PMS, bloating and fatigue. It is that time of the month again when you have your boyfriend in a headlock and would love to tear your boss’s earlobes off. Eventually you realize that although these actions will bring a certain level of satisfaction, it probably won’t help your PMS bloating.
PMS is the name for a group of symptoms that begin 7-14 days before your period. The symptoms include moodiness, aches and pains and fatigue. If these symptoms weren’t enough, you also tend to retain water and become bloated.
I have put together some ways to ease bloating and fatigue, and look and feel better during this time of need:
Cut the Salt– You can put on between 3-5 pounds of water weight because you are more prone to retaining water during this time. In addition, your estrogen levels fall and your progesterone levels rise which makes your serotonin levels fall and make you more likely to grab that salty carb. To counteract the salt, eat potassium rich foods like bananas, drink plenty of water and keep healthy snacks on hand. A calcium plus magnesium supplement has also shown results in beating the bloat.
Avoid Alcohol-The best thing to do for this week, is to drastically cut back on alcohol. Not only will the alcohol act as a depressant to your already gloomy mood, but it also lowers your immune system. This is the worst time for this to happen because your immune system is naturally lower during your period.
Studies also show that you get drunk faster a week before your period. Omega 3 rich foods like walnuts and salmon may help lift your mood, while an extra Vitamin C supplement will help your immune system.
Keep Yourself Regular– A nasty side effect of all the ups and downs of hormone levels is constipation. When waste does not move along in your intestines, the product ferments and gives off gases that bloat you. To avoid this crappy situation (excuse the pun) fill up on high fiber veggies or FIBER ONE cereal and my personal favorite, low fat plain, unsweetened yogurt.
Beat Fatigue: Bloating makes you feel tired and lethargic. Studies also show that the quality of your sleep is generally poor at this time of the month. Exercise can be a great remedy to give you energy by releasing endorphins in your brain and by making you tired enough to have a more peaceful sleep.
Take some vitamin b –complex for some natural energy for the day and a long hot bath as your prelude to sleep.
There are also many oral contraception pills that will help with many PMS symptoms including bloating. Ask your doctor and use trial and error with them, many women have had a bad experience with one type of pill and have never tried another one. Nowadays, there is no reason for you, your boyfriend or your boss to suffer.
Fiorella DiCarlo RD, RDN, CDN
Here are some food fixes for PMS: