Bloating is basically a feeling of fullness and swelling in the belly region which some women have before or during their menstruation cycle. The condition is often accompanied by other symptoms like pain, cramps, restlessness, mood swings, etc. Though bloating during a period is not a serious health concern, the condition can be annoying or irritating, and may lead to severe discomfort and uneasiness.
Studies show that one of the major reasons for severe menstrual bloating, which is nothing but fluid retention in the body, due to the hormonal changes the body undergoes during menstruation. Normally, an average menstrual cycle is 28 days, during which, the body undergoes various hormonal changes. Like if the body is expecting pregnancy or the egg gets fertilized, the hormone levels increase while if the egg is not fertilized, the hormone levels drop and the body again starts preparing itself for having the next period. Hence, every month during menstruation, the uterus produces a chemical called prostaglandin which causes contraction of uterus walls in order to get rid of its lining. This results in fluid retention or bloating in the body along with cramping, back pain, weight gain, irritability, and swelling in some parts of the body. Besides this, women who smoke and drink on a regular basis or have unhealthy eating habits are prone to suffer from severe bloating.
Find Temporary Relief
Even though you can't avoid this issue, there are ways to reduce the discomfort and uneasiness.
- The first step is to avoid junk foods or items that are high in salt, as they lead to fluid retention in the body and menstrual cramping. Incorporating fresh vegetables and fruits in your daily diet and consuming fish or chicken, preferably grilled rather than deep-fried, can also help in minimizing the occurrence.
- Also, stay clear of caffeine. Having excess amounts of coffee, tea, or even chocolate can trigger fluid retention in the body. This is because too much caffeine in the body can lead to bloating in the stomach and intestines, resulting in menstrual pain and cramping in the lower abdominal region.
- You can also try taking aloe vera pills. These pills help the body to process water more efficiently during menstruation and are easily available in medical stores. Increase your vitamin consumption by having supplements and eating foods rich in vitamins A and B6. You should also increase the amount of calcium and magnesium intake to stay fit.
- You can also try some digestive bitters and carminatives (herb) like peppermint, ginger, chamomile, fennel, and lemon balm as they are good for the digestive system and have a mild diuretic effect that can avoid problems related to digestive system, such as gas or bloating.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.