Don’t let bloating get you down when you’re on your period!

Let’s face it, there are many premenstrual symptoms that are less than ideal. In the perfect world, no woman would ever experience the cramping, moodiness, acne and bloating that occur prior to — and for the first few days of — her period, but unfortunately, that’s just not the case. But there is good news. Many of those unpleasant symptoms can be reduced or even eliminated, and in this blog series, our OGBYN in Bradenton is focusing on helping you fight the bloat. If you haven’t already, check out Part One of our series to learn about a few things you can do reduce bloating. Keep reading to learn more.

Cut Down on the Sweets

We’ve all experienced those cravings for sweets during our periods, but if you want to keep the bloat at bay, it’s time to avoid them. In our last blog, we talked about how hormonal fluctuations are to blame for bloating in some women, and if you think hormonal changes may be causing you to bloat, you should make it a point to reduce your sugar intake. Eating sugar raises your blood sugar levels, which also prompts the adrenal glands to release stress hormones. When you constantly eat sugar, you are also constantly disrupting the normal balance of hormones in your body, which can lead to bloating, among other things.

Not only should you cut down on sugar, but you should also limit foods and drinks that contain artificial sweeteners. Many artificial sweeteners contain ingredients that are difficult — if not downright impossible — to digest. Eating too many artificial sweeteners can cause bloating and painful gas.

Adjust the Way You Eat

Not only does what you eat have an effect on how bloated you feel, but how you eat it can play a role as well. If you eat too fast, there’s a strong possibility that you are swallowing a lot of air with each bite. That makes gas and bloating an almost inevitability. Additionally, eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day — instead of a few big ones — can also help to combat bloating. The theory behind this is that smaller meals are easier to digest and, therefore, less likely to cause indigestion and bloating. Not only can adjusting how fast, how much and how often you eat help to reduce bloating, but it can also help to curb those cravings that make you susceptible to eating foods that cause additional bloating.

Ask Your Doctor About Medication

For some women, no matter what they do, they feel bloated and uncomfortable before and during those first few days of their periods. In a case like this, the solution may lie in medication. Diuretics, for example, can help to reduce the amount of fluid your body retains, and they are sometimes prescribed to women with severe bloating. Birth control pills can also be an effective treatment option, because it helps to keep hormone levels in balance.

Have questions or concerns about fighting the bloat during your period? Contact us at University Park Obstetrics and Gynecology today!