PMS, the woman’s annoying monthly disturbance, has many symptoms. We deal with insomnia, fast heart rate, panic and anxiety attacks, fatigue, mood disturbances, cramping, and even peri-menopausal symptoms like night sweats and hot flashes. On top of all these symptoms comes bloating. As if we were not feeling bad enough, we have water-retention and gas (otherwise known as bloating), that seems to last the whole cycle. There are, however, several ways to toss the sweatpants and baggy shirts to the side during this monthly chaos. Following are 10 ideas to try to stop the bloating!
How to Stop Bloating During PMS: Keep These 10 Ways in Heart!
Stop the Salt Binge
Many women tend to crave salt during, and directly before, their menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, this just makes the bloating worse! Nature can be so cruel! Sodium makes a person retain water. This is one of the last things we women need once a month. We already feel horrible. Water retention is part of our once-a-month bloat.
Be especially careful with the warm comfort soups that some love during PMS. If you check the nutritional label on your soup can, you may be surprised to find that in one serving is generally 20% of your daily sodium need. If you eat that whole can, you are most likely ingesting 40-50% of your sodium intake for the day, in just one sitting!
Sugar = Sodium Retention
Sugar is as craved, if not more, than salty foods during a PMS, and that can equal twice the bloat! If you really want to know how to stop bloating during PMS, the first place to look is your sugar intake! Sugar obviously raises blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels increase your body’s sodium retention. Sodium retention leads to bloat! So, if you increase your sugar intake, even while lowering your sodium intake, all that minute amount of sodium that are naturally found in foods are still going to cause bloat! And, if you are still indulging in all that salt, expect bloating to become even more unbearable!
Get Your Fluids
Drink more water! I know you hear this all the time because water is good for you. Your body is made up of approximately 60% water and water is needed to not only hydrate your body but, is also necessary to flush toxins from the body. If you tend to be constipated during your cycle (which also causes bloat!), getting more water in your diet can help! Although drinking water is the quickest, and most efficient, way to increase your fluid intake, eating raw fruits and vegetables can also help. Many raw fruits and vegetables are either made mostly of water, or contain a good amount of water. After all, these foods are plants and plants require water to live just as we do. It’s only natural that they would also contain much of that water as we do!
Watch What You Drink
Believe it or not, your worst enemy, when it comes to bloating, may be what you are drinking.
Generally speaking, tea and coffee are considered diuretics. However, the caffeine they contain may actually cause bloating. Don’t get me wrong, some teas will actually help bloating but, the day to day green and black teas that are normally consumed contain high amounts of caffeine, which is known to cause bloating.
Coffee has an added negative when it comes to bloat. Coffee is considered an acidic drink. Not only can this acidic drink strip away tooth enamel, it can cause gastritis. Gastritis is when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed. This inflammation can, and usually does, cause uncomfortable bloating. If you are prone to stomach issues and bloating, you may want to leave the coffee off your menu!
Plain and simple, alcohol can cause gas. Alcohol can cause bloating is a digestive issue. Many people, whether they realize it or not, are allergic to (or have a sensitivity to) one or more ingredients in any given alcoholic beverage. When your body is intolerant to anything being put into it, normal and harmless bacteria that are naturally within your body will interact with the ingredient of intolerance. This interaction causes your lower abdomen to swell with gas. One way how to stop bloating during PMS is to avoid alcohol completely.
Fiber Rich Diet
As stated earlier, constipation can cause bloating. One way to avoid constipation is to ensure you have enough fiber in your diet. As a menstruating woman, you should be consuming at least 25 grams of fiber every day. Of course, the best way to achieve this is by eating fiber rich foods. Some foods that have the highest fiber content are bran, berries, mushrooms, beans and legumes, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.). Do be careful however! If you are not used to consuming much fiber in your diet, begin with a small amount and increase your intake slowly. If you attempt to add too much fiber into your diet, and your body is not used to it, you may just defeat your anti-bloat purpose. Too much fiber too quickly will actually cause gas and thus, bloating.
Get Up and Get Moving!
Exercise, especially walking, can help alleviate bloat! This is well-known in the medical field. Although it may be uncomfortable, walking will help the gas pass through the digestive tract and intestines quicker. I would recommend taking a long walk by yourself. The moving gas will be quite noticeable but well worth it!
Dairy = Gas
Even without an extreme intolerance to dairy, dairy can still cause gas for most people. If you do not have a dairy intolerance, as a rule, but seem to bloat more when you consume dairy foods try eating smaller amounts. This may help your body’s digestion of the dairy and help you with that unbearable bloat.
In the dieting and weight loss world, eating 5-6 small meal as opposed to 3 larger meals is controversial. However, when it comes to bloating, eating smaller amounts in a sitting can help. If you are prone to water retention, eating too much at once will cause bloating. Another bonus for eating smaller meals more often throughout the day is blood sugar regulation. Keeping your blood sugar regulated helps reduce bloat. And bonus… If eating more amounts of smaller meals, as opposed to less amounts of larger meals, does help with weight loss, you’re in luck! If you are overweight, losing the weight will also help with bloating!
The Beneficial Tea
As I previously stated, not all teas cause bloating, and peppermint tea is the exception! Peppermint tea actually helps alleviate bloat. If you are seeking one idea how to relieve stress, how to relieve pain associated with menstrual cramps, and how to stop bloating during PMS – peppermint tea may be your go-to remedy. The act of sipping any hot cup of tea can be soothing and stress-relieving. Peppermint has been used for generations as a natural pain killer, especially for abdominal pain. Peppermint water has been given to colicky infants, as a naturally soothing pain killer for decades (if not centuries). Peppermint has diuretic properties thus alleviating water retention and bloating.
Of course, if you are looking for a quick fix for any of your PMS symptoms (and you are not concerned with using only natural methods), you can always turn to the pharmaceutical aisle in your local store. PMS relief, over-the-counter, medications are always readily available. Pamprin and Midol are the most widely known PMS relievers a woman can buy. These OTC medications contain a mild diuretic, as well as anti-inflammatory medication. Quick relief in a pill form is readily available to you, at your convenience.