Why do my feet swell during my period?

Many women notice that their feet swell up a bit during their menstrual period and for the few days prior to their period. This occurs due to fluid retention. When your period rolls around, hormonal changes are occurring, which can cause changes in your body. Unfortunately, some fluid retention is one of these changes. The good news is, there are several things you can do to lessen the swelling. Here we will look at both conventional and alternative methods for beating the bloat and keeping your feet happy during your time of the month.

Common Conventional Methods to Reduce Swelling

Once you talk to your doctor to rule out anything serious, she will likely talk to you about some lifestyle changes you can make to reduce water retention, and therefore, the swelling in your feet. First and foremost, increase your water intake. Yes, this may sound counterproductive, but it is actually one of the best ways to reduce water retention. It will help to flush out any extra salts and toxins in your body that may be causing the water retention. Speaking of salt, this is a major culprit of water retention. If you notice that your feet swell during your period, cut down on your salt intake during this time. Talk to your doctor about a healthy way to follow a low-sodium diet. Regular exercise and walking regularly will also help.

While they may not be the most attractive things in the world, support hose or socks are helpful for this. There are many on the market today that do not look like the ones your grandma wears. Some look just like basic business-wear socks, so they are at least semi-stylish.

Massaging and elevating your legs above heart level are also often beneficial. If none of the above work, your doctor may recommend a diuretic, but do not start taking a diuretic without talking to your doctor first. There are different types and your doctor can help you determine which is best for you. You can try some naturally-diuretic foods though, but don't overdo it. Just naturally work these foods into your diet. These naturally diuretic foods include asparagus, beets, green beans, pineapple, onion, garlic, parsley, grapes, leafy greens, pumpkin and leeks.

Alternative Methods to Reduce Swelling

Before trying any alternative methods, talk to your doctor first. Herbs can adversely interact with medications and each other and this can be dangerous. Diuretic herbs should not be used with diuretic medications. Bilberry is an herb that is a natural antioxidant that is believed to be beneficial for edema and swelling. Do not use this if you take any blood-thinning medications.

Grape seed extract is another natural antioxidant herb that is believed to be beneficial for swelling in the legs and feet.

Dandelion is believed to a natural diuretic. Do not use this with another diuretic, with blood-thinning medications or if you have gallbladder disease.

Talk to your doctor about proper dosing for these herbs.

Acupuncture is believed to be beneficial in improving fluid balance. This may, in turn, help to reduce swelling. Other possible beneficial therapies may include dry skin brushing, yarrow tea cold compresses and contrast hydrotherapy. Talk to a professional before using any of these therapies to ensure that they are safe for you and to make sure that the technique being used is the proper technique.


University of Maryland Medical Center: Edema

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