How Real Is Period Bloat & Tips to Manage it?

Even though every woman's menstrual cycle is different, many of us experience discomfort at some point before or during our periods. The most common discomfort is bloating.

Menstrual bloating is the feeling of bloating or tightness in the abdomen before or during menstruation. Low hormone levels cause this distressing symptom before menstruation.

It may be uncomfortable and can hurt self-confidence because the bloating can make the belly feel as if it is protruding due to swelling and weight gain.

bloating periods

Is PMS Bloating Real as Periods?

Premenstrual bloating is one of the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which occurs one to two weeks before a woman's period. Stomach cramps and back pain may accompany it. 

Bloating may feel like a full belly or swelling. The abdomen may be tight, feel hard to the touch, or be painful. You may also feel windier than usual, burp more frequently, or have a rumbling stomach.

For some women, this goes away quickly and does not bother them; for others, it interferes with their daily life and causes them to avoid socializing.

Science Behind The Period Bloat

Bloating before and during menstruation can result from changes in the hormones progesterone and estrogen. As menstruation approaches, levels of the hormone progesterone decrease.

As progesterone decreases, the lining of the uterus peels away, which causes menstrual blood. The exact cause of premenstrual syndrome is hormonal issues, but several other factors are thought to contribute like:

Changes in hormones

As hormone levels fluctuate, premenstrual syndrome signs and symptoms change and disappear during pregnancy and menopause.

Changes in the brain

Chemicals Fluctuations in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) thought to play an important role in mood states, may trigger PMS symptoms. Serotonin deficiency can cause premenstrual depression and fatigue, loss of appetite, and sleep disturbances.

Depression

Some women with severe premenstrual syndrome are not diagnosed with depression, but not all symptoms are caused by depression alone.

How the Symptoms Arise?

Premenstrual syndrome signs and symptoms vary widely, but most women experience only a few of these problems. Examples are:

  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Depressed mood
  • Crying
  • Mood swings, irritability, anger
  • Change in appetite or loss of appetite
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Social withdrawal
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Changes in sexual desire

It can be too painful and stressful for some people to live their daily lives. Regardless of the severity of the symptoms, signs, and symptoms generally disappear within four days of the onset of menstruation in most women. 

However, a small percentage of women with premenstrual syndrome have symptoms that become a monthly obstacle. This form of PMS is called premenstrual dysphoric mood disorder (PMDD).

women doing physical excercise

Tips To Manage Period Bloat

Bloating during menstruation is not a good feeling. Even though you know it will go away once your period arrives, you may want to try a few tricks to lessen its impact. A few things you can do at home include:

Physical exercise

Regular physical activity has been proven to relieve PMS symptoms such as bloating. Exercising nearly every day will help. Two and a half hours of exercise is recommended each week.

Avoid foods high in salt

Try reducing sodium in your diet and limiting processed foods. Foods high in salt can cause bloating, and processed foods contain more salt. Try to include healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds in your diet to help alleviate bloating.

Eat foods rich in potassium

Eating foods high in potassium may reduce bloating during menstruation. According to research sources, potassium decreases sodium levels and increases urine output. Thus, potassium may help reduce water retention and improve menstrual bloating.

Foods high in potassium that may reduce menstrual bloating include Spinach and other dark leafy greens, Sweet potatoes, Bananas, Avocados, and Tomatoes.

Drink plenty of water

Adequate hydration is always necessary, but it is especially important in the days before menstruation. There are various amounts of water to drink in a day, but two to three bottles is usually a good rule of thumb.

Cut off carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates, such as white flour and processed sugar, cause an increase in blood sugar levels. It increases insulin levels in the blood and causes the kidneys to retain more sodium sources.

Increased sodium levels lead to more water retention. People who want to reduce water retention and improve physiological bloating are best served by avoiding refined carbohydrates.

Remove alcohol and caffeine

Bloating and other premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms may be related to both alcohol and caffeine. Instead of drinking these drinks, drink more water.

If skipping coffee in the morning is difficult, try replacing it with a less caffeinated drink, such as tea, or replace some caffeinated coffee with a decaffeinated version.

How PMS Affects Us Emotionally

Approximately one in four women of childbearing age experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which affects their moods in the days before menstruation. The mood swings, irritability, and anger associated with PMS are common inconveniences for most women, but some women suffer from severe PMS.

It is, fortunately, possible to control mood changes and other emotional issues that accompany PMS with medication and lifestyle changes. Among some women who experience PMS, mood swings can be wild and uncontrollable, ranging from screaming fits to angry outbursts to an anxiety attack, then back to a stable emotional state.

These mood swings indicate PMS when they occur consistently between a week and two weeks before your period and stop a day or two after menstruation begins. 

PMS symptoms, including mood swings, usually occur during the last (luteal) phase of the menstrual cycle, which begins from day 14 through day 28 of a woman's monthly cycle. Mood swings typically disappear once menstruation starts.

Researchers are unsure why PMS occurs, increases and decreases in hormone levels, specifical estrogen, are thought to cause these disturbances. Consult your healthcare provider or gynecologist if your painful menstrual cramps do not improve with lifestyle changes.

Even though every woman's menstrual cycle is different, many of us experience discomfort at some point before or during our periods. The most common discomfort is bloating.

Menstrual bloating is the feeling of bloating or tightness in the abdomen before or during menstruation. Low hormone levels cause this distressing symptom before menstruation.

It may be uncomfortable and can hurt self-confidence because the bloating can make the belly feel as if it is protruding due to swelling and weight gain.

bloating periods

Is PMS Bloating Real as Periods?

Premenstrual bloating is one of the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which occurs one to two weeks before a woman's period. Stomach cramps and back pain may accompany it. 

Bloating may feel like a full belly or swelling. The abdomen may be tight, feel hard to the touch, or be painful. You may also feel windier than usual, burp more frequently, or have a rumbling stomach.

For some women, this goes away quickly and does not bother them; for others, it interferes with their daily life and causes them to avoid socializing.

Science Behind The Period Bloat

Bloating before and during menstruation can result from changes in the hormones progesterone and estrogen. As menstruation approaches, levels of the hormone progesterone decrease.

As progesterone decreases, the lining of the uterus peels away, which causes menstrual blood. The exact cause of premenstrual syndrome is hormonal issues, but several other factors are thought to contribute like:

Changes in hormones

As hormone levels fluctuate, premenstrual syndrome signs and symptoms change and disappear during pregnancy and menopause.

Changes in the brain

Chemicals Fluctuations in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) thought to play an important role in mood states, may trigger PMS symptoms. Serotonin deficiency can cause premenstrual depression and fatigue, loss of appetite, and sleep disturbances.

Depression

Some women with severe premenstrual syndrome are not diagnosed with depression, but not all symptoms are caused by depression alone.

How the Symptoms Arise?

Premenstrual syndrome signs and symptoms vary widely, but most women experience only a few of these problems. Examples are:

  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Depressed mood
  • Crying
  • Mood swings, irritability, anger
  • Change in appetite or loss of appetite
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Social withdrawal
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Changes in sexual desire

It can be too painful and stressful for some people to live their daily lives. Regardless of the severity of the symptoms, signs, and symptoms generally disappear within four days of the onset of menstruation in most women. 

However, a small percentage of women with premenstrual syndrome have symptoms that become a monthly obstacle. This form of PMS is called premenstrual dysphoric mood disorder (PMDD).

women doing physical excercise

Tips To Manage Period Bloat

Bloating during menstruation is not a good feeling. Even though you know it will go away once your period arrives, you may want to try a few tricks to lessen its impact. A few things you can do at home include:

Physical exercise

Regular physical activity has been proven to relieve PMS symptoms such as bloating. Exercising nearly every day will help. Two and a half hours of exercise is recommended each week.

Avoid foods high in salt

Try reducing sodium in your diet and limiting processed foods. Foods high in salt can cause bloating, and processed foods contain more salt. Try to include healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds in your diet to help alleviate bloating.

Eat foods rich in potassium

Eating foods high in potassium may reduce bloating during menstruation. According to research sources, potassium decreases sodium levels and increases urine output. Thus, potassium may help reduce water retention and improve menstrual bloating.

Foods high in potassium that may reduce menstrual bloating include Spinach and other dark leafy greens, Sweet potatoes, Bananas, Avocados, and Tomatoes.

Drink plenty of water

Adequate hydration is always necessary, but it is especially important in the days before menstruation. There are various amounts of water to drink in a day, but two to three bottles is usually a good rule of thumb.

Cut off carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates, such as white flour and processed sugar, cause an increase in blood sugar levels. It increases insulin levels in the blood and causes the kidneys to retain more sodium sources.

Increased sodium levels lead to more water retention. People who want to reduce water retention and improve physiological bloating are best served by avoiding refined carbohydrates.

Remove alcohol and caffeine

Bloating and other premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms may be related to both alcohol and caffeine. Instead of drinking these drinks, drink more water.

If skipping coffee in the morning is difficult, try replacing it with a less caffeinated drink, such as tea, or replace some caffeinated coffee with a decaffeinated version.

How PMS Affects Us Emotionally

Approximately one in four women of childbearing age experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which affects their moods in the days before menstruation. The mood swings, irritability, and anger associated with PMS are common inconveniences for most women, but some women suffer from severe PMS.

It is, fortunately, possible to control mood changes and other emotional issues that accompany PMS with medication and lifestyle changes. Among some women who experience PMS, mood swings can be wild and uncontrollable, ranging from screaming fits to angry outbursts to an anxiety attack, then back to a stable emotional state.

These mood swings indicate PMS when they occur consistently between a week and two weeks before your period and stop a day or two after menstruation begins. 

PMS symptoms, including mood swings, usually occur during the last (luteal) phase of the menstrual cycle, which begins from day 14 through day 28 of a woman's monthly cycle. Mood swings typically disappear once menstruation starts.

Researchers are unsure why PMS occurs, increases and decreases in hormone levels, specifical estrogen, are thought to cause these disturbances. Consult your healthcare provider or gynecologist if your painful menstrual cramps do not improve with lifestyle changes.