What Causes Bloating During My Period?
If your favorite pair of jeans are suddenly feeling tighter than normal, don’t be too quick to blame yourself for eating that bowl of ice cream after dinner last night. Your hormones might just be to blame. Bloating is one of the most common telltale signs that your period is on the way. Abdominal bloating and a sense of heaviness in the week before and during menstruation can be uncomfortable, but there are ways to manage it. Learn more about the causes of bloating and how simple lifestyle changes can help kick it to the curb.
Causes of Bloating
What causes bloating during your period, anyway? Estrogen and progesterone are the hormones responsible for menstruation, causing the shedding of the uterine lining. In the week leading up to the start of your period, estrogen and progesterone levels begin to fluctuate. This is when most women begin to notice bloating and swelling due to increased water retention. Unfortunately, these hormonal changes can also slow down digestion and bowel movements, compounding bloating within the abdomen and making those pants feel even tighter.
Bloating can be felt beyond the waistline too. Symptoms can be seen in the hips and legs, with some women even experiencing facial swelling. Unfortunately, these symptoms won’t immediately dissipate with the start of your next cycle. During the first days of the period, increased blood flow to the uterus leads to swelling, prolonging bloating. Once estrogen levels fall back down, usually two to three days from the onset of your period, swelling will finally subside.
Ways to Combat Bloating During Your Period
Bloating is not a serious cause for concern, but it’s an uncomfortable reality for many women. If bloating and swelling are slowing you down and impacting your quality of life, here are a few simple steps to stay ahead of PMS:
- In the week before your period, incorporate more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet, and stay hydrated. It might feel counterintuitive, but drinking more water will actually decrease fluid
- Forget the fries. While it might be tempting to quench cravings with a salty snack, salt can cause the body to retain even more water. Most processed foods are high in
- Even though you might feel sluggish and fatigued before your period, it’s best to keep caffeine intake to a minimum. Caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda cause blood vessels to constrict, disrupting digestive processes.
- Doing light aerobic exercise such as walking, biking or yoga can help reduce bloating during periods and also alleviate other painful period side effects such as cramps and
- Plan ahead! To reduce bloating during your period, it’s best to make these healthy choices before the start of your next cycle. There are plenty of apps available for tracking your period and scheduling alerts so you’ll never be caught off
Want to know more about reducing symptoms of PMS? Check out our blog for more topics in women’s health and wellness, and to learn how Serenol bioactive treatments can help keep you feeling your best.