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Thread: How to Live Well With Psoriatic Arthritis

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    How to Live Well With Psoriatic Arthritis

    Psoriatic Arthritis: 10 Tips to Fight Fatigue

    If you have psoriatic arthritis, chances are you've experienced a common symptom -- fatigue. Fatigue can be caused by a number of factors, making it hard to treat. But don't be discouraged -- there are many ways you can fight psoriatic arthritis and fatigue.

    Psoriatic Arthritis and Fatigue: What Are the Causes?

    Because everyone feels tired sometimes, it can be hard to define fatigue or pinpoint exactly when it started. But if excessive tiredness is having an impact on your daily life, it's likely that you're suffering from fatigue related to psoriatic arthritis.

    "Fatigue is a difficult topic and understanding what causes it is hard," says John Hardin, MD, chief scientific officer of the Arthritis Foundation.

    If you have psoriatic arthritis and fatigue, it could be because of the following:

    Inflammation. When you have psoriatic arthritis or other kinds of inflammatory arthritis, your body releases chemicals called cytokines that cause inflammation and fatigue. If your fatigue is caused by inflammation from psoriatic arthritis, anti-inflammatory pain reliever medications may help.

    Anemia. People with psoriatic arthritis can have anemia. When you have anemia, your body doesn't have enough red blood cells to carry as much oxygen as you need. You keep feeling tired because your body isn't getting enough oxygen.

    Depression. People who have chronic diseases like psoriatic arthritis often experience depression, which can present itself as fatigue or make fatigue worse.

    Inactivity. If psoriatic arthritis has made your joints stiff and swollen, you may think you should limit activity to preserve your energy and reduce pain. But this strategy backfires -- moving less actually makes you more tired.
    Medication. Many of the medications used to treat psoriatic arthritis can cause fatigue as a side effect. The same is true for some medications used to treat depression.

    [COLOR="blue"]Poor nutrition.[/COLOR] When your joints are aching, it can be hard to find the energy and resolve to eat right. But poor nutrition is a leading cause of lack of energy and being overweight or obese can also zap your energy levels.

    [COLOR="blue"]Inadequate sleep.[/COLOR] It can be hard for people with psoriatic arthritis to find a comfortable sleeping position, and depression brought on by the disease often causes insomnia. Not getting enough sleep at night can make you more tired during the day.

    10 Tips for Fighting Psoriatic Arthritis and Fatigue

    Since the tiredness that comes with psoriatic arthritis can be due to a number of factors, it's essential to launch a multifront attack on your fatigue. Try any or all of the following tips to help restore your energy levels.

    Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue Fighter No. 1:

    Change your schedule. When you're diagnosed with a chronic condition like psoriatic arthritis, it's important to accept that you may need to make changes in your life. On days when you're really tired, give yourself permission to take a short nap. Or, if you find that your flexibility gets better as the day goes on, you may want to lay out your clothes and pack your lunch for the next day on the night before. That way, you'll avoid problems from morning stiffness.

    Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue Fighter No. 2:

    Get enough sleep. Because your body is already stressed by psoriatic arthritis, it's even more important to get a good night's rest. If you're having sleeping problems, ask your doctor whether changing your medications might help. Also, make sure you avoid heavy meals, alcohol, and caffeine before bed and practice good sleep hygiene. Make your bedroom a peaceful place for sleep and sex only, and try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day.

    Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue Fighter No. 3:

    Exercise. It's true -- exercising and moving around actually gives you more energy. You don't need to overdo it -- getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week is plenty. Try to include a combination of aerobic exercises and strength-building activities, which will keep your heart healthy and your bones and muscles strong. Another benefit? If your fatigue is caused by being overweight, regular exercise will help you shed the extra pounds.

    Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue Fighter No. 4:

    Prioritize. When you have limited energy, it's important to realize you can't do it all. Reserve time and energy for the things that matter to you, like spending time with your spouse or playing with your children.

    Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue Fighter No. 5:

    Seek support. No one can better understand the fatigue you're feeling than someone else in the same situation. Online communities hosted by the National Psoriasis Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation let you connect with others with psoriatic arthritis and share tips on fighting fatigue.

    Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue Fighter No. 6:

    Treat depression. When you're depressed, it can be hard to believe that you'll ever feel energetic again. But treating depression, either with therapy, medication or a combination of the two, can help you feel like your old self again. If you think you might be depressed, ask your doctor for a referral to a licensed therapist or psychiatrist.

    Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue Fighter No. 7:

    Eat right. The National Psoriasis Foundation includes healthy eating as a key part of its Psoriatic Arthritis Total Approach to Health (PATH). Don't skip meals, and eat whole foods with a good mix of unsaturated fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates to give your body energy throughout the day.

    Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue Fighter No. 8:

    Support your joints. If your joints are swollen and tender, wearing supporting footwear and braces may help reduce pain. And when you reduce pain, you increase your desire and ability to be out and about.

    Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue Fighter No. 9:

    Do something you enjoy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull (and lethargic) boy. Make sure you carve out time to do what you love, whether it's seeing a movie with a friend or planting tomatoes in your garden.

    Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue Fighter No. 10:

    Practice stress-reduction techniques. High levels of stress can zap anyone's energy and may make psoriatic arthritis symptoms even worse. Practicing meditation or yoga, or even just curling up with a good book or sipping a cup of herbal tea, can reduce stress and increase energy.

    Last edited by trimurtulu; 11-13-2008 at 02:42 PM.

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