiences an increase in the levels of progesterone and estrogen hormones, a lot of changes will occur which contribute to gaining weight in preparation for a pregnancy. These changes include
- Thickening of the endometrium.
- Slowing down the digestive system.
- Retaining water in the body and many other processes.
Most of these processes cause abdominal bloating and bloating in its general meaning.
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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.
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
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Take Less Of Caffeine And Alcohol
If you want to avoid bloating, cut back on these two whenever youre getting close to your period. During your period alcohol can increase bloating and make other PMS symptoms worse, while coffee can over stimulate the digestive tract thereby irritating your bowels and also dehydrating you causing your body to retain water.
Caffeine drains out magnesium from the body, which is one of the four key electrolytes the body needs. Take less caffeine, avoid stress and eat magnesium rich foods like leafy greens, dark chocolate and sunflower seeds to boost the amount of magnesium in your body. Note that menstrual cramps can be of the signs of low magnesium.
Three Reasons You Gain Weight During Your Period
Your periods can come with a whole slew of annoying side effects, including some that start before your actual period. The weeks surrounding our periods are often peppered with some, well, less-than-ideal sensations and emotionsfrom cramping and fatigue to mood swings, headaches, and nausea. And that’s not to mention the dreaded bloat: Not only does a puffy midsection unceremoniously signal that your period is coming , but it also indicates that you may be bound for some weight gain, too.
But whether your bloating and weight gain are symptoms of PMS or if they seem to creep up while you’re already on your period, they’re relatively preventable. Ahead, we spoke to a nutritionist, science writer, and OBGYN to get their recommendations. So whether you’re experiencing PMS or your period is already in full swing, learn about effective ways to relieve bloat and period-induced weight gainand minimize symptoms for good.
Meet the Expert
- Anna Druet is a science writer, researcher, and was formerly Clues Science and Education lead. She specializes in women’s health topics, particularly reproductive issues.
- Kyrin Dunston, MD is a board-certified OBGYN as well as a Life Mastery Consultant. She is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine .
- Dietitian Frida Harju-Westman is an in-house nutritionist at the health app Lifesum.
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When To Visit The Doctor`s Office
Period bloating is an unpleasant situation for most women, but this doesn`t stop them from being able to get on with their daily activities.
Still, if this affects the daily life of a woman, it may be best if she would speak with a physician. âFind out more!
If bloating doesn`t disappear after period, it`s also best to visit the doctor`s office. Bloating can often be a symptom of a more severe medical condition.
Get Ready Here It Comes
Knowing when the bloat is about to begin can help you take steps to stop it before it starts or at least keep the pressure and puff to a minimum. In general, you can count on PMS symptoms to start up around 5 days before your period is expected to start and ease up around when your period arrives.
Of course, every womans cycle and pre-period experience are a little different. If you track your symptoms for a few months, chances are youll start to uncover a pattern for when your bloating typically starts up.
Keep a journal or use a period tracker app as long as youre consistent about recording your symptoms, either will get the job done.
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What Even Are Prostaglandins
Yep, the partys not ready without prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are eicosanoids but since this is not a pop-quiz, lets just say that they act just like hormones, but arent hormones. Prostaglandins help your uterus contract to shed its lining every month, since one of their functions is to help muscles contract. Well, it happens that sometimes prostaglandins cause your intestines to contract as well, and this worsens gas build-up. And this is how you get bloating.As you can see, a powerful combination of oestrogen, progesterone and prostaglandins is causing you to be bloated and gassy during your period. Sometimes birth control helps, but you should talk to your doctor.
General Bloating Advice For Every Menstruating Person
Most of us put other people and priorities first as a default, leaving inadequate time for our own self-care. Neurochemical changes that occur during the luteal phase prime us to focus on our own needs, and not attending to them creates more stress. PMS, including bloating, could be a sign from your body to put yourself first for a week.
Read more from Alisa Vitti here.
How To Ease The Bloating During Your Period
While feeling bloated and gassy during your period is totally normal, it doesnt make it nice. And unfortunately, there isnt a magical way to stop the bloating and flatulence. However, there are small things you can do to relieve these two symptoms.
- Ease on the cravings: it is normal to have some cravings on the days before or during your period yes, this is also the work of hormones or increased appetite. Normally, what we crave are sugary or oily foods, which are not so friendly for the gut. Try to not give in to all the unhealthy cravings you feel, since they might be contributing for you feeling bloated and gassy during your period.
- Eat slowly: and since your appetite might also be heightened, you might have a tendency to binge or eat your meals too fast. Try eating more slowly which means youll chew your food better and not stuff yourself to improve your digestion and not feel so bloated and gassy during your period.
- Drink lots of water: besides hydrating, water can help ease digestion and that might decrease the bloating and flatulence.
- Forget carbonated drinks: carbonated drinks are the enemies of bloated and gassy tummies, for pretty obvious reasons.
- Exercise: exercising keeps your bowels active and moving, and because of that prevents constipation. And if your bowels move in the right way, so will the gas. Check the best exercises to do on your period.
Take good care. Of yourself. Of your body. Of your period.
The Actual Cause Of Feeling Bloated Is The Digestive System And Not Your Reproductive System
According to Dr Penelope Law, a consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the private Portland Hospital, the uterus contracts in a very subtle manner every day. As you get closer to your period, these mild contractions, which usually happen at the upper end of your uterus, gradually move down to the cervix with an increased frequency of about every 40 minutes. This becomes more intense by the time you get to your period and can be responsible for the pains some women experience during their period. Although period bloating is linked to these contractions, Dr Law explains that the actual cause of feeling bloated is the digestive system and not your reproductive system.
During your period, the bowel becomes slow as the increased contractions of the uterus slow down the speed of food through the bowel . This process creates the swollen feeling many women experience during their periods and this can also be linked to constipation during menstruation.
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Dont Skip Your Workout Routine
I get it: Working out is probably the last thing you feel like doing. But experts say getting your heart rate up is one of the best ways to alleviate PMS symptomsincluding bloat.
People who live a more sedentary lifestyle tend to have more sluggish digestive systems, says Ross. Sweating it out can also help keep you stay regular and reduce constipation. Lighter workouts like swimming and yoga are your best bet, though high-intensity exercises like Crossfit can actually promote inflammation, which adds to the bloat.
When Is Period Bloating A Sign Of Something More Serious
Symptoms of bloating should be short-lived, lasting only a few days, Dweck says. They usually resolve with onset of flow. But there are moments when bloating may warrant a trip to a doctor, especially if your symptoms are starting to interfere with your day-to-day activities.
Certain ovarian and gastrointestinal conditions can present with persistent bloating, and this should be evaluated by your doctor, Patrusky explains. And while these issues can be serious, Dweck says it’s best to avoid falling down a Google hole of anxiety, especially if you think your bloating symptoms are a sign of a potentially grave health issues.
Dr. Google will surely scare many readers about bloating and ovarian cancer, she explains. Ovarian cancer is rare, but difficult to diagnose early, and is often associated with vague GI symptoms. She does say, though, that any persistent, worsening or increased severity in bloating warrants a trip to your doctor. This also applies to PMS or menstrual bloating that doesnt resolve cyclically, Dweck says.
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Why Do You Get Bloated On Your Period
One word: HORMONES. As explained in a 2011 study, it has a lot to do with the dive in estrogen and progesterone your body takes in the days leading up to your period: Results of some early studies suggest the involvement of aldosterone or deoxycorticosterone, a progesterone metabolite and aldosterone agonist, in the pathophysiology of premenstrual bloating.2
Not to gaslight the situation, but in the time leading up to your period your body also releases hormone-like fatty acids, aka prostaglandins, into the bloodstream. Prostaglandins are released from the lining of the uterus and cause muscles to contract, making any existing gastrointestinal issues, like gas or diarrhea, even worse. Theyre also the culprit behind the now-infamous period poops.
Your genetics, vitamin and mineral levels, and diet can also influence how much your hormones cause you to bloat.
Why Do I Get So Bloated During And After My Period
Bloating during the menstrual cycle of a woman is a rather frequent occurrence, but why does it happen?
Bloating typically happens in the premenstrual, follicular or period stages. Period bloating is also known as fluid retention and provides a sensation of fullness around the waist region. It`s really uncomfortable and annoying sometimes.
It isn`t really the same thing as menstrual cramps and isn`t responsible for other menstrual signs like fatigue, headaches, emotional swings or back pain. Bloating isn`t a very serious medical condition, but it`s somehow irritating that each woman wants to stop experiencing it.
During a woman`s menstrual cycle, there`s a big hormonal fluctuation, particularly progesterone and estrogen, and this leads to a retention of fluids, swelling and bloating. Women in fact gain a few pounds of water now because of the estrogen`s ability to cause fluid retention.
Generally, by the 3rd day of the period, the blood, waste and excessive water are flushed from the body and it can be considered that the woman no longer experiences this condition.
However, for those a couple of days, life can become quite uncomfortable for lots of women who deal with bloating and water retention. Bloating increases when the levels of estrogen and falls when the levels fall.
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Eat Smaller Amounts At A Time
No matter what you eat, if you want to lower your bloating, you should eat less of it â not total, just at each sitting. If you eat a bunch at a time, your body takes longer to digest, and your undigested food starts to ferment in your body, causing gas. Try eating more frequent, smaller meals, so that you get the same amount of nourishment â without the bloating.
Is Bloating A Sign Of Period Or Pregnancy
Bloating could be a symptom of either PMS or early pregnancy. Bloating before and during a period is triggered by changes in the levels of estrogen and progesterone. Hormonal changes in early pregnancy also cause a feeling of bloating, similar to common symptoms just before the start of your period. Bloating in early pregnancy makes some people feel more snug than usual in their clothes.
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Other Digestive Issues To Watch For
Its common to experience digestive issues other than constipation during your period. You might have diarrhea, bloating, gas, or all three.
These issues happen because of prostaglandins, which are hormones that help your uterus contract and shed its lining, resulting in your period. But they can also wreak havoc on your digestive system.
To help relieve these digestive problems:
- Stay hydrated while limiting sweet or caffeinated drinks.
How Do You Beat The Bloat Naturally
- Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body! It is responsible for over 300 enzymatic reactions. Magnesium can also help to fight PMS symptoms including, anxiety, cramping and fluid retention due to hormonal fluctuations.
- Women who experience more PMS symptoms tend to have lower magnesium levels.
- A study in the Journal of Womens Health showed that magnesium supplementation helped to decrease symptoms such as weight gain, breast tenderness and abdominal bloating.
- Be sure that you are getting the right type magnesium. Magnesium bisglycinate is the most easily absorbed form of magnesium and wont cause loose stools that other forms of magnesium, like magnesium citrate.
- Food sources of magnesium include dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, tofu and beans. So feel free to give into those dark chocolate cravings in moderation.
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