What Causes Period Bloating?
Period bloating is quite different to GI tract bloating - the causes are normally due to hormone swings which result in hormonal bloating. That being said, your period can actually cause GI tract (trapped gas) bloating as it speeds up and slows down GI tract movement - this is caused by hormone changes in the body.
Period bloating in the stomach is completely common and you should not have to worry about it - it is however immensely uncomfortable.
Period bloat is caused by fluctuations in progesterone and oestrogen which cause the body to retain more water and salt - this is important. Now we know WHAT is causing period bloating, we simply need to fix two things:
1) The amount of retained water
2) Lower the amount of salt
5 Tips: How To Get Rid Of Period Bloating
As mentioned above, period bloating is different to gas related bloating but, just like gas related bloating, there are some easy natural remedies we can use to get rid of it quickly.
Simply put, we need to solve the water and salt retention issue in the body - if we fix that, then we fix the period bloating! So, here are our top tips on getting rid of period bloating.
No, not “go on a diet” - diet as in what you eat during these days. We know that salt is high in the body at this time so we want to do two things, eat less salt and actively reduce the amount of salt in the body.
How do we do that? Easily!
1) Avoid Salty Foods
Avoid eating processed foods and focus on eating on fresh foods. Try not to heavily season your food either, we want to limit your salt intake over these days. Salt will cause significant bloating.
2) Eat Potassium Rich Food
Potassium decreases the sodium (salt) levels in the body, not only that, it increases urine production to help get rid of the excess water - it’s a saviour! Some potassium rich foods to get in your house when you’re due a period:
3) Avoid Refined Carbs
These are sugars and white flour - they increase the insulin levels in the body and which make the kidneys retain sodium. If you’re looking to swap out these carbs, go for a sweet potato instead which is also naturally high in potassium!
Diuretics have a pretty dirty name due to those god awful detox teas - a rant incoming there! Anyway, natural diuretics can be pretty useful when used at the right time like during your period.
Essentially, when we have period bloating, we have too much water retention - meaning that we need to get rid of the excess water in the body.
Here are a few foods which act as natural diuretics:
You can also buy natural diuretic pills if you find that easier but we always recommend food first!
Cut Alcohol And Caffeine
I know, not the news you wanted to hear but alcohol can increase PMS symptoms like breast tenderness, mood swings, and bloating. While coffee can increase bowel movements and dehydrate you - this causes water retention.
So, a couple of days before your period and while you have PMS symptoms, try to avoid these!
That’s right, exercise helps reduce period bloating (and any type of bloating!). This will help keep your digestive system regular, and we aren’t talking doing a half-marathon - going on a 3km walk or 30min yoga should be enough!
This might seem counter intuitive to the points above but when you have water retention issues you want to “flush out” the sodium. Also, dehydration causes water retention as well as hardening your stool - increasing the likelihood of trapped gas. So keep your water bottle close and drink little and often!