Bloating is one of the annoying symptoms that many women experience before menstrual period when women may feel like they have gain weight. Menstrual bloating is different from other kinds of bloating that may be caused by poor digestion. It is estimated that about 70 percent of women experience bloating during that time of the month, says Diana Bitner, M.D., a Michigan-based ob-gyn.
Fluctuations of hormones, estrogen and progesterone result in menstrual bloating along with constipation and water retention. Bloating subsides as the ovaries start producing hormones again after two to three days into period. Heredity might be a factor as well. Other factors might be lack of certain vitamins or too much salt in diet resulting in water retention.
Menstrual bloating is a natural process and disappears on its own. However, here are few strategies to reduce or even avoid it and make you feel comfortable.
Women who exercise regularly tend to have fewer PMS symptoms overall, according to MayoClinic.com. Experts say getting your heart up is one of the best ways to avoid premenstrual syndrome symptoms including bloating.
Exercise can help reduce bloating because physical activity aids things move more quickly through digestive system.Take a walk or visit the gym for your favorite exercise class to fight off PMS symptoms.
Limit salt intake
Limiting the amount of salt in your diet can help prevent or reduce water retention. Read nutrition labels on packaged foods, as they contain high sodium levels. Do not add extra salt to food. Instead opt for low–sodium foods like yogurt, fresh fruit, vegetables, and unsalted nuts and seeds.
A lower salt intake might improve your overall health in addition to reducing water retention. The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily salt intake to no more than 2,300 mg.
Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Isabel Smith, R.D., a New York City- based celebrity dietician and fitness expert, says “foods containing high potassium, such as, bananas, tomatoes, and asparagus help promote fluid balance”.
Include protein in each meal and snack because protein can act like a natural diuretic and help to get rid of extra water.
Opt for protein rich breakfast, such as scrambled egg whites with a side of fresh fruits rather and avoid carb centric meals, such as corn muffins, pancakes and waffles.
Include fibre rich foods in your diet especially cereals, beans, lentils. Fibre is also incredibly significant to reduce bloating. Make sure you drink plenty of water which will wash them all down and promote smoother digestion.
Alcohol can enhance symptoms, such as, breasts tenderness, mood swings and bloating. Similarly coffee can over stimulate the digestive tract and irritate the bowels and even dehydrate you, which causes you to retain water. Therefore, avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages during the time.
Drink plenty of water
Drink plenty of water on the days before your period. Drinking water helps flush the body, which may help water retention and overall bloating. Water can also help with constipation, which can increase bloating. Keep a bottle of water handy during your period to keep your body hydrated and flushed. Fruits and vegetables contain high water content so you can add them to your PMS diet for additional water consumption.
Cut down sugar
Artificial sweeteners are likely to cause gas production, the act of chewing and swallowing air can cause you to bloat. Drinks like soda contain carbon dioxide, which cause abdominal bloating.