Ever notice that your acid reflux or gas worsens right before your period begins? There several reasons for this. It’s not in your head.
“Reflux and gas may be worse right before menstruation for several reasons,” says Alan Gingold, DO, a board certified gastroenterologist with the Digestive Healthcare Center of NJ.
“One might be the changing estrogen and progesterone hormone changes that occur right before a menstrual cycle.
“Other things that may make reflux worse at this time are dietary changes — more chocolate, sugars, etc.”
Does your appetite change in the days leading up to the official start of your period?
Cravings for certain foods mean eating those foods – leading to increased acid reflux.
Take note of the changes in diet that occur a few days before you begin flowing.
• Are you eating the same foods as you normally do – but in greater amounts?
• Are you eating more food closer to bedtime, which can lead to acid reflux overnight?
• Are you loading up on comfort foods that are known triggers for acid reflux, such as, of course, chocolate, as well as spicy foods, citrus fruits, soda, orange juice and alcohol?
Dr. Gingold adds, “More non-steroidal medication use at this time may cause more inflammation and irritate the stomach, and in general poor sleep and stress may exacerbate things at this time of the month as well.”
As for gas, this can be explained by the increased intake in food, particularly gas-causing food like beans and, for some women, milk.
And foods with added inulin are notorious for producing a lot of smelly passed gas.
To manage the increased acid reflux that comes around the beginning of your period, avoid eating within three hours of bedtime.
Avoid also the trigger foods for acid reflux and gas (hopefully you’ll be able to eventually identify them). And remember, more gas than usual is normal in the days preceding menstruation.
Dr. Gingold attributes his success to the extra time he spends with his patients. His areas of expertise include reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus, capsule endoscopy, chronic liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.