Reducing water retention before your period

We take a look at what causes bloating before your period and how natural, herbal water retention tablets can help relieve the symptoms.

It’s that time of the month. You’re probably about a week or ten days away from your period and your favourite jeans are feeling uncomfortably snug around your tummy.

The culprit is almost certainly fluid retention, a primary cause of irritating and uncomfortable bloating and swelling particularly in the abdomen, but often also in the hands and lower legs.

What causes fluid retention?

As many women know, water retention is a common feature of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS). Medics are not sure why we retain fluid during our menstrual cycle, but experts believe that fluctuations in levels of oestrogen appear to contribute to the problem.

Water retention, known medically as topical oedema, occurs when fluid that should be flushed out by the kidneys in the form of urine and sweat is retained in the body’s cells, causing puffiness in the abdomen, ankles and hands.

Abdominal bloating can be exacerbated by the fact that many of us are hungrier than usual in the days before a period, with many women finding that they crave chocolate or sugary foods around this time. This is just when your body has a natural rise in progesterone that slows the body’s digestive processes, causing gas or poor digestion which make the bloated feeling worse.

If you suffer from bloating at other times during the month, not just before your period, or if you feel the problem is getting worse, you should always consult your GP.

However, if you know that you just suffer from mild water retention a week or two before your period, here are six tips you can take to reduce the discomfort.

1. Drink more water

Ensure that you are drinking a minimum of a litre of water per day – preferably more. It may seem counterintuitive to consume more water when you know you are retaining too much fluid, but it will, in fact, help the body restore its natural water equilibrium.

To ensure you meet your daily quota, sip water with your meals and carry a water bottle around with you, or have one to hand at your desk. You can add a tasty twist to your water bottle by infusing it with lemon or lime and some mint leaves.

2. Make a few simple dietary adjustments

Avoid overindulging generally if you’re already feeling bloated. Spicy and fatty foods can make digestion more challenging for your gut so it’s best to give them a miss. Try to avoid foods high in salt too as a build-up of salt causes fluid to ‘pool’ in the body’s cells, contributing to that tell-tale bloating.

Caffeinated, alcoholic and fizzy drinks can also aggravate swollen tummies making you feel even more uncomfortable.

Eating a variety of vegetables every day is essential to ensure your body receives the necessary nutrients and ensure optimal functioning of the digestive system. However, some vegetables, like onions and broccoli can worsen and even cause bloating, so it’s important to choose your fruit and veg carefully.

Some foods are known for their anti-inflammatory properties so it is worth adding ginger, peppermint and probiotic yoghurts to your diet as these could have a calming effect on your gut.

Eating foods high in potassium, such as bananas, can also help to reduce sodium levels which contribute towards water retention.

3. Take some gentle exercise

Fluid retention may make you feel sluggish, but it is worth making the effort to move more, maybe by taking a brisk walk or a cycle ride, as this will help eliminate the build-up of fluids.

4. Try herbal water retention tablets

These offer a simple, natural way to help your body deal with excess fluid. HRI Water Balance contains natural ingredients that have long been valued for their natural diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties: Dandelion root and leaf, Buchu leaf and Uva-Ursi, which all help relieve mild water retention.

5. Take a chance to put your feet up

Although it is never desirable, bloating and water retention is a good reason to lie down and relax! Elevating your feet on a pillow or footstool can help improve circulation and reduce swelling and puffiness caused by water retention in your feet and ankles.

Stress can exacerbate bloating, so it’s very important to take some down-time and do activities that you find relaxing.

By combining a healthy diet, drinking enough water, taking regular exercise and herbal water retention tablets you can help to relieve water retention and comfortably and confidently wear your favourite jeans!

HRI Water Balance is a herbal medicinal product used to relieve symptoms of mild water retention, based on traditional use only. It is a licensed herbal medicine containing Dandelion root and leaf, as well as extracts of Buchu leaf and Uva-Ursi which are the active ingredients.

If you are interested in finding out news and information about a natural approach to supporting your health, beauty and wellbeing, why not follow HRI Herbal on Facebook @HRIHerbal.

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