We don’t usually look at our monthly period all too favorably.  Usually, it’s just a painful and uncomfortable phase you dread and can’t wait to get through. But your PMS symptoms are actually like a monthly report that give you cues about your overall health. So, once you know how to decipher your PMS symptoms, you can take steps to address underlying health problems.

Kirsten Karchmer is a board-certified reproductive acupuncturist and also the founder of Viv Wellness. And she’s taken common PMS symptoms and turned them into helpful signals that you can use to better understand your body.

According to Karchmer, if the body has a difficult time adjusting to the changing hormones throughout the menstrual cycle, physiological stress occurs. And that’s what brings about PMS symptoms. Therefore, PMS symptoms point back to a weak area in the body that you can support.

Here are some common symptoms and what they indicate:

Bowel changes, nausea and cravings? This suggests a weak digestive system.

Tender breasts, irritability and headaches? This alerts you to the fact that your body isn’t detoxing very well, and there may be too much estrogen build up in the body.

Anxiety, sleep disturbances and fatigue? Your body is low on resources (think nutrients, like magnesium, iron, etc.) and needs extra support to make it through your entire cycle – not just your period.

With Karchmer’s approach, you don’t just get rid of PMS symptoms. Instead, you can address underlying health issues. And when you do that, your body doesn’t need anymore uncomfortable PMS symptoms.

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