Question: I am always hungry while I'm on my period, but I don't feel like I can stomach the food. What can I do?

  • Peer peer Answer
    Rachel Wilkerson
  • Mom mom Answer
    Stacey DuFord is a mom here to answer questions about period care.
    Stacey DuFord
  • Health Expert health expert Answer
    Sandy Knauf is helping change the way people talk about vaginal care.
    Sandy Knauf
  • Have you tried to eat anything? Sometimes we don’t feel like we can stomach food but once we actually start taking little nibbles, we find that we actually have more of an appetite than we thought. If you’ve tried eating and you’re still feeling sick, it might be good to experiment with different foods! Listen to your body -- what is it telling you it’s hungry for? Close your eyes and just think of all your favorite foods. Do tortilla chips sound good? A grilled cheese sandwich? Or something sweet? And don’t count out the foods you like when you’re sick -- chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, or even a light smoothie might be just the thing.

  • I remember feeling that way when I was pregnant – always hungry but nothing sounded good. I think the key is to eat smaller, more frequent meals. Try to find something smaller that you can eat (like crackers, yogurt, bananas, etc.), and be sure to keep it on hand. The thing that really worked for me, though, was brunch. My husband took me to brunch so I could have one bite of lots of different foods.  For some reason, that did the trick! And it’s a great excuse to go to brunch once a month.

  • All of those hormones and other chemical changes in your body can wreak havoc on our digestive systems! You are right to wonder what you can do, because getting good nutrition during that time will certainly help you feel better. When food is hard to stomach, here are some tips that might help you stay nourished: 1) eat small frequent meals—think of snacking about five or six times a day, 2) avoid grease;  it is just harder to digest, 3) avoid salt; it will make you feel more bloated, 4) drink 8 glasses of water or decaffeinated liquid each day, 4) get your protein from beans and dairy, 5) avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates, like white bread and cereals without fiber, and 6) try to eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables each day. At first, this might seem overwhelming, but make small changes each time and it will be easier for you to get a grasp on. You might even find a few new favorites this way.

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