Many women experience bloating before the start of their period. It can be uncomfortable, accompanied by cramps and may have a negative impact on self-confidence. Women may feel like they have gained weight with their favourite pair of jeans — which go from fitting fine to uncomfortably tight, literally overnight. They may also feel as though their stomach is swollen and sticking out. This may leave them feeling seriously off.
Bloating is usually experienced well before your period starts and will go away once you’ve been menstruating for a few days. You may not be able to prevent bloating completely, but we offer tips that may help improve period bloating
There’s no single miracle cure, however, several lifestyle changes may reduce it before and during your period.
The right foods
It’s important to avoid eating foods with a high salt content. Having an excess amount of sodium in your system may make your cells hang on to more water, which leads to the puffiness you feel.
This may mean reducing or cutting out processed foods, as these contain a lot of salt and other ingredients that may not be the healthiest option for you. You should focus on eating fruits and vegetables whole grains, lean protein, nuts, and seeds.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
When your system doesn’t have enough water, the body will hold onto whatever precious water is around, which can lead to bloating. If you’re dehydrated, it can also make you constipated, causing your belly to bloat even more.
There’s no single recommended amount of water to drink each day, as it differs from person to person. In addition to drinking water, eat a lot of water-rich foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
A key component to reducing PMS symptoms is regular exercise. You should aim for one of the following per week:
- Moderate physical activity
- An hour of vigorous activity
- A combination of both levels of activity
For an optimal fitness plan, add some exercises to build your muscles a few times a week.
If home remedies have no effect on your bloating before or during your period, you may want to seek the assistance of a doctor about other treatments.
You should talk to a doctor if your bloating doesn’t go away after your period, or if It’s severe enough to affect your daily activities. Severe bloating may be a sign of a medical condition or may need to be treated differently. Visit Marie Stopes for all your women’s wellness exams.