Let’s face it, getting your period isn’t fun. So many women (myself included) absolutely dread that time of the month. If it was just the period we might be able to deal, but that’s not the issue – it’s everything else that comes with it. There’s extreme sluggishness, tiredness, cravings, backaches, breast tenderness, and my least favourite of all: bloating. Who else can relate?
Bloating can occur for a number of different reasons – sometimes it’s related to gas, different foods you eat, constipation, salt, and water retention. You may also be more sensitive to these processes during that time of the month because of the changes in hormones. Since nobody wants to increase a whole pant size during their time of the month, here are some tips by our Toronto Naturopaths on how to alleviate pre-period bloating.
Every woman should start by tracking their period, whether they have a pre-period bloating issue or not. This habit is one that will make a big difference on how you deal with your cycle because it helps you to establish patterns and predict symptoms. Not to mention, it’s a handy tool for baby planning if that’s the goal.
There are free apps (such as Period Tracker Lite or Fertility Friend) that lay out your cycle beautifully and tell you exactly what day of your cycle you’re in, predicts your cycle length based on established patterns, and tells you when your next expected period is. You can also enter symptoms so that you can track when they occur on a monthly basis. Start by keeping track of when pre-period bloating starts, and how long it lasts for. Once you’ve established a pattern, you can be mindful of your habits a couple of days leading up to the pre-period bloating. Here are some things you can do right before your period is expected to arrive:
- Reduce your salt intake during that time. Eliminate salt and other seasonings during cooking if you can.
- Avoid wheat products (such as bread and pasta), which commonly cause people to bloat and retain water
- Get in a steam room/sauna session to help drop some of the extra water retention
- Have herbal teas that alleviate bloating such as peppermint