PMS or premenstrual syndrome is a name given to a group of the symptoms that may occur before and even during menstruation. Bloating is one of them, and probably the most prominent one. It is described as an uncomfortable feeling of fullness and swelling in the abdomen, especially in lower parts.
Bloating during PMS is often accompanied by other symptoms like cramps, headaches, breast tenderness, moods swings and other.
What causes bloating in PMS
PMS bloating is in fact water retention or accumulation in the body. It happens due to hormonal changes that take place in the body at that specific part of the menstrual cycle. An average menstrual cycle usually lasts 28 days, during which period three phases occur, and those are follicular, ovulatory and luteal phase. During those phases, there are great fluctuations in female hormones estrogen and progesterone, and also ccchanges in levels of lutenizing hormones and follicle stimulating hormones. In addition, the uterus secretes a chemical called prostaglandin, which stimulates the contractions of the uterine wall and eventually the expulsion of its lining, which results in menstrual bleeding.
The fluctuations in hormone levels and chemical processes that take place in a woman’s body often result in a series of symptoms that are known as premenstrual syndrome, and water retention or bloating is one of them. Also, unhealthy eating habits, smoking and alcohol consumption can aggravate PMS symptoms.
PMS bloating remedies
There are several home remedies and simple tricks one can do not only to relieve bloating during PMS but also to prevent it from occurring again in the next cycle.
One of the most important things is to reduce salt intake. High salt and sodium intake can cause water retention even outside PMS, so it is recommended to avoid salty foods, especially snacks, fast food, canned food, processed snacks and similar foods, which contain a lot of hidden salt.
There are herbs and herbal preparations that have a diuretic action. Digestive bitters, carminative herbs like chamomile, ginger, mint, lemon balm and fennel can be used as remedies against bloating during PMS because they help expel excess fluid through urination.
However, even though it may seem illogical, it is essential to drink plenty of fluids, preferably plain water, during PMS, in order to keep hydrated.
Certain supplements, especially calcium, magnesium, vitamins B6 and E have been proven effective against most of the PMS symptoms, including bloating.
Exercise can help a lot with bloating during PMS, because the body expels salts and excess water through sweating.
It is recommended to avoid caffeine, sodas and alcohol during PMS. Also, foods high in sugar should be avoided during this time, even though craving sweet foods during PMS, which also counts as one of its symptoms, is sometimes very hard to resist.