April 26


Startle Reflex and Fibromyalgia

By Sue Ingebretson

April 26, 2016

adrenal, assessment, Depke, dysfunction, exhaustion, fatigue, hormone, jumpy, naturopath, reflex, sleep, startle, startling, Systemic

Do you jump out of your skin if someone unexpectedly taps you on the shoulder? Do you scream, shriek, or yelp like a banshee at sudden loud noises? If so, welcome to the club. You may have an exaggerated startle reflex. The question is, did fibromyalgia cause this problem?

I believe that question is looking at the problem from the wrong angle. 

The root problem is actually quite systemic with gut dysfunction playing a central role. Inflammation is the name of the game. Inflammation (starting in the gut) causes systemic reactions. These reactions have far-reaching impact including … fibromyalgia.

Hallmarks of the imbalances reflected for fibromyalgia patients include these basics:

  • Digestive dysfunction
  • Hormonal dysfunction
  • Adrenal dysfunction

Of course, each of these systems have their own subset of symptoms including problems with nutrient absorption, cognitive clarity, sleep disturbances, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and much, much more.

In a chain reaction, each system is compromised by inflammation leading to multiple diagnoses including Fibromyalgia. And, while this topic is too broad to approach in one blog post, you’ll find some great resources to get you started on your own healing path below. 

For further information on inflammation and the specific diseases linked to it – check out this fascinating article, Chronic Inflammation. This article shares in-depth information on the role of inflammation in your body and what it means for you.

A while back, I wrote an article entitled, The Startling Truth About Being Startled and the feedback I’ve received is actually quite … um, startling! It seems a LOT of people relate to this problem – both in the fibromyalgia demographic and in the general population.


Because many of us suffer from an impaired adrenal system which is at the heart of this dysfunction.

How’s yours? Are your adrenals working overtime? Are they pumping out stress hormones like there’s no tomorrow? In a cascade effect, adrenal dysregulation trickles down to hormonal dysregulation. Do you have that, too? It’s important to note that because of this pathway, it’s important to address adrenal imbalances FIRST, and then approach your hormonal concerns.

Where to from here?

If you’re looking to start your own health journey, sometimes the baby steps are the easiest to take. A good first step is to seek the guidance of a Naturopath who specializes in adrenal issues. I’ve done the hard work of finding one for you. You can take your own free adrenal fatigue assessment from my personal favorite Naturopath, Glen Depke of DepkeWellness.com  Once you have your results, you’ll find resources to direct you toward your next steps.

Additionally, if you’d like to approach a few basic challenges on your own, check out this article from DrAxe.com: Three Steps to Health Adrenal Fatigue.  

How’s your adrenal health? What surprises you the most about this information? What more would you like to learn? Please leave a comment below!


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"True Healing requires a combination of healthy nutrition, healthy body movements, and emotional wellness. This is what I call the Restoration Trio" ~ Sue Ingebretson