Ever been in a situation just before your period starts or during your period, where you feel so heavy and your stomach feels like a rock? What could possibly be happening in there that makes wearing pants the worst nightmare? Well, there’s a few things.
Bloating around and during your period is caused by a few factors - a very common one is water retention. The change of hormones around that time of the month causes water retention and a swollen tummy, painful breasts and yes… your face might kind of look puffier. Sorry. There’s also the retention of gas. It just never ends, does it?
This bloating and swelling doesn’t only occur on the outside, it occurs on the inside, too. With the uterus working overtime to do its bloody work, it swells and can feels tender and painful in this area of your body.
So, we can probably all agree that cramping and bloating sucks. Now here’s a few tips on how to avoid feeling like the blueberry girl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (although going there while on your period might sound like a wonderful idea!):
- Cut out junk food: But how? Chocolate, Pringles, toast, garlic bread, pickles, ice cream - you want everything (at once)? Many can relate. However, most junk food is full of sodium, which is known to cause water retention. Being on your period and eating a lot of sodium can only make things more puffy. Try to eat more vegetables and fruits, drink water and avoid the junk as much as you can (we’ll pray for you).
- Probiotics and potassium: A banana a day (and other potassium rich foods) keeps period bloating away! In fact, in one scientific research that involved women in their PMS phase, it is shown that potassium eases the symptoms and keep their energy levels up. Natural probiotic bacteria can also help you prevent from bloating. If you like yogurt, dig in!
- Avoid alcohol and carbonated drinks: Carbonated drinks will cause a lot of, well, gas. And this means more bloating. Alcohol on the other hand, can mess with your progesterone and estrogen levels during your periods, making you even more moody. Avoid as much as you can.
- Sleep: Sleep and drinking water just seems to be the solution to every problem ever, right? Most likely.
- Develop healthy habits: Make sure that you work on your diet so that it can help you arrive on bloody island armed and prepared. Even before your PMS starts, you should be taking care of what your food intake is, how much rest you are getting, as well as physical exercise.
Healthy diet, physical exercise and a good rest will make sure you are more energized and less bloated during your period. However unlikely it may seem - when all you want to do is cuddle up into a ball on your couch - it’s worth reaching for that healthy fruit smoothie instead of your favorite candy bar, and giving a little workout a try next time you’re feeling the impending threat of oncoming cramps!
Find out how to experience a healthier, happier period with a menstrual cup here.