Some of us feel bloated at ovulation, most women start to feel bloated about a week before their period starts, and it may last a few days into the cycle.
A few dietary changes prior to and during your period can reduce bloating a lot !
Talk to your doctor if you suffer from severe bloating, as it could be a sign of something more going on.
Understanding your cycle
From bloating to fatigue to cramps, nearly 90% of women experience at least one PMS symptom.
With hormonal changes often come different signs that your period is approaching. PMS symptoms (like bloating) tend to pop up during the second half of your menstrual cycle called luteal phase.
The luteal phase (after ovulation)
It starts after ovulation, when the egg begins to travel down the fallopian tube. The corpus luteum, once part of the follicle, releases hormones after an egg has been released. It starts to release progesterone to prepare the uterus for implantation. Estrogen is also released but starts out slower and then rises towards the end of the luteal phase.
If there is no fertilization, the corpus luteum shrinks, then your progesterone levels dip. This is what makes the uterine lining shed, and the period start.
The fluctuations in progesterone and estrogen can cause water retention, which causes that full and bloated feeling.
When estrogen is high, many women experience fluid retention. An increase in progesterone during the luteal phase can cause your digestive system to slow down, also contributing to bloating.
How and what to eat to reduce bloating
Rule out food intolerances. Unsuspected food intolerances & allergies can cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and more.
Eat more slowly. When you eat quickly, you’re more likely to take in excess air, which can turn into gas.
Don't drink cold beverages !
Increase your fiber intake. Fiber is important for a healthy digestive tract. Eating enough fiber can help you avoid the uncomfortable symptoms of constipation.
Include prebiotics & probiotics, either by supplementing or including fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, or kombucha
Enjoy more potassium-rich foods
Fluid retention that causes bloating can me moderated with potassium-rich foods. These foods may even help ease cramping as well!
Avoid gas-producing foods
While we love cruciferous veggies as part of a healthy diet, they might increase the intestinal bloating during this time of the month ! Limit the following:
Watch your sugar & processed foods intake
Try your best to minimize sugar intake. Sugar and refined carbohydrates can make you feel puffy & reduce your energy levels.
Processed foods like chips, freezer meals, and takeout are often loaded with added salt and hidden sugar, which are non nutritious, empty calories that lead to more bloat. Try to opt or real foods like a piece of fruit !
Caffeine increases PMS !
Caffeine has been linked to increased PMS symptoms, including bloating.
Not only that, but caffeine can lead to digestive distress, and its diuretic effects can lead to dehydration.
Try swapping out your morning cup of joe for a mug of ginger or peppermint tea to help soothe an upset stomach, reduce bloating, and help you feel better.
Acupuncture for PMS bloating
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine work by removing stagnation and strengthening the digestive system to reduce bloating
In TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine, bloating is caused by an imbalance of 3 organs: the Stomach, Spleen (plus pancreas), Liver. By balancing these three systems, your acupuncturist can help you reduce the monthly bloating that occurs around your period.
No matter where you are in your
woman's health, fertility, pregnancy & mothering journey,
if you need support, we can help.
In addition to our own team of fertility & women's health acupuncturists, we are well-connected within the Los Angeles- Pasadena area community to help you find the right integrative and holistic care for you.
If you have more questions please call our front desk, at 626-841-2991, or email us.