Making a couple tweaks to your diet — like upping your fiber and eliminating dairy — can help keep bloat under control. But for some women, the source of their bloating goes deeper than diet and even stress. If you've yet to identify the culprit after trying a number of solutions, the following reasons may be the cause for your stubborn bloat.
You Have an Ovarian Cyst
Ovarian cysts are actually fairly common among women around the time of their period, and most are harmless and disappear on their own within a few months. However, a large cyst or one that's ruptured can cause symptoms including bloating and a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience sudden, intense pelvic pain or pain with fever or vomiting.
If you've noticed that your bloating peaks right around that time of the month, you're not alone. Bloating is one of the most common PMS symptoms, thanks to hormonal fluctuations, and typically occurs one to two weeks before the start of your period. Symptoms will increase in the days leading up to menstruation and should quickly decline a few days later.
Other common but unexpected causes can include:
- Drinking too much sparkling water or carbonated beverages.
- Chewing gum.
- Eating cruciferous veggies like kale and broccoli.
- Eating too quickly or too much.
- Not drinking enough water.