Tips to Reduce Bloating Before Period
Bloating before period week is a traditional symptom that most women become accustomed with during their teen years. Bloating, which is characterized by swelling of the abdomen and a general feeling of tightness, can be painful or simply uncomfortable. Bloating can cause stomach cramps and can be worsened by gas. –But what we can all agree on is that this condition can certainly make for several uncomfortable and frustrating days. In fact, for many women, bloating, loosely translated, means that a girl might be unable to fit into her favorite clothes and have to resort to the frumpier or less comfortable “period clothes.”
If you want to avoid the discomfort and awkwardness caused by bloating then consider trying the following tips to help reduce bloating before period week arrives.
Watch Your Diet
The things that you eat in the week before you are due to start your period has a lot of bearing on how your body will react once your hormone levels start to change. Foods that contribute to bloating are usually high in carbohydrates and sugar because they are most likely to encourage water retention, which can manifest itself in the form of bloating. Soda and other fizzy drinks will not only bloat your stomach further by filling it with air, but they can also lead to painful gas, especially just after the middle of the month when your body starts slowing down processes like digestion. Also try to avoid foods that are known to induce gas, such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.
You might also want to go out of your way to bump up your fiber intake. When bloating before period week crops up, usually soon after ovulation which occurs 14 days before your expected period, you should start consuming more fiber-rich foods like whole grains and fruit. The hormones in your system at the moment are likely causing a lot of sluggishness when it comes to digestion which means that you could be bloating due to constipation. Extra fiber in your diet, even if you have to take fiber capsules or a dissolvable drink additive, will go a long way to help your body get rid of any excess fecal matter that could be contributing to your “too full in the tummy” feeling.
When meal time rolls around, you might find yourself ravenous, especially if you’re due to start your period soon. Many women complain of cravings for foods that, oddly enough, should be avoided at this time of the month due to their contributions to water retention, constipation, and the release of excess gas in the stomach. The best thing that you can do for your body during this time is to try to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of the standard three-square each day. By eating smaller meals you’re actually doing your digestive system a huge favor because small meals are a lot easier to break down and pass through the body than large meals, even if you do have to eat more frequently.
You might also be interested in gauging yourself when you eat and drink. Do you have a tendency to talk a lot during meals or take deep breaths as you eat? Studies have shown that women who do these actions while eating and drinking are much more likely to succumb to bloating and gassiness. This is because air sometimes gets gulped down with your food or beverage where it lands in your stomach, unable to escape. And because your digestive tract is probably falling a little behind, the air will sit in your stomach much longer than it would if you were post-menstruation, meaning that the gas pains and cramps from constipation or indigestion last a lot longer.
Salt is definitely on the villains’ team when it comes to avoiding bloating. Before period week strolls along, you should already be taking measures to reduce bloating which also means avoiding items that contribute to water retention. One such product is salt. Salt is found in nearly everything these days, especially processed foods like chicken nuggets and frozen microwaveable dinners. Even most deli meats and pasta products have a shocking amount of salt added to them which serves as a preservative as well as a cheap way to add flavor to the food. If you can help it, try to avoid adding too much salt to your home cooked meals and be mindful of the salt content in foods that are ready made or semi-prepared.
Drink More Water
Although the idea of adding more water to a body that is already struggling by holding onto too much water may seem to go against logic, it’s actually the right thing to do. Your body may be holding onto all of the excess water as a last-ditch attempt to hoard water in case you need it later on. This is especially true when your body is constantly changing from a state of preparing for a possible pregnancy to discarding the preparations because there is no baby. Try guzzling a few extra bottles of water every day and encourage your body to release the excessive water that it’s trying to hold on to. Plus, the extra water will help to detoxify and cleanse your system while also kick starting your digestive tract if it is struggling.
If bloating, before period and after, does not get better after trying these tips or if it seems to get worse or carry on throughout the month regardless of where you are in your menstrual cycle, then you may want to see a doctor. While menstruation is a well known cause of bloating in women it certainly isn’t the only cause.