I used to have ‘skinny’ pants and ‘fat’ pants, as I call them jokingly. They’re jeans that I wore depending on the time of the month; about two days a month I was forced to wear my ‘fat’ pants, which are slightly larger in size than my ‘skinny’ pants. Why? ‘Cause my butt would be about twice the size (well, not exactly, but just to illustrate phenomenon) as the rest of the month, my belly is ballooning and those tits … my goodness! All due to PMS. Glorious PMS.
What exactly is PMS?
PMS refers to a wide range of symptoms that occur with 80% of fertile women during the last week or last two weeks of their menstrual cycle. These symptoms vary in severity* and property, from (abdominal) bloating, swelling (hands, feet, ankles, breasts), weight gain, swollen, painful breasts and anemia to an increase of appetite, tiredness, insomnia, anxiety, irritability and feelings of depression. I will continue focussing on weight gain, bloat and swelling.
Why do my pants not fit?
Weight gain, bloat and swelling during PMS are caused by bad water retention due to hormonal shifts in the body. These hormonal shifts are encompass an increase of progesterone and estrogen.
The solution to weight gain, swelling and bloat
One way to relief weight gain, swelling and bloat caused by PMS is hormone therapy by taking birth control pills for instance. But these symptoms can be decreased by a much less rigorous and hormone-free treatment, namely dietary management. Take these advises into account:
1.Limit salt intake to 1,000mg-2,000mg (processed meats, salted snacks) to reduce bloating, weight gain and breast tenderness
2. Eat 6 small meals throughout the day, while larger meals can ge meals can exacerbate water retention. Smaller meals also balance your blood sugar level, helping you to stay unwanted food cravings ahead. Besides, make sure all these meals contain complex carbohydrates, to increase serotonin levels to fight depression.
3. Eat plenty of asparagus, onion, celery and cucumbers, which are water rich foods and known for their water shifting abilities, reducing water retention.
Soothing other PMS symptoms:
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Eat natural, unprocessed foods.
- Limit simple sugar like candy bars.
- Limit foods that are high in saturated fats, like red meat, processed snacks and fried food
- Completely eliminate caffeine, including decaffeinated coffee.
- Avoid alcohol (which is a source of sugar).
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B1 a.k.a. thiamin
- Borage oil
- Primrose oil
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* If you suffer from extreme physical and psychological symptoms that interfere with your everyday life, you might suffer from Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
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