Bloating Before Your Period

by Kathy Love

Water retention and bloating before a period are common complaints for many women. While for some bloating may just be a minor bother that occurs every month, for others it can affect their daily routine and make them feel miserable and uncomfortable. Some women even report a gain of several pounds before their period as a result of water retention. While it may not be possible to eliminate bloating completely, there are a number of simple remedies that help to reduce water retention and bloating before your period.

Causes of Bloating before Your Period

A week or so before your period, hormonal changes may cause your body to retain more water than normal. This leads to a feeling of bloating and discomfort. Bloating can be associated with an increase in hormones, heredity factors and diet. If your mother or grandmother suffered from bloating and other premenstrual symptoms, the odds are that you will as well. Additionally, too much salt in your food or a diet heavy in processed and junk food also contributes to water retention. It is not unusual to also experience food cravings before your period. These food cravings can lead to an increased intake of sugar and salt and in turn worsen menstrual symptoms such as abdominal bloating and water retention.

Home Remedies

Some excellent natural remedies for bloating include:

  • Herbal teas such as peppermint tea, ginger tea, and chamomile tea help reduce gas and bloating.
  • Chew on a handful of cardamom seeds or caraway seeds after a meal. These act as a natural digestive and help improve digestion.
  • To reduce water retention and bloating, prepare a parsley tea made with fresh parsley leaves and hot water. Strain and drink after allowing it to steep for ten minutes.
  • Massage your stomach with aromatherapy oils such as chamomile oil or anise oil to help reduce the discomfort caused by bloating.
  • Drink plenty of water to reduce water retention and bloating and prevent constipation.
  • Exercise regularly to improve digestion and prevent water retention. Women who exercise consistently report fewer premenstrual symptoms than those who don't.
  • Certain yoga exercises help reduce gas and bloating. Inform your yoga instructor that you are suffering from premenstrual symptoms such as bloating so that the correct asanas are recommended.
  • Skip the salt especially in the days prior to your period. Salt increases water retention and bloating, hence skip fried or processed foods. Other hidden sources of sodium are found in products such as sauces and condiments, canned foods, packaged soups and deli meats. Lowering the amount of salt you consume will also help reduce the occurrence of premenstrual headaches.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and ensure that you have enough of whole grains and nuts in your daily diet. Fiber helps bind estrogen making it easier to eliminate any excess amounts of this hormone from the body.
  • Certain foods work as natural diuretics and should be added to your diet. This includes celery, parsley, anise, asparagus, and herbal teas.
  • Vitamin B6 acts as a natural diuretic. Make sure you take at least 25 to 50 milligrams of this vitamin per day to help prevent bloating.
  • Eat several small meals a day to help improve digestion, reduce fatigue and stop food cravings (other premenstrual symptoms that many women suffer from).
  • Calcium and magnesium supplements have also been proven to help decrease bloating.
  • Some birth control pills may increase water retention. If you consistently suffer from bloating, speak to your doctor about an alternative oral contraceptive or other birth control options.

Excess water retention and bloating may also be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition. If the above home remedies do not help alleviate the problem or the water retention does not lessen once your period begins, consult with your doctor at the earliest.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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