How to Ease Period Bloating
Period bloating is a common symptom of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that affects many women. It typically begins 1-2 weeks before menstruation. It is characterized by an increase in abdominal bloating and water retention, as well as feelings of fullness, pressure, and distension in the abdomen. This can be accompanied by an increase in appetite, along with breast tenderness, flatulence, headaches, and mood swings. Although these symptoms may vary slightly from woman to woman, they are generally caused by hormonal changes linked to the menstrual cycle.
Fortunately, there are ways to ease the discomfort caused by period bloating. Here are some tips that may help. Read on to learn more:
1. Watch what you eat
Eating a diet rich in fiber, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help reduce bloating. Avoid processed foods and salty items, as these can contribute to water retention.
2. Get Regular Exercise
Exercise can help reduce bloating. That’s because it helps to increase circulation and stimulate the digestive system, both of which can relieve bloating and other PMS symptoms. Just make sure you don’t overdo it – too much exercise can have the opposite effect.
3. Reduce stress
Stress has been linked to an increase in bloating in some people. So it is important to take time for yourself and relax. Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises are all excellent ways to reduce stress.
4. Get enough sleep
Getting adequate rest can help ease bloating. Doctors recommend 7-8 hours of sleep per night for most adults.
5. Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated can help flush out excess sodium and reduce water retention, thereby reducing bloating.
6. Drink tea
There is some evidence that drinking herbal teas such as ginger, peppermint, or chamomile can help get rid of bloating. Take 2 to 3 cups per day for best results.
7. Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Many people find that caffeine and alcohol can make their bloating worse. If you are prone to period bloating, it is best to avoid these beverages around your menstrual cycle. According to research, both caffeine and alcohol can cause fluid retention, which can lead to bloating.
8. Take over-the-counter medications
Over-the-counter remedies such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin can help decrease bloating and other PMS symptoms.
9. Heating pads
Heating pads are an effective remedy for bloating, as the heat helps to relax the abdominal muscles and remove gas. Place a heating pad on your lower abdomen for 15-20 minutes at a time for optimal results.
10. Talk to your doctor about taking birth control pills or diuretics:
Birth control pills and diuretics are medications that can help reduce bloating by regulating hormones and increasing urine production. However, they should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor.
- Lacy, B. E., Gabbard, S. L., & Crowell, M. D. (2011). Pathophysiology, Evaluation, and Treatment of Bloating: Hope, Hype, or Hot Air? Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 7(11), 729-739. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3264926/