#JustaTipTuesday- Just for you Ladies!
Well, it’s that time of the month and your check-ins are not perfect- you were 100% on point with your program, and yet you are experiencing weight fluctuation and bloating. While this can be disheartening, understanding the underlying causes may help settle your frustrations!
There are 3 phases to the Menstrual Cycle:
1) Follicular Phase “low hormone levels”
2) Ovulation “Spike in estrogen”
3) Luteal Phase “high hormone levels” (PMS)
The hormones progesterone and estrogen play a significant role in fluid retention. When estrogen levels are elevated during the Ovulation and Luteal Phases, women tend to retain more water than usual. This is why bloating is common in the days leading up to a woman’s menstrual cycle – more estrogen means more water retention. Also, progesterone is a natural diuretic, so when progesterone levels are below where they should be, women may also experience fluid retention and bloating.
While having too much estrogen can lead to water retention, having too little estrogen can also contribute to bloating in the Follicular Phase. Estrogen has an effect on the production of bile – a fluid produced by the liver that aids in digestion and helps to emulsify fats from the foods we eat and aids in cholesterol synthesis. It also acts a lubricant for our small intestines. Without proper lubrication, stool can accumulate within the small intestines and cause bloating, as well as constipation.
Fortunately, there’s a lot that can be done to prevent bloating. First, take a good look at your diet and try cutting out “trigger foods” that are known to cause YOU gas and bloating (Broccoli, beans, high fiber foods). For some, cutting out dairy products and reducing sodium intake can help as well.
Make sure to drink plenty of water. Although your bloat is due to fluid retention, upping your water intake may help flush out the excess fluids.
Stick to your program and continue to exercise! We all want to curl up on the couch and eat chocolate, but continuing to exercise has been found to have a positive impact on your digestive health and aid in reducing constipation.
“How Bioidentical Hormones Can Help Bloating.” BodyLogicnMD, www.bodylogicmd.com/for-women/bioidentical-hormones-and-bloating.
“The Menstrual Cycle and Female Athletic Performance.” Mittuniversitetet -Utbildning, Forskning Och Arbetslivskontakter, www.miun.se/en/Research/research-centers/swsrc/news/2019-2/the-menstrual-cycle-and-female-athletic-performance/.