- For many of us, bloating is the worst PMS symptom and can significantly interfere with day to day life.
- Most women will start to feel bloated about a week before their period begins, which may last a few days into menstruation.
- The power of nutrition is incredible, and with just a few dietary modifications prior to and during your period, you may be surprised at how much less bloated you feel.
- Severe bloating is something that should be addressed by your doctor as it could be a sign that something more is going on.
Let’s talk period bloating. It’s that uncomfortable, 'I can’t button my pants' feeling that comes on strong during that time of the month. For many of us, this is the worst PMS symptom and can significantly interfere with day to day life.
And let’s face it, there might be a few reasons why your monthly menstrual cycle isn’t your favorite. From bloating to fatigue to cramps, nearly 90% of women experience at least one PMS symptom, so there is a good chance period bloating is affecting you.
So, why does bloating happen in the first place? Hormones! Yet another thing that results from those monthly fluctuations that happen throughout our cycles.
Hormones, Hormones, Hormones
With hormonal changes often come different signs that your period is approaching. PMS symptoms (like bloating) tend to pop up during the luteal phase, which is the second half of your menstrual cycle.
There are quite a few things going on during the luteal phase. It starts after ovulation when the egg begins to travel down the fallopian tube. The corpus luteum, which is responsible for secreting hormones after an egg has been released, starts to release progesterone to prepare the uterus for implantation if conception were to occur. Estrogen is also released but starts out slower and then rises towards the end of the luteal phase.
If conception does not occur, the corpus luteum will shrink and turn into a teeny piece of scar tissue, and then your progesterone levels will take a nosedive. This then allows your uterine lining to shed and menstruation to begin, which marks the end of the luteal phase.
The fluctuations in progesterone and estrogen can cause water retention, which causes that full and bloated feeling. When estrogen is high, many women experience fluid retention; plus, an increase in progesterone during the luteal phase can cause your digestive system to slow down, which can also contribute to bloating. It’s really a double whammy when it comes to period bloating, and most women will start to feel bloated about a week before their period begins, which may last a few days into menstruation.
Menstrual Bloating Remedies to Feel Better Fast
When bloating comes on strong and all you want to do is live in yoga pants and stay in bed, there are things you can do.
Here are four natural remedies to help you get back to your life, bloating be gone:
1. Make Some Diet Modifications: The power of nutrition is incredible, and with just a few dietary modifications prior to and during your period, you may be surprised at how much less bloated you feel. Here are some nutrition hacks to beat period bloating.
- Enjoy more potassium-rich foods: Help balance out that fluid retention with potassium-rich foods like bananas, asparagus, cantaloupe, and apricots. These foods may even help ease cramping as well, so it’s a win/win.
- Avoid gas-producing foods: While things like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts make wonderful additions to a healthy diet, during the time of the month where you are already feeling extra bloated and gassy, it may be best to pass on the cruciferous veggies and beans.
- Lay low on the carbonated beverages: Skip the LaCroix sparkling water the week before your period. All the fizziness can lead to even more bloating.
- Watch your sugar intake: Try your best to minimize sugar intake. Too much sugar can also make you feel more puffy than usual and can put a damper on your energy levels.
- Skip the packaged foods: We know, we know. Convenience foods seem even more convenient during the time of the month where you may not feel your best. But here’s the thing: foods like chips, freezer meals, and takeout are often loaded with added salt which won’t do anything but make you more bloated. Need something in a pinch? Try blending up a nutritious smoothie using fresh fruit, dark leafy greens, chia seeds, and ginger to combat bloating and slash inflammation.
2. The Power of Plant-Based Healing: We can’t downplay just how amazing Traditional Chinese Medicine and potent, healing herbs are for countless ailments and symptoms like period bloating. And Elix can help with your menstrual bloating. Our Cycle Balance formulas not only help balance hormones and help get to the root of all your symptoms, but the herbs in our formulas can help reduce the water retention that often leads to that uncomfortable bloated feeling—so you can feel better, faster.
In need of a natural remedy right away? Try using a chasteberry tincture or sipping on some chasteberry tea. Studies have found this berry to be incredibly beneficial for easing PMS symptoms including water retention and even cravings.
Dandelion leaf tea can also be great for period bloating. It acts as a natural diuretic to help reduce some of that uncomfortable fluid retention while also giving the body a little extra potassium boost.
3. Move Your Body: Even if exercise is the last thing you want to do, moving your body even just a little bit could make all the difference in how bloated you feel. Yoga can be especially beneficial for period bloating, cramps, and irritability.
4. Swap Out Coffee For Herbal Tea: Skip your morning Starbucks latte the week before and the week of your period to help reduce bloating. Caffeine has been linked to increased PMS symptoms, including bloating. Not only that, but caffeine can lead to digestive distress, and its diuretic effects can lead to dehydration. Try swapping out your morning cup of joe for a mug of ginger or peppermint tea to help soothe an upset stomach, reduce bloating, and help you feel better.
Know When to See a Doctor
While period bloating is something that so many women suffer from every month, speak with your doctor if bloating may be a brand new symptom for you, your bloating doesn’t go away after your period, or if it is something that is impacting your ability to go about your day. Severe bloating is something that should be addressed by your doctor as it could be a sign that something more is going on.
Ready to combat period bloating once and for all? Try implementing these tips into your lifestyle to reduce or even prevent bloating from starting in the first place.
And, see how a Personal Herbal Healing Formula from Elix can help ease your PMS symptoms every month.
Would you like to be featured in The Wisdom or have an idea on what you'd like to see covered? Click here to let us know!