Many of us have heard people, or ourselves guilty of cracking jokes on PMS. Any mood swing exhibited by a girl is often deemed as a fit of PMS. Turns out that PMS is more than just irritability and fickle mood swings. Pre Menstrual Syndrome or PMS is a group of symptoms suffered by women a week or so before their period. For many women, PMS is not a serious concern. Many don't feel any significant change in their body either. But for some women, the days before their periods prove to be quite a rough phase. PMS can bring about various changes - physical, emotional or behavioural, therefore it must not be taken lightly. The symptoms show one to two weeks before your period and phase out as you hit your period. It may include bloating, tender breasts, cramps, abdominal pain, irritability, anxiety, depression, vomiting and diarrhea among others.
(Also Read:11 Ingenious Ways to Avoid Bloating After Eating)
One of the most recurrent symptoms of PMS is bloating, which is caused due to excess water retention that occurs from hormonal changes. Some women's ballooned belly adds a significant amount of pounds to their overall weight. Fluctuations in the estrogen levels and a sharp drop in progesterone are also some of the causes of the stomach sticking out a week or so before period. However, the bloating is temporary, within two to three days into the period, the ovaries start producing decent amount of supporting hormones again, which cuts down the bloating gradually. If your bloated tummy stays for long after your periods, you may need to consult your doctor.
The good news is, you can cut down the bloating at home naturally with the help of some dietary changes. Experts suggests a diet rich in calcium, magnesium, B vitamins such as thiamin and riboflavin and Vitamin E.
Here are some more food tips that can help bring your ballooned belly back to shape -
How To Cut Down Bloating Caused By PMS: 5 Tips
1.Drink Loads of Water: Yes, you heard us! The remedy might sound ironical, but works wonders. Experts recommend hydration as a fruitful solution to combat water retention. Turns out that if your cells and tissues are hydrated enough, it will push out all the water retention that could take place in them.
(Also Read:7 Brilliant Home Remedies for Period Pain)
Drinking water actually helps prevent water retention and thereby bloating
2.Cut Down On Salt: Common salt (sodium chloride) is one of the leading sources of water retention. Cut down on salty snacks, fries, red meat to prevent bloating. You can also neutralise the effect by loading up on fresh fruits and vegetables, and keeping yourself hydrated.
Blaoting happens due to excessive consumption of sugar and salt
3.Load Up On Fresh Vegetables and Fruits: Despite being full of fiber and vitamins, green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, spinach and beets are also rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium, which help beat bloating. Potassium rich banana, guava, kiwi and avocado are also effective.
Fruits and vegetables rich in Potassium,magnesium and calcium can help prevent bloating
4.Cut Down On Starch, Sugars, and Refined Carbohydrates: These foods can make it more difficult for your body to process estrogen. Refined carbs and sugars found in processed food, refined grains, canned desserts lead to a significant rise in blood sugar levels, which causes sodium retention and leads to bloating . When your pancreas releases insulin to control blood sugar, Insulin tends to retain salt, which in tern leads to bloating.
(Also Read:Lets Talk Periods: 7 Effective Home Remedies for Irregular Periods)
5.Avoid Gas Causing Foods and Fatty Foods: Love rajma and lentils? Perhaps it is not the best lunch option when you are going through PMS. It is harder for the body to digest and therefore results in bloating. Also it is advisable to avoid other gas causing foods like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, dairy products, corn and peas. Fatty processed foods like fries are a strict no as well.
Gassy food like rajma can hamper smooth digestion during PMS
Here's How Ayurveda Can Help
According to Ayurveda, there are three fundamental doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and good health is considered to be a perfect state of balance of these three doshas. PMS is classified in Ayurveda into three types -Vata, Pitta, Kapha. Usually the symptoms associated with Kapha imbalance manifest in bloating, weight gain, water retention, drowsiness and sluggishness.
According to Dr. Vasant Lad in his book The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies, these Ayurvedic remedies can help with the bloating that comes with PMS -
- Herbal mixture of punarnava (2 parts), kutki(1 part) and musta( 2 parts). Taking half teaspoon of the mixture twice a day with warm water is effective.
- 10 cherries daily on an empty stomach for a week before the onset of menstruation.
- A tablespoon of aloe-vera gel with half a teaspoon of Trikatu(an ancient Ayurvedic concoction made with equal parts of black pepper, pippali and ginger) can help immensely.
Bloating is one of the most common symptoms of PMS, and with these handy tips you can beat bloating naturally.