How to ease PMS related bloating

The hormonal fluctuations that occur just before your period can cause your kidneys to retain water and salt and this is what makes you feel bloated and heavy. The area under your eyes may also appear puffy and again this is due to temporary water retention. Over the counter remedies are not advised as they can leach valuable nutrients from your body but if you do get fluid retention there are a number of things you can do to help yourself:


First of all cut down on your salt intake. Use less salt in your cooking, watch out for hidden salts in your foods and look for other ways to enhance flavour, for example using herbs and spices instead.


Increase your fluid intake. You need to drink more not less to help your body dilute the salt in your tissues and allow you to excrete more salt and fluid. Aim to drink at least 1 litre of water a day.


Eat more whole foods. If you are constipated this can make bloating worse, so eat more fibre rich whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables to get your bowels moving.


Reduce the amount of caffeine in your diet. Caffeine is a diuretic, but it won’t ease bloating because it hinders the secretion of excess salt and toxins from your body.


Make sure your diet includes sufficient B vitamins, especially vitamin B6, found in bananas, fish, nuts, seeds and whole grains, which is a tried and tested remedy for PMS water retention.


Eat foods that naturally decrease fluid retention, like asparagus, apple cider vinegar, alfalfa sprouts, and dandelion flowers. And eat more potassium rich food to bring down your body’s sodium level as the two minerals balance each other out. Reach for those bananas, apricots, beans including lentils, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits.


Eat papaya: it contains more digestive enzymes than any other fruit and eaten before meals can really aid digestion as well as the metabolism of fat from food.


Keep your blood sugar levels in balance. When blood sugar levels drop adrenaline is released to move sugar quickly from your cells into your blood. When the sugar leaves the cells it is replaced by water which contributes to that bloated feeling.


Get moving. Moderate exercise will make you sweat and hasten the transport of water through your body.


Aromatherapy oils can be helpful with bloating. Add fennel or chamomile to a warm bath and soak for twenty minutes for the best effect. You can also use juniper as a massage oil.


Dandelion and parsley are natural herbal diuretics packed with PMS beating nutrients that allow fluid to be released without losing nutrients.


Elevate your feet if you are prone to swelling in the ankles. And wear supportive stockings to ease discomfort.


(In the clinic I use the herbal combination Agnus Castus Plus, see the Resources Page and for more information on PMS see my book Overcoming PMS the Natural Way).

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