Periods or menstruation go as a regular monthly cycle in every female’s body. They reoccur every 25-30 days for 3-5 days. During this phase, the body of the females undergoes various changes. There are multiple upsurges in the levels of hormones and juices secreted by the glands. The 3-5 days get very painful and tiring for some women whereas, for some, it is not that painful. Women complain regarding consistent cramps and unpleasant feelings. Many also complain regarding the gain of weight during menstruation. Periods and weight gain go hand-in-hand in their case.
Do you gain weight during periods too, and how much do you gain? Do you lose that weight after your periods? Are some of the common questions that go into the minds of women. Let’s seek answers to them.
Many scientists and women have claimed regarding the gain of weight during periods. There has been an observation of an average weight gain on periods as 3 to 5 pounds. This comes under a physical symptom of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Many women get confused about weight gain during periods and how long do they stay.
This stays for 3-5 days in some cases, and for others, it might stay for weeks. The PMS includes a variety of symptoms ranging from changes in physical parts, emotional fluctuations-lows, and ups, or behavioral changes like irritated behavior, etc. PMS is ubiquitous in women undergoing menstruation. As high as 90% of women experience one or another type of PMS during their periods.
Other symptoms included during periods are:
- Tender breasts
- Constipation and diarrhea
- Cramps and body-ache or head-ache
- Low tolerance
- Fatigue and irritated behaviour
- Mood Swings
- Poor concentration or low sex drive
Different women include different types of symptoms. There are some significant reasons behind the gain of weight. A study of these reasons and their explanation help women cope with the changes going inside their body and not stress about them.
There are various hormones inside the body of humans. Estrogens and Progesterone are present inside the female’s body. The decrease in their levels sends a signal to the body regarding the arrival of periods. These hormones, along with some others, are responsible for the regulation of fluid levels inside the body. The gain of weight during periods is due to hormonal changes, mainly due to the retention of water during periods inside the body.
When there is a fluctuation in the level of hormones, the cells and the tissues of the body start to accumulate more water or more fluid. The extra or excess retention of fluids in the human body results in swelling of hand, legs, and face. They also cause puffiness in the face, stomach, or breasts, making them tender. This increases the weight of the body. Approximately 92% of women undergo this.
BLOATING AND STOMACH CRAMPS:
People often ask, “Does bloating gain of weight too?” so the answer is YES. Periods of bloating are also widespread just like periods of cramps. The fluctuations in the levels of hormones give rise to the development of gaseous content in the gastrointestinal tract. This makes us feel bloated and overall puffy.
This is also one reason for the tight fit of clothes during periods. There is one more FAQ “Does bloating cause temporary weight gain?” The answer to this question is YES too. The gained weight is lost within 3-4 days as a weight loss during periods
Bloating can be identified as the feeling of discomfort and tight fits inside the body. They usually start 3-4 days before the arrival of periods and continue till the 2nd or 3rd day of the periods.
Stomach cramps are excruciating and irritable. They are caused due to levels of Prostaglandins. Prostaglandins make the walls of the uterus contract and shred the lining in form of blood along with other fluids. This comes as a reason for weight gain during periods too.
The changes in the levels of hormones create various forms of desires and want. Progesterone is also known as an appetite -stimulant. An increase in their levels in the body causes rapid hunger and a desire to eat more.
The levels of Estrogens control serotonin levels. Serotonin at low levels is responsible for more sugar consumption. High intake of sugar or carbohydrates, in such cases, is responsible for overeating and higher consumption of calories leading to weight gain during periods.
Many of the girls prefer to eat lots of chocolate during periods. They say it to be a natural and uncontrollable urge of their body.
Fluctuations in the levels of hormones give rise to problems in the gastrointestinal tract. The issues included are diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. These problems cause swelling in the body and also slow down the pace of digestion. Due to the altered rate of digestion, the body feels overstuffed even with small consumption. The improper intake of food also results in a gain of weight.
The levels of Progesterone slow down the process of digestion, resulting in constipation. This shows a flawed process of nutrient absorption from the food. Constipation and improper digestion of food makes one feel uncomfortable and puffed up.
DECREASE IN MAGNESIUM:
With the onset of menstruation, the levels of magnesium inside the body start to decline automatically. The decrease in Magnesium levels arises the cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. Magnesium also controls and regulates the hydration level of the body. With the decrease in levels of Magnesium, there are high chances of dehydration in the body. This dehydration also comes out as increased levels of hunger in the body, increasing the demand for food.
Due to the cramps or the body-ache, women miss their workout sessions during their periods. The missing workouts stop the burning of calories and prevent the loss of fat in turn. Many women also feel tired and restless during their periods due to the consistent flow of blood.
This restless behavior and tiredness also cause weakness in some cases. Women facing weakness during periods are forced to eat more, and this leads to gaining weight. They are forced to eat high-calorie content to regain and retain their energy during their periods.
Alteration in the sleeping patterns of the body brings about many uninvited changes too. Lack of proper sleep results in stress and the development of frequent headaches also. During periods, women stay conscious and do not sleep in a relaxed and relieved manner. They lie on the bed in a straight and fixed position to avoid stains on the bed.
These thoughts in mind keep a person wide awake and prevent them from sleeping. Loss of sleep comes out as a poor habit and alters the bodyweight too.
ANXIETY OR STRESS:
Anxiety or stress is caused by alterations in the levels of hormones and vice versa. The fluctuations in levels of hormones give rise to stress and anxious behavior. An anxious or stress minded gets involved in over-thinking, and due to this, their mental health starts to deteriorate. With the problems of mental health, changes in physical aspects of the body begin taking place too. Stress or anxiety alters the rate of hormones and slows down the processes of the body. This leads to gaining weight.
Women need to be extra cautious during their days of menstruation. They need to take a specific measure to have regulated blood-flow. The days of menstruation are tough and should be dealt with precautions. Many women also develop low blood pressure and start fainting during periods too. Some precautionary measures taken during these days minimize the amount of pain and provide comfort to the body again.
Do check out our blog: Hormone balancing foods for women
The measures required to be taken during periods are as follows:
- Increase in water intake
- Consumption of healthy food
- Consumption of magnesium supplements
- Regular movement by the body
- Regular exercising
- Consumption of diuretics
- Reduced salt intake
- Skipping caffeine and sugar
- Avoiding food that gives rise to acidity