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What causes bloating & how to handle it?

Bloating is one of the common issues that women of reproductive age are concerned about. Your breasts, abdomen and legs can feel really swollen. It feels sometimes like your clothes are too tight and your breasts become more sensitive and almost painful. In this read, we will navigate what causes bloating and how to handle it.



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Why Do We Feel Bloated?

Bloating is caused by the body retaining water. It is due to the hormonal changes that come with menstruation. At this time it is likely that like other women, you may experience increased appetite and overeating in the days leading up to your period. Foods high in carbohydrates that bind water produce bloating, but the rise and fall in hormone production also slow down the digestive process, resulting in this bloated sensation. In some cases when bloating has nothing to do with the menstrual cycle, you are advised to seek medical attention.


Bloating During Menstruation is Normal

After ovulation, the levels of Estrogen and Progesterone begin to decline. More often than not, this results in bloating as a result of the hormonal drop. Typically, the bloating begins about a week before the onset of the period. However, some women may experience theirs sooner, others later and others rarely; and that is okay. This is because of our unique bodies and how it responds to hormonal shifts. If you are affected more by your hormonal changes, then it is likely due to PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) or PMDS (Premenstrual Dysphoric Syndrome) for which bloating is one of its many symptoms. The fact that your hormones are fluctuating isn't necessarily a cause for concern! These two hormones, Estrogen and Progesterone are the building blocks of your menstrual cycle and fertility is impossible without hormonal fluctuations. Although bloating can be self-managed, in certain instances seeing a doctor would be better.





How to Treat Bloating: Home or Doctor

To manage the effects of bloating or reduce its impact on you, You could do the following:

  1. Exercise

  2. Decrease foods high in carbohydrates

  3. Decrease the amount of salt in your food

  4. Increase the amount of water intake, but to a reasonable amount

It is however important that you visit a doctor when the bloating has nothing to do with your menses or you have severe symptoms of PMS/PDMS and it causes you to feel uneasy in your daily life. You may feel relieved by taking a daily pill to treat PMS as prescribed by a doctor but others need more extensive treatment from the doctor due to the difference in bodily responses to bloating.


Different Bodies, Different Responses

It is important to understand that we do not have to compare how others react to bloating to ourselves. As stated earlier, we react differently because of our unique bodies! Bloating is normal if associated with your menses. it can get uncomfortable but hey, it is due to the hormonal shifts which signal fertility.


Now you know about bloating and how to control it. Drop a comment below or suggest what topic you want us to tackle in the next blog! Stay informed, stay in control!

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