The main reason behind hating that time of the month is not actually the bleeding, that can be taken care of with pads and menstrual cups. It is the horrible mood swings, period cramps, and painful bloating that creates the mind numbing irritation all day long. While you might be leaving your house in a good mood since you know you have that extra soaking pad on, you’ll still be attacked with a sharp and sudden pain while you’re working on your important project or giving a presentation. That sudden pain, which you have to hide from people, sometimes also makes you snap at people or become unapproachable for at least a week. The trouble is that the period of time starts way before the bleeding starts and the bloating starts settling in right from the PMS (premenstrual syndrome). The other side of period bloating also includes a reduction in self-confidence which comes from the uneasy feeling that you have gained some weight or your belly is sticking out. While there are ways in which you can reduce period pain during the bleeding stage, avoiding period bloating during PMS can help a great deal in preventing period pain. Here are five important steps you can take to reduce period bloating-
Keep a healthy diet
A healthy or period positive diet is something every woman should consider. The logical reason is that the bloating occurs in the lower abdomen which sits right under your gut. Additionally, the kind of nutrients that flow in your blood always define the kind of period you’ll have. So, start taking out the harmful and adding the healthful to your diet. One of the most troublesome ingredients that you must reduce from your diet is sodium or salt. Salt or sodium is an element which is known to induce water retention in humans. When you add a lot of salt to your food or have snacks with processed salts right before your PMS, there will be a lot of water retention which will lead to bloating. So, instead of salty wafers and other snacks, try relieving your cravings with foods like tossed veggies, fruit salads, sprouts, and other whole grain snacks (granola bars, nuts).
Yes, one of the causes of period bloating is water retention and salts hold up a lot of water in the belly. But it doesn’t mean that water is your enemy. Water is only retained in the body when you have a high salt intake. With reduced amounts of salt, the body automatically flushes out the water and with it goes out the salt that you’ve already ingested, this in turn helps to reduce period bloating and pain. Water intake is directly related to how much waste substances are held back in your body. The more hydrated your blood will be, the more fresh and bloating free you’ll feel. So, try drinking at least 4-5 litres of water on your PMS days. Always carry a water bottle around and make sure to refill it at least four times a day. When your period nears, drink more water as it will keep your body fluids thin and help flush out the uterus with ease.
There will always be those friends who will say ‘save water and drink beer’ or ‘coffee is life’. Well those are the friends who later suffer with uterine fibroids. The reason being alcohol is the number one culprit in causing fibroids. While many times during a painful period, there is a strong urge to sit and chill with a glass of wine, it is not really helping with your period pain. Instead, alcohol tends to dehydrate the body and escalates the pain receptors once the high is gone. To prevent dehydration during PMS the body tends to store in more water, which is now mixed with alcohol, causing excessive bloating. Caffeine too is an irritant when you’re on your period. It blocks hormones which are responsible for blood flow in the uterus, increasing bloating. So, if you want to reduce period bloating and pain, skip the peg and mug.
The reason why exercise improves health conditions in most cases is because it regulates the blood flow and heart health. When blood flow in the body is improved, most systems in the body function smoother, that includes the female reproductive system. Exercising regularly will not only improve the blood flow in your uterus but will also make your abdominal and pelvic muscles stronger. This will make your uterus flush out the period fluids with much ease and without pain. So, to improve your period cycles and reduce painful cramps, try to get some moderate exercise for at least three days a week.
The hustle culture has certainly got everyone working sleepless nights which gets you the dark eye bags. However, you’d probably want to hustle a little less during your PMS. Sleeplessness is another factor why the body stores more fluid in the belly to support those all nighters. While you’re sleeping, your body pushes the excessive fluids back into your body and eliminates it through vapour in your breath and to hydrate muscles. So, try getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night when you feel PMS is setting in.
Even though period bloating may not always show up as a puffed up belly, it will certainly have other side effects. It makes you feel less hungry, which makes you eat less than your required nutrient intake. Due to which you get much painful periods. For a number of women, however, cramps still persist even after the bloating has been reduced. To reduce period pain and cramps, you can use a herbal application which soothes the muscles around the uterus. Namyaa Feminine Cramp Relief Roll-on comes with peppermint, and sesame oil which relieves cramps instantly.