Premenstrual bloating is a bothersome side effect experienced by many women right before their periods. Bloating is caused by water retention and can cause women to feel a heaviness and tightness around their abdomen in the week or two before their menstrual period. There are a few ways, however, to prevent or alleviate premenstrual bloating.
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Reduce the amount of salt in your diet to help alleviate bloating. Hide the salt shaker and use other spices and flavourings to season your food. Look at labels and be aware of hidden sodium, such as in canned vegetables or soups, and lunch meats.
Exercise regularly, especially during the time you'd normally feel bloated. Regular physical activity has been proven to prevent or lessen symptoms of PMS, including bloating. The University of British Columbia studied eight previously sedentary women who ran one mile a day for six months, and found that their PMS symptoms of breast tenderness and bloating were considerably less before their periods.
Eat small, healthy meals filled with low-sodium foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, to help relieve bloating. Asparagus is a natural diuretic, as well as herbal teas. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as both will cause you to feel more sluggish and make it easier to give in to your food cravings.
Take your vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B6 can act as a mild diuretic. Taking 25 to 50 mg of vitamin B6 a day can prevent water retention. Taking 1,200 mg of calcium or 300 mg of magnesium a day can also help relieve abdominal bloating. Do not take magnesium, however, if you have heart or kidney disease.
Consider trying over-the-counter medications. If you are unable to get rid of your bloating with these home remedies, try an over-the-counter medication specifically designed for PMS symptoms. These medications contain mild diuretics that can help relieve your bloating. Birth control pills may also help reduce your symptoms.
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