Estrogen and progesterone are the primary female sex hormones and play essential roles in the regulation of appetite, eating behaviors and energy metabolism. The balance between these hormones can have an impact on fat loss and health, with high estrogen causing PMS symptoms, weight gain, and fatigue.
Estrogen causes fluid retention, while progesterone, since it has a diuretic effect reduces that extra fluid. This extra water weight tends to make women feel bloated and can be 5 or more pounds.
This is why women tend to be bloated prior to a menstrual cycle. Bloating before and during a period may be a result from changes in levels of progesterone and estrogen. About a week before a women’s period starts the levels of progesterone fall. Changes in progesterone and estrogen levels cause the body to retain more water and salt. The body’s cells become swollen with water, causing the feeling of bloating.
How to Reduce Water Retention:
- Avoid Salty Foods: The salt can increase the amount of water retained.
- Eat Potassium-rich Foods: Research shows potassium decreases sodium levels and increases urine production. Potassium-rich foods include (dark leafy greens, sweet potato, bananas, avocados, tomatoes.
How Diuretics reduce water retention
A diuretic means that it increases urine production. Producing more urine helps the body to get rid of water and reduce bloating.
Here is a list of foods that act as Natural Diuretics: Asparagus, Pineapples, Peaches, Cucumber, Leeks, Ginger and Garlic.
Also Avoid Refined Carbohydrates such as white flour and processed sugars. They cause spikes in blood sugar levels increasing the level of insulin in the blood which causes the kidneys to retain more sodium.
Other symptoms at this time BEFORE menstruation include: Mood Swings, Tiredness, Cramps, Acne, Food Cravings (Estrogen dominance can also increase insulin levels, which leads to sugar cravings to combat the resulting low blood sugar), Swollen Breasts, Headaches and Backaches.