For many women, periods are no walk in the park. They are often accompanied by pain and discomfort, among other symptoms such as bloating. This is a regular occurrence for most women during their period. Bloating is caused by hormonal changes that make women retain fluids. This can make writing tighter clothes difficult and be a source of embarrassment for some. Though periods may be unavoidable, here are some practical things you can do to lessen bloating before and during your time of the month to be as comfortable as possible.
Avoid Certain Foods
If you want to reduce bloating, stay away from salty foods, which will help your body hold on to more water. It can also be good to eat less refined sugar, primarily found in carbonated drinks. Stay away from foods that cause gas.
Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods
You can further help prevent bloating by focusing on potassium-rich foods such as bananas and asparagus. These foods will help keep the uncomfortable bloating feeling away. Getting your fill of protein is also helpful in reducing bloating, from poultry to different types of fish and tofu.
Though moving around may feel more uncomfortable when bloated, exercise is a great way to boost your mood and eliminate discomfort. Being active and getting your heart rate up, whether going for a daily walk, doing some yoga, or some other not-too-intense routine will benefit your body and mind.
Counterintuitive as it may seem, drinking water helps reduce bloat. On the days leading up to your period, make sure you stay fully hydrated and get around 64oz or more per day. Be careful not to over hydrate, though, or the symptoms may come back. While you’re at it, try replacing
alcohol and caffeinated drinks with water during your bloating days, which can dehydrate you and have the opposite effect of what you want.
Prioritize Your Sleep
As we get older, sleep sometimes becomes less of a priority, but the benefits of a good night’s sleep cannot be ignored. As you aim for 8 hours of sleep per night, your body takes that time to flush out water and bring your belly back down to its original size.
If these steps don’t have much of an impact on your bloating, you may want to consider going on medication. Diuretics can help your body flush out water when it is struggling to do so on its own, and though some foods and drinks are natural diuretics, your body may need something more. Additionally, birth control can provide relief from many menstrual symptoms. Of course, you should always consult with your doctor before making this decision.