We’ve all been told (probably numerous times) that our worst period problems — cramps, PMS, super heavy flow, blood clots, migraines, teenagelike acne, bloating, and exhaustion — are completely normal. Yup, just part of this whole “being a woman” thing.

Well, ladies, we’ve been lied to for a very long time.

For years I had most of these symptoms, and every time I saw my doctor, she’d always say my complaints were nothing to worry about. She’d tell me some of her patients were in bed for days, so I should feel lucky that I could pop some ibuprofen and still function.

Um, really?!

Then she’d push the birth control pill on me as a solution to my period woes.

None of this sat well with me. It just seemed like such a defeatist approach to my health. I didn’t want to be prescribed birth control pills and painkillers as a bandage.

Instead, I wanted to know why I was plagued by all these problems in the first place. I knew something was really wrong, and I wanted to know what I could do to actually fix the root cause of my symptoms.

I’m not the type of person who can just accept the status quo, so naturally I decided to do a little digging on my own. What I found out blew my mind, and I think it will blow yours, too.