How to reduce gas and bloating


Method 1 Changing your Diet

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    Drink more water. It may seem strange that drinking more water would cause you to retain less water, but this is really the best method to reduce PMS bloating.[1] Drinking additional water encourages your body to release the water that it is storing.

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    Reduce your salt intake. Limiting amount of salt in your diet during the week before your period can help prevent water retention.[2] Remember that processed and prepared foods typically have high sodium content. Avoid processed foods or opt for reduced sodium options.

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    Avoid starches, sugars, and refined carbohydrates. When you are suffering from PMS, these foods can make it more difficult for your body to process estrogen. They also raise blood sugar levels, which encourages sodium retention and leads to bloating.

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    Eat healthy food choices. Adding additional fiber to your diet through lots of fresh vegetables and fruits may help to balance your hormones.[3] Try to include a couple of servings of fruit or vegetables with every meal.

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    Have six small meals throughout the day rather than three larger ones. Eating smaller amounts more frequently helps to avoid that over-full feeling that frequently accompanies water bloating. This will also help regulate your blood sugar, which will help reduce bloating as well.[4]

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    Eliminate dairy products. Some women find that eliminating dairy from their diet helps their hormones remain more balanced, which makes them feel healthier and lessens the effects of PMS bloating.[5] This is especially true with individuals who may have undiagnosed lactose intolerance.[6]

Method 2 Altering your Lifestyle

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    Get plenty of exercise. Although the last thing you may feel like doing when you are bloated is exercise, sitting and inactivity encourages water bloating. Maintaining a daily exercise schedule all of the time is best, but it is important to particularly focus on exercise while you are experiencing PMS symptoms.[7]
    • Get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day.
    • Try a brisk walk outdoors, which has the added benefit of reducing stress and upping your Vitamin D, which can make you feel happier.
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    Lose weight. Being overweight may make period symptoms and bloating worse. Being within the healthy weight range for your height may help reduce your PMS bloating and make you feel generally healthier.

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    Reduce stress. Stress can have long-ranging effects on your health. Feeling consistent stress can put your body’s systems (including your hormonal system) in distress, which can worsen all PMS symptoms, including bloating.[8]
    • Try using a stress relieving techniques every day to help you control stress, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.

Method 3 Taking Supplements or Medications

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    Take calcium and magnesium supplements. If your diet does not provide at least 1,200 mg of calcium daily, take a supplement.[9] Calcium, magnesium, and potassium can help reduce the effects of bloating.[10]
    • Foods that are high in calcium include dairy products, kale, oranges, oatmeal, and almonds.[11]
    • Foods that are high in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, pumpkin and sesame seeds, and fortified cereals.[12]
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    Drink peppermint tea. Peppermint has natural pain relief and diuretic properties, so a cup of peppermint tea a few times a day can help reduce bloating. Additionally, sitting and drinking a nice cup of tea may help relieve stress.[13]

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    Take an over-the-counter period relief pill. Some period relief pills such as Pamprin or Midol contain a mild diuretic to help with PMS symptoms and help your body to eliminate excess water. They also contain anti-inflammatory medication, which may help with other types of swelling.[14]

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    Take a diuretic. An over-the-counter diuretic medicine can help your body expel, rather than hold onto, excess fluids.[15]

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    Try natural diuretics. Some foods and drinks act as natural diuretics. Coconut water, celery, cucumber, grape, and green tea are a few natural diuretics that may help expel retained water.[16] Dandelion, ginger, and juniper may also have diuretic effects.[17]

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    Take birth control pills. Oral contraceptives, when taken regularly, can help reduce the manifestation of PMS and period symptoms. Consult your physician for a prescription that is right for you.[18]

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    See your doctor. If you have tried some different things to reduce your bloating and nothing seems to help, then talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to recommend some other options to reduce your bloating, such as a low-dose prescription diuretic.

Community Q&A

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  • I'm underweight and still bloated. I always eat vegetables and have a tight schedule. Is there anything I can do that won't take long?

    I would try a few of the suggestions listed in this article under the try a supplement section. Also, try to get even a small amount of exercise, which can improve you symptoms. You can try going for a short walk over lunch or during a break.

    Thanks!

    Yes No

    Not Helpful 1 Helpful 2

  • What is a diuretic?

    wikiHow Contributor

    A diuretic is a substance that promotes the production of urine. Diuretics are known for increasing the disposal of water from the body.

    Thanks!

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    Not Helpful 1 Helpful 17

  • I have been on birth control (Yasmin) for 5 months, but my PMS is terrible and I have so much weight gain and water retention at that time of the month. Do I need to switch pills?

    AbigailAbernathy

    Talk to your doctor first. However, they may tell you to wait a few more cycles to see if your body adjusts. Ultimately, though, this is your decision. If you want to switch pills, make that clear to your doctor.

    Thanks!

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    Not Helpful 0 Helpful 1

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Tips

  • Be careful with diuretic medicine and caffeine; they both dehydrate and can make other PMS symptoms like headaches and insomnia much worse.
  • Although bloating and other PMS symptoms can affect women all throughout their reproductive years, they are typically the most severe between the ages of 25 and 35.
  • Some birth control pills may create water retention problems for some women; whereas other birth control pills have the opposite effect, acting like a diuretic. If you are taking an oral contraceptive and have problems with PMS bloating, talk to your doctor about other birth control options.
  • Be aware that some women suffer more severe PMS symptoms as they get older, so if your symptoms seem worse than they once were, age may be the cause.
  • To further avoid uncomfortable PMS bloating, try drinking hot slimming tea from Holland and Barratt, sweetened with honey.

Warnings

  • Avoid alcohol during the week leading up to your period. Alcohol consumption increases the severity of PMS symptoms, including water retention and bloating.
  • Excess water bloating can be a symptom of other serious medical conditions. If your attempts to control bloating are not successful or if your excess water retention does not go away when your period begins, see your doctor.
  • Do not combine diuretics and anti-inflammatory drugs. The combination may cause kidney damage.[19]

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