Do you know that you can gain about 2-10 pounds of extra weight during your period? Traditionally, this is attributed to water retention, but recent studies have shown this is not always the case. Many women experience strong cravings for food and give in to during their menstrual cycle. If this is the case, when does period weight gain go away?
Menstruation Weight Gain: Symptoms and Causes
Weight gain linked to menstrual cycle varies from one woman to another. It can happen before, during, or after the period cycle. Regardless of which stage it occurs, weight gain often starts with bloating due to gas trapped in the digestive system and constipation that often occurs in the first three stages of the cycle.
Many health care practitioners consider weight gain as one of the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. However, it is a misnomer that it only occurs during the premenstrual stage because it can occur during the first stages of the cycle up until the actual period starts. Thus, it can occur in the premenstrual, follicular, or luteal stage.
The female sex hormone, estrogen, is partly to blame for the extra pounds. This hormone peaks right before your period and, since high levels of estrogen means water retention, you end up bloated up until your period starts.
Progesterone is another reason why you can't fit in your pants around 'that time of the month'. This hormone spikes around the second half of your cycle, causing your body to transfer fluid from blood vessels to the tissues. This is pretty handy if you end up pregnant, but if not, progesterone levels fall and you go back to normal.
Other reasons include craving for comfort food as you try and soothe yourself from the period cramps and skipping workout since periods really do make you feel tired all the time. The fact that your serum magnesium levels drop resulting to low insulin levels means your brain will perceive a drop in your glucose levels. As a result, you will be craving for sweets and more sugar in your diet.
Dealing with Period Weight Gain
The good news is, period weight gain only lasts for the duration of your period. Although it can be quite uncomfortable, it generally does not have any medical consequences whatsoever. If it still bothers you, there are ways you can reduce the amount of water you retain or weight you gain during your cycle.
Regulating hormones is recommended for women who experience bouts of depression during their period. Studies have shown that the levels of serotonin in the brain influence depression, which in turn leads to an increase in appetite. If you are not planning to get pregnant, consult your doctor about using birth control pills to help regulate your hormones.
Limiting your caffeine, salt, and alcohol intake will help minimize water retention. Avoid eating junk or processed foods as they are basically made with large amounts of salt.
Take care of your body instead by opting for vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other unsalted or low-salt foods. You may also substitute coffee with tea to support healthy menstruation.
Keeping yourself hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day will also help flush out toxins from your system. Although it seems counter-intuitive, staying hydrated actually helps your kidneys get rid of excess sodium that is partly responsible for fluid retention.
When does Period Weight Gain Go Away?
Since both water retention and bloating are symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, they also disappear once the period begins. The hormonal changes that take place before your period starts all go back to normal once your menstrual flow starts.
If it still bothers you, taking vitamins and supplements may help reduce the symptoms. Taking calcium and potassium, for example, helps stop water retention and improves fluid regulation. The herb chasteberry helps in the production of progesterone that brings about hormonal balance. Magnesium also helps your body deal with excessive water during your period. Find more information on Naturesupplies.
Weight gain during your period is the thing you don't want when you're having hormonal changes in your body. It is uncomfortable and outright annoying. The good news, however, is that it only lasts for a couple of days.
More importantly, you can reduce your symptoms by following the tips mentioned above. Like everything else, being conscious about what you put in your body and staying active will help reduce, if not eliminate, the annoying symptoms that come with your menstrual cycle.
Do you have to deal with weight gain during your period too? How did you deal with it? Tell us your story by writing it down in the comment section below. Share this to your friends who are struggling with these symptoms. Like any weight issues, period weight gain is within your control if you learn to manage it well.