Every time I get my period, I get really bloated the whole time and it’s so annoying. I know that’s normal, but I also get bloated before I get my period, sometimes a whole week before. I hate it! How can I get rid of bloating and why is it happening all the time?
Oh girl, I feel your pain. Feeling bloated stinks and it’s an unfortunate symptom of PMS that I used to deal with all the time. Good news, though: while you may not be able to get rid of bloating forever, there are some things you can do to try to prevent it from happening as much.
First, it’s important to understand exactly what bloating is, besides just a very uncomfortable puffy feeling in your stomach that won’t seem to go away. If you’re bloated, you’re probably either retaining water (especially before your period), dealing with excess gas from something you ate or feeling constipated. Don’t confuse bloating with excess fat – it’s basically just stuff in your stomach that has no where else to go at the moment.
If you tend to get bloated a lot and you want to prevent it from happening in the first place, be mindful of your diet. Drink a lot of water to flush out your system. If you suspect that constipation is the issue, make sure there is a lot of fiber in your diet. Eating high-fiber foods helps your body, well, go to the bathroom (if you know what I mean). Exercising on a regular basis also helps with feeling constipated.
Other ways to prevent bloating? Stop eating so fast! When you chow down in under two minutes, you’re also sucking in a lot of air that is then getting trapped in your belly. Another way to swallow excess air is by chewing a lot of gum. You should also cut down on carbonated drinks, like soda and avoid excess salt as much as possible. Eating way too much salt will definitely result in bloating, especially close to your period. In the week before you get your period, make sure you’re ingesting a lot of calcium and magnesium, which help prevent these kinds of PMS symptoms.
Already feeling bloated and want it to go away, ASAP? Drink some water and eat some potassium-rich foods, like bananas, which help flush out your system even more. You can try giving your lower stomach a little massage to get rid of the excess gas, if you’d like.
If you do all of this and the bloating doesn’t stop, try taking a daily probiotic. These little guys help get your digestive system moving and can be found in any drugstore. I know that, for me, the bloating didn’t get any better until I switched to a different birth control that contained less estrogen than the one I was taking. These are two other things you might want to consider. All in all, you’ll see that if you focus on what you’re eating, you can prevent bloating from happening again!
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org