Dealing with fatigue from psoriatic arthritis goes beyond simply just sleeping more.
In an era of Red Bull, hour-long commutes, and a 24-hour news cycle, just about everyone complains of fatigue and lack of sleep. But for patients with psoriatic arthritis, fatigue is on another level entirely.
Most people can still get through their work day and even thrive despite their perpetual lack of enough sleep. But patients with psoriatic arthritis often describe the chronic fatigue as “overwhelming” and “wipeout;” many say it’s the psoriatic arthritis symptom they find the most challenging to cope with.
Low energy with psoriatic arthritis may stem from a few factors. First, the inflammation in the body itself causes fatigue. Another factor of chronic exhaustion is lack of sleep caused by joint pain and itchy skin. Finally, depression is common among patients with psoriatic arthritis, and depression often affects sleep quality.
Here’s how you can boost energy and combat fatigue with psoriatic arthritis, according to rheumatologist Leah Alon, MD, of the Harlem Health Center and Queens Health Center in New York City.
Add more downtime. You don’t need to “power through” your busy schedule, and you’re allowed—even encouraged—to rest and recover.
Chunk out your activities. “Instead of trying to clean your whole kitchen in 30 minutes, do it in sections of 10 minutes each,” says Dr. Alon.
Schedule in a stress reliever. Carrying around high stress from day to day can really wear you out. For you, a proactive stress-reliever might be exercising, but it could also be reading, gardening, or listening to a podcast—something to bring those stress levels down.
Invest in your sleep quality. This one’s a no-brainer, but getting more (and better quality) sleep will obviously play a role in your daily energy levels. (Here are 8 tips to improve sleep.)
Keep your diet rich in fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Here are more tips for a healthy diet with psoriatic arthritis.
Don’t slide on your treatment plan. Stay on your meds until you’ve talked it over with your doctor, and let your doc know if you’re experiencing new side effects or problems.
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Almost half of people with
psoriatic arthritis report
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having high levels of fatigue.
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And this fatigue is more than just feeling
tired because you woke up earlier than
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usual, or you stayed up too late.
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Fatigue is a medical symptom that
affects a patient's quality of life and
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ability to work and socialize.
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Some patients describe this fatigue
as wiped out and overwhelming.
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It's one of the symptoms that
psoriatic arthritis patients
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find the most troubling.
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Fatigue in psoriatic arthritis could
be due to a number of factors.
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The inflammation in your body
could cause fatigue, pain and
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itchy skin could affect
your ability to sleep well.
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Depression can go hand in hand
with psoriatic arthritis, and
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fatigue plays a role here, too.
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Getting your fatigue under control starts
with making sure your psoriatic arthritis
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is well managed.
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Taking medications to improve your pain or
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skin symptoms is one of the most important
things you can do to improve your fatigue.
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Making adjustments to your
lifestyle is important too.
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Recognize that psoriatic arthritis
is a chronic condition, and
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you need to rest and recover.
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You may need to schedule yourself less and
add more downtime in between your
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daily activities whether that's your
kids' sports games or meetings at work.
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You may need to breakdown your
activities into smaller bits of time.
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Make room in your schedule for exercise
even a low key walk in the evening.
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Exercise is a proven way
to help fight fatigue and
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many different health conditions.
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As a bonus,
gentle exercise can improve pain and
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help you sleep better,
which can affect your energy level too.
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Find a go-to stress reliever whether
that's yoga, reading a good book,
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or listening to your favorite music or
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Doing something proactive to ease
your stress can help fight fatigue.
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Do what you can to improve
your sleep at night,
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give yourself a bedtime
that you can stick to.
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Avoid doing things that energize
you like watching TV or
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checking social media right before bed.
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Look for ways to add more
whole foods to your diet, and
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cut out processed snacks and meals.
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Adding more nutrients and
fiber rich fruits and veggies, nuts,
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whole grains and lean protein, can make
you feel better and improve your energy.
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Finally, make sure to stick with your
treatment plan for psoriatic arthritis.
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And let your doctor know if you're
experiencing any side effects or issues.
Fatigue and psoriatic arthritis. Portland, OR: National Psoriasis Foundation, 2015. (Accessed on September 20, 2017 at https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/fatigue-and-psoriatic-arthritis.)
Psoriatic arthritis linked to high fatigue. New York, NY: Clinical Pain Advisor, 2016. (Accessed on September 20, 2017 at http://www.clinicalpainadvisor.com/arthritis/psoriatic-arthritis-linked-to-high-fatigue/article/490025/.)
Why do I feel so tired? Hertfordshire, UK: Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance. (Accessed on September 20, 2017 at http://www.papaa.org/articles/why-do-i-feel-so-tired.)