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Constipated before your period: causes, symptoms and prevention



Created for Greatist by the experts at Healthline. Continue reading

Your monthly ride on the crimson wave can lead to some pesky GI issues like PMS constipation. As if mood swings and cravings weren’t enough, constipation is one thing before or during your period.

Here is the rundown of everything premenstrual constipation.

These 1 to 2 weeks before your period (also known as PMS or premenstrual syndrome) are the best time for GI probes as your body is preparing for Shark Week.

You Might Get Constipated Before Any Code Red. Or maybe it just happens every now and then. In any case, period problems are perfectly normal. 💩

Other common PMS-related digestive problems include:

It̵

7;s your hormones to blame. PMS triggers hormonal fluctuations that can destroy your gut and make pooping impossible. However, the jury is not yet sure which specific hormone is to blame.

Progesterone levels rise during or immediately after ovulation. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some experts believe this spike can slow things down and cause constipation.

Other studies suggest that estrogen is the real culprit. A 2013 study with mice found that elevated progesterone levels had no effect on bowel movements, but higher levels of estrogen did.

Remember, more human research is needed to determine the real cause of sluggish PMS poos.

The good news?

Most people notice that constipation improves once their period starts. Then these hormone levels start to drop.

Tired of feeling stopped Here are some ways to strengthen your bowel movements and bring PMS constipation to the curb.

Get plenty of fiber

Fiber locks your shit. This makes your poop healthier and easier to pass through. Try adding fibrous fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your daily diet.

Some fiber-friendly foods are:

  • oats
  • Pears
  • Beans
  • Apples
  • Andean millet
  • Carrots
  • broccoli
  • Almonds
  • Bananas
  • Split peas
  • Raspberries

You can also try making tasty snacks and meals that are high in fiber.

Drink more water

Drink up! According to the United States Geological Survey, the human body is 60 percent H.2O. Research found that not enough water can lead to side effects such as tiredness, dizziness and (you guessed it!) Constipation.

Drinking the right amount of water is critical to a healthy digestive system. It softens the stool and makes pooping easier.

Work it out

Exercise can convince your stubborn stool to make its great poo debut. You don’t have to do hardcore cardio if that’s not your thing. Gentle yoga or a gentle stroll after eating can do the trick.

Don’t hold onto it

If you have to go, you have to go. When you feel the urge, press the eject button on your colon. Holding it down can mess up your body-brain connection. Also, poo becomes more difficult because the fluids are reabsorbed if they are in you longer. This makes it harder to pass.

Consider laxatives

Laxatives can be a quick fix, but you shouldn’t be taking them regularly. Whatever the case, speak to your doctor first and make sure they give you the OK. Popular options are lubricants such as stool softeners, mineral oil, or docusate sodium. Your doctor can help you decide what is best for your # 2.

Constipation is a total resistance. Fortunately, there are simple ways to prevent this from happening. Here are your best options.

Avoid drying out drinks

The first rule of pooping is to drink water. The second rule of pooping is don’t drink things that will dehydrate you. Avoid diuretics – like caffeine and alcohol – during PMS.

Diuretics make you pee more, which reduces your body’s water supply. This means there is less water left for your poop to slide down your poop slide.

Healthy nutrition = happy poop

Eating a healthy diet can work wonders. Make sure you eat plenty of fresh produce, whole grains, and proteins. It is better if you eat these foods on the reg, not if you are already constipated.

Birth control pills

Hormonal birth control can help keep your hormones in check if they are making you unhappy. This can help reduce PMS side effects including constipation. Ask your doctor which brand is best for you. If you’re not a pill person, they may suggest an IUD or other option.

Prescription drugs

Is Constipation Chronic? Your doctor may offer a prescription drug. Some medications (such as lubriciprostone or linaclotide) can provide relief in the long run.

Constipation is just a digestive problem that can appear during PMS. Here are some other common bowel problems and what to do about them.

diarrhea

Montezuma’s revenge. The trotters. A case of runs. Whatever you want to call it, diarrhea stinks. PMS-related diarrhea can be caused by an increase in the hormone prostaglandins. But experts don’t know for sure.

What is known for sure is that it is very common. In fact, one study found that diarrhea and abdominal cramps were the most common symptoms associated with the GI.

What can be done about PMS diarrhea?

Gas attack

Some people get extra farty on or before their period. This gas is usually caused by fluctuating hormone levels.

What should I do about PMS farts?

Cut out foods that will make you fart. Some common culprits are broccoli and beans (the musical fruit). Carbonated drinks can also cause gas. You can also choose an OTC gas reliever.

Bloating

The puff makes you feel like you’ve eaten Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper (minus the part that turns blue). PMS bloating is due to increased progesterone and estrogen levels. These hormones can cause sodium and water retention, leading to bothersome gas and bloating.

What to do about PMS flatulence?

Avoid high-sodium nibbles that make the puff worse. You should also consider some extra water to help your body flush out excess fluids.

Period constipation is usually harmless. But you should talk to your doctor if:

  • will be a monthly issue
  • takes longer than 3 days
  • may not be caused by your period

Poop PPE:

See a doctor as soon as possible if you have severe cramps or if there is blood in your poop.

PMS constipation is completely normal and usually goes away once your period starts. But it’s still annoying AF. The good news? There are many ways to get your poo back into action. You’ll be pooping like a pro again in no time. 🚽


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