One thought on “I am a 15-year-old student who experiences bloating, cramps, and heaviness in breasts during periods. I also tend to put on a kilo or two of weight during this time. I am anxious about these issues. What should I do?

  1. Seema Gupta says:

    Hello Ria, thank you for reaching out.
    First, I would like to reassure you that these symptoms are common during periods for many girls. So, please don’t get overly anxious and feel you are alone in this.
    You feel you have put on weight during periods, feel a heaviness in your breasts, and a sense of bloating due to water retention. These signs are due to the fluctuation of hormones leading up to your periods. Two hormones play a significant role in periods. These are oestrogen and progesterone. About a fortnight before periods, the levels of progesterone increase, causing water retention and sore breasts.
    The signs you experience are a part of what is called the Pre-Menstrual Syndrome or PMS.
    This is a temporary phase, and as soon as your periods start to end, these issues recede.
    But yes, these can cause discomfort.
    There are simple and effective ways to minimize the impact of PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome).
    Increase water intake to about 8 to 10 glasses a day. Eat foods rich in vitamin B6 and B12 like legumes, nuts, seeds, bananas, etc.
    Avoid caffeine if you are used to drinking coffee. Go easy on salt to prevent water retention. Eat a wholesome diet with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
    Try to be physically active. Yes, it sounds contradictory, but exercise helps. Wear a sports bra to give your breasts extra support. This support will help control the heaviness and pain.
    Take a Vitamin E supplement in the days leading to your periods.
    Cramps are caused by a chemical called prostaglandin, which helps the uterine muscles contract to expel the blood during periods. To ease the discomfort of cramps, place a hot water pad on your stomach during a lie-down.
    Most important, do not worry. These changes are only for the week, and the weight gain is temporary, provided you maintain a healthy lifestyle. And always, share your concerns with your parents. They are there to support you.

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