Eat Protein And Potassium Rich Foods
In addition to avoiding salty foods, fill your plate with potassium rich foods like bananas, asparagus, melon, avocado, sweet potato and tomatoes to help maintain a good balance of fluids in your system. These type of foods helps to lower prostaglandins, which are a group of hormones responsible for causing bloating and muscle contractions. Research shows potassium decreases sodium levels and increases urine production. In this way, potassium may help reduce water retention and improve period bloating. Also try cucumbers, lemon juice, watermelon, garlic and ginger as these type of foods act as natural diuretics.
What Are The Consequences Of Water Retention During Periods & Effective Ways To Get Rid Of It Fast
Water retention during periods is a common occurrence for most women and it is usually not a pleasant one.
What causes this and what is the average amount of water that is retained?
Why is this a problem for women?
The bloating and fullness that this causes are very uncomfortable and can have other consequences as well.
How long does this water retention last and does it result in an actual weight gain for most women?
These questions are important and the answers lie in understanding the menstrual cycle and what happens in each stage of the cycle.
Then the question becomes what can you do about it if anything?
There are remedies that can be taken to alleviate this or attempt to prevent it. You might be surprised to know that this excessive water retention is felt not only in the abdomen but also in the thighs, upper legs, face and breasts.
Why does this extreme fluid retention happen and what can eliminate it?
First lets looks at the stages of the menstrual cycle and what causes it.
How Can You Get Rid Of Period Bloating
If bloating before and/or during your period is an issue for you, try to avoid foods that are known to cause or increase the frequency and severity of bloating. If you do need a salty snack, try to consume those foods in moderation. Reducing salt intake can decrease water retention, and the body will respond with a diminished sensation of feeling bloating,Dr. Karen Patrusky, MD, tells Woman’s Day.
Instead, Patrusky says you should eat foods that are high in potassium, like bananas and avocados, as well as foods that are high in magnesium, like nuts and seeds. Foods that are natural diuretics like asparagus, cucumber, ginger, and watermelon can also help relieve uncomfortable bloating. And, of course, drinking plenty of water can help flush out your kidneys and improve your period symptoms.
Patrusky also suggests you get your sweat on to reduce bloating, even if you’re feeling less than up to it. Exercise can improve energy and mood by increasing endorphins, she says. Exercise also induces sweat, encourages hydration, and makes us more mindful about what foods we put into our bodies.
If that isnt working, you can also try your hand at a few over-the-counter medication. If your symptoms are notable, they may warrant a medication, such as Midol Complete, which provides multi-symptom period and PMS relief including cramps and bloating, Dweck says. Birth control pills have also been helpful for some women to minimize PMS symptoms.
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Look At Supplements And Medications
Some supplements, such as iron, can cause constipation and other symptoms of indigestion. This can increase bloating. Potassium, on the other hand, may reduce bloating by helping to balance the bodys sodium levels .
Medications may also cause side effects that affect GI function or cause indigestion. If this happens, a doctor or pharmacist can suggest alternatives that are more gentle on the digestive tract.
Although it is not common, bloating and swelling of the abdomen can signify a severe medical condition. Liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, heart failure, kidney problems, and some types of cancer can cause bloating.
Bloating that continues for days or weeks may indicate a health issue that needs medical attention. It is advisable to speak to a doctor about ongoing bloating that does not go away over time.
People whose bloating occurs alongside these symptoms should seek medical advice:
- appetite changes or trouble eating
- bright red blood in the stool
- black or dark maroon stools
Why Does Period Bloating Happen In The First Place
You can thank fluctuations in estrogen levels and a sharp drop in progesterone right before your period. “When estrogen levels are higher, our bodies tend to retain water,” says Meggie Smith, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist and reproductive endocrinology and infertility fellow at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.
Progesterone, which is high in the latter half of your cycle, can make for a slower digestive tract, so to speak, which also may not help symptoms of bloating or fullness, she adds. Basically, it’s a bloating double-whammy.
Bloating usually starts to kick in about one to two days before the start of a woman’s period, according to the Mayo Clinic. But some women experience symptoms up to five days beforehand, often interfering with normal activities. Period bloating will typically go away once you’ve been menstruating for a few days.
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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.
Drink Peppermint And Fennel Tea
Drink peppermint and fennel tea: Peppermint tea can be very beneficial for your digestive system and help alleviate problems like bloating, stomach gas and flatulence. Peppermint has relaxant and antispasmodic properties and can help relieve cramps and spasms in the gastrointestinal tract, bile duct and gallbladder. This improves the passage of both food and swallowed air through the digestive tract, allowing them to go through smoothly and without pain or discomfort.
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Got It But When Should You See A Doctor
Yes, period bloat is super normal, but if it doesnt seem to cycle with your cycle , or the bloating and your other PMS symptoms are really bothering you, talk to your ob-gyn.
Your doc may suggest keeping a symptom diary, according to the Mayo Clinic. This will help you keep track of your bloating and give your MD useful data to help determine next steps.
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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Vitamin And Mineral Supplements
Several vitamin and mineral supplements are available to ensure healthy period. This is mainly for those whose body fails to absorb the essential nutrients from the foods the body consumes. Increased intake of calcium is also essential to have regular menstrual cycle. These should be taken after detecting the prime cause of bloating to prevent complications.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
If period bloating has become so severe that lifestyle changes do not help and you are unable to keep up with your daily activities, talk with your healthcare provider or gynecologist. They will likely ask you to keep a symptom diary to understand when the bloating starts and what helps it.
Your healthcare provider may recommend taking diuretic medication around your period to relieve water retention and bloating. Its important to note that diuretics should never be taken with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs because of the risk of kidney damage.
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Only Drink Water Or Tea
When people are bloated, they tend to skimp on water because they think it will make their bloating worse. Since water retention is the body’s way of holding onto fluid so it doesn’t dehydrate, the opposite is true. Drinking lots of water signals the body that it no longer needs to hold onto every last drop to stay hydrated. “Fluids, specifically water, are absolutely key for optimal digestion,” says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition.
When Does Bloating Happen
Most people who menstruate can experience bloating one or two days before their period begins. For some, it starts as much as five days before, and can affect everyday activities. One study done in 2011 found that people whose bodies retained the most water experienced worse bloating on the first day of their period. Once you start your period, bloating tends to dissipate and you may find some relief.
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Sneaky Ways To Debloat In Just One Day
Feeling like you’ve suddenly turned into the Michelin woman is the opposite of fun. Whether you’re actively trying to lose weight or are pleased with your current physique, bloating can completely throw you off. In the worst case scenario, it might send you into a panicked thought spiral about whether you’ve actually gained as much weight as your favorite skinny jeans would have you believe. In short, you probably haven’t.
“Bloating and actual fat gain feel the same, so it’s easy to confuse the two,” says Abby Langer, R.D. “But they really aren’tfat is different from gas and water, which are what often contribute to bloating, and fat comes onto your body much more slowly.” So when you feel like you’ve ballooned overnight, or even over the span of a few days, you can usually chalk that up to bloating instead of true weight gain. Now that you have that reassuring bit of information, one question still remains: is there any way to cut down on bloat ASAP? Luckily, the answer is yes.
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.
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Cut Back On Caffeine And Alcohol
Pre-menstrually, alcohol can enhance PMS symptoms like breast tenderness, mood swings, and bloating, says Dr. Bitner. And coffee can overstimulate the digestive tract and irritate the bowels, not to mention dehydrate you, which causes you to retain water. Hey, you’ll save some serious $ by bypassing your morning latte, too.
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.
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How To Reduce Period Bloating
It may not be possible to eliminate symptoms entirely, but there are several research-backed remedies that can help you get rid of period bloating. All of them deal with what you put into your body.
Research can point us in the right direction, but in the end, your period is personal. You may need to experiment before you find the right remedy.
Take An Epsom Salt Bath
Relaxing in any tub is always nice, and adding two cups of magnesium-rich Epsom salt may help deflate your belly more effectively Your skin also absorbs the mineral and electrolyte, magnesium, which can help reduce inflammation and may even reduce muscle cramps. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath for 20 minutes can help alleviate constipation as well, which is another cause of bloating.
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