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Is there anything I can do to alleviate PMS bloating?

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  • Is there anything I can do to alleviate PMS bloating?

    Every month, like clockwork, I gain a full pants size for the two weeks between ovulation and menstruation. I'm completely off grains, eat minimal dairy (i.e. I can't remember the last time), no nuts and minimal booze (like one or two glasses of wine a week - maybe.) I know progesterone causes bloating, but is there anything dietary I can do to alleviate it (other than take diuretics or drink diuretic tea)? My salt intake is the same throughout the month as well.

    These are the supplements I'm taking:

    Fish oil 5 grams/day
    CLA 2 big caplets (sorry, I don't remember the dosage... but they're Vitamin Shoppe brand)
    Vit D 10,000IU
    Multivite
    B-complex
    SAM-E 800mg
    L-Theanine 400mg (i sometimes take more of this if I'm feeling stressed or anxious)
    Zinc 50mg every other day
    Magnesium 400mg
    Adrenal support formula (herbs like rhodiola, etc.)

    It's not a major issue, just an annoyance. My weight has been stable for the past couple of months, too (not losing anything, but not gaining, either) which I attribute to falling off the workout wagon until about a month ago when I started Crossfit.

    I'm just hoping someone might have an idea that could help

    Thank you!!

  • #2
    You could take a diuretic (and really need an Rx one), but I don't think that's healthy, so I agree that it's not a good idea.

    The PMS water retention is hormone driven, and really not in your control. I'm well past TOM myself, but I always had both hunger (day before) and water retention (week before), and I know it is super annoying.

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    • #3
      B6 100 mg/day is supposed to help--are you already taking that amount in your B-complex?
      Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
      Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
      Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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      • #4
        Other than the B6 100mg which is a good idea, you could try to raise your estrogen level to balance out all the progesterone that is bloating you. Some of the herbs do that (Black Cohosh, Red Clover, Soy Isoflavones) or you could obtain a natural human estrogen to take the last 10 days of the month, like estriol (E3) and see how that goes.
        I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.

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        • #5
          Dragonfly, yes, I get 125mg in my bcomplex... and Canarygirl I'm really not a fan of attempting to manipulate hormones when it seems whatever they are doing is what they are supposed to do (the monthly fluctuations, I mean) does that make sense? It just doesn't feel right iykwim... I think it's safer to just take a diuretic (and I'm not a fan of that idea.) Too bad watermelon is out of season... I eat a bunch of that and pee it all out within hours LOLOL.

          Thanks for the ideas I guess I'll have to try adjusting my expectations and just being OK with being bloaty for a couple of weeks. Probably not a bad lesson to learn ;-)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lolov View Post
            Dragonfly, yes, I get 125mg in my bcomplex... and Canarygirl I'm really not a fan of attempting to manipulate hormones when it seems whatever they are doing is what they are supposed to do (the monthly fluctuations, I mean) does that make sense? It just doesn't feel right iykwim... I think it's safer to just take a diuretic (and I'm not a fan of that idea.) Too bad watermelon is out of season... I eat a bunch of that and pee it all out within hours LOLOL.

            Thanks for the ideas I guess I'll have to try adjusting my expectations and just being OK with being bloaty for a couple of weeks. Probably not a bad lesson to learn ;-)
            OK, so nettle tea or dandelion root tea are regularly recommended to pregnant mamas for water retention. Think I will get some for myself--I've been living with the Menstrual bloating unnecessarily!
            Last edited by Dragonfly; 01-21-2011, 04:12 PM.
            Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
            Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
            Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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            • #7
              I'm with you on not manipulating your hormones if you can help it.

              How long have you been on PB? I'm finding that the longer I'm on it (it's been about a year), the more my hormones are normalizing and the less I'm seeing of certain symtpoms, issues, whatever related to my period. I still get swollen/bloaty though.... although it's only for 5 or 6 days now, where before PB it was 2-1/2 weeks. Urgh.

              I do drink dandelion root or nettle tea as well and it does really help. It's a natural diuretic, so I feel better about it, but try not to abuse it either.
              sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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              • #8
                I found that Red Clover and Black Cohosh worked great for me; others get a lot of good out of chasteberry or evening primrose oil. You may have to just try a couple different things. Also, I always kept diuretics around since I could gain 3-4 pounds of water weight; there are some decent natural alternatives. I didn't know it when I needed it, but caffeine in coffee and sodas can make pms worse.
                This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
                Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

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                • #9
                  Krill OIl.

                  I bow down to the power of krill oil and its ability to take away my mid-month migraines and unholy bitchiness. It has also compacted the whole event from 5 to 3 days and is much more manageable pain and flow wise.

                  I dropped to 2g of Fishoil from 4 and added 2g of krill.
                  SW: 235
                  CW:220
                  Rough start due to major carb WD.

                  MWF: 1 hour run/walk, 1.5 hours in the gym - upper/lower and core
                  Sat/Sun=Yard/house work, chasing kids, playing
                  Family walk every night instead of everyone vegging in front of the TV
                  Personal trainer to build muscle mass & to help meet goals

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                  • #10
                    I used to have the worst PMS...I had maybe one week out of four that I felt 'normal.' Now, i feel out of sorts for a day or two each month. What's worked for me: Vitamin E, 200 iu every other day or so (I was taking it every day, but I forget it sometimes).
                    PB got me to two weeks of misery. Adding in fish oil/cod liver oil & vitamin d got me down to a week of misery. Nowadays, I have to watch the calendar, because I don't have the aches, pains and meltdowns that tell me where I am in my cycle. Good luck!!

                    Also: this is good reading about Vitamin E's effect on hormones http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/vitamin-e.shtml
                    Last edited by fitmom; 01-21-2011, 06:44 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Digby View Post
                      I found that Red Clover and Black Cohosh worked great for me; others get a lot of good out of chasteberry or evening primrose oil. You may have to just try a couple different things. Also, I always kept diuretics around since I could gain 3-4 pounds of water weight; there are some decent natural alternatives. I didn't know it when I needed it, but caffeine in coffee and sodas can make pms worse.
                      Mercola has a krill oil with evening primrose combination that they claim helps with PMS symptoms. I take it instead of fish oil for inflammation.

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                      • #12
                        Wow, interesting stuff!! Thank you!!! I will look into the krill oil, vitamin E and the teas!

                        Thanks a million!

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                        • #13
                          You could try acupuncture. I have a friend who had great success in getting rid of her PMS that way. Good luck.

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                          • #14
                            lolov, is most/all of your protein pastured/grass fed? When I finally decided to eliminate the grocery store meat, and found better sources, it seemed to make a real difference for me.
                            www.chowstalker.com We don't do cupcakes.
                            www.desserrtstalker.com We still don't do cupcakes.
                            http://followingmynose.blogspot.com/

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                            • #15
                              keep in mind that herbs like black cohosh and red clover also manipulate the hormones--that's why they work.
                              I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.

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