Ah yes, bloating – one of the many delightful treats (cue sarcasm) that comes along with your period. As if mood swings and cramps weren’t already enough, bloating is among the many symptoms of PMS. This bloating happens because of the changing levels of hormones (progesterone and estrogen) before and during periods, but thankfully, it usually doesn’t linger. Luckily, ladies, there are plenty of ways to reduce the nasty effects of bloating. Keep reading to discover ways to alleviate bloating before and during your period.
Cut the Salty Foods
It seems like a simple solution, but it’s an important one nonetheless. Salt contains sodium, and sodium causes bloating as consuming it can increase the amount of water your body holds on to. So, by cutting the salty foods out, you’re cutting extra sodium from your diet, thus combatting the bloat.
Hit the Gym
It may seem like working out has become the answer to everything, but that’s because exercise is a form of medicine in its own right. Getting active right before your period has been shown to help reduce the effects of PMS. So, pound the pavement, grab the dumbbells, and get going to reduce bloating.
Slow Down on the Alcohol and Caffeine
Whether it’s a big night out or the bottomless brunch that follows it, do your best to avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine. Sadly, the two can heighten symptoms of PMS, like boating. Plus, coffee leaves the body dehydrated causing water retention, which ultimately leads to bloating.
Try A Diuretic
If bloating becomes more than a light nuisance, ask your doctor about trying a mild diuretic. A diuretic is essentially a water pill that stimulates the kidneys. Essentially, you’ll be peeing a lot more than usual. However, the more urine produced, the more your body is ridding itself of extra salt and water (which can lead to bloating). Be sure to consult your doctor before going on a diuretic.
Try the Birth Control Pill
Beyond acting as a contraceptive, birth control can ease the symptoms of PMS by balancing your hormones. Remember, PMS and bloating happen due to a change in your hormone levels, so balancing them out with the pill can help combat the effects of PMS. Before officially going on the pill, be sure to ask your doctor if it’s the right move for you and your body.
Ah, the perfect remedy – more sleep. Squeezing in a few extra hours of shut-eye can help as when you’re asleep, the extra fluid floating around in your stomach moves back into your body, thus leaving you less bloated (not to mention super refreshed) in the morning.
Try Natural Diuretics
As mentioned earlier, getting on a diuretic recommended by your doctor is an excellent way to tackle bloating. However, there are a number of foods out there that act as natural diuretics. Add more pineapples, garlic, ginger, cucumber, leeks, peaches, and asparagus to your diet to help keep the bloating at bay during that time of the month.