Chronic Fatigue: Living with Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that is known mainly for its arthritic component-pain, and immobility of the joints. Living with psoriatic arthritis also requires managing other symptoms such as chronic fatigue.
Fatigue is a very general symptom that can be difficult to classify, as it affects everyone from time to time. It is also difficult to pinpoint specifics such as severity, and exactly when it started. Fatigue is often a major factor in psoriatic arthritis, and many patients suffer from generalized fatigue.
What causes fatigue in patients with psoriatic arthritis?
- It is impossible to pinpoint the exact cause of general fatigue. Multiple factors play a role in patient fatigue.
- Chronic inflammation is a factor in all forms of arthritis. Prolonged inflammation releases cytokines which result in fatigue.
- Medications like Methotraxate and biologics are powerful drugs that can help treat severe psoriatic arthritis. They also have powerful side-effects which include fatigue.
- Depression can be a factor that causes fatigue. Depression is not uncommon for people who live with a chronic disease like psoriatic arthritis.
- Exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep are all important factors in maintaining health and energy. The pain and stiffness caused by psoriatic arthritis can have a negative effect on all of these, which in turn, can worsen fatigue.
How do I fight fatigue?
- First, assess your level of fatigue. Everyone is tired from time to time. Is your fatigue chronic or constant? Does fatigue interfere with your work and private commitments? Does fatigue keep you from doing what you want to do?
- Join or create a network of support. They can be friends, family, or even an online support group, but have people who understand your condition and provide support. Psoriatic arthritis is a serious disease, and one that can be difficult to fight alone.
- Treat your psoriatic arthritis properly. See your doctor and take medications as required. Most treatments should include anti-inflammatory medication, which should help with the arthritic inflammation.
- If fatigue is a problem, let your doctor know about this. If depression is a possible factor, this needs to be mentioned; depression is a serious condition with potentially fatal consequences. Remember that your doctor is your most reliable partner in fighting psoriatic arthritis.
- Exercise, even if you feel tired. Exercise gives your body the required oxygen and energy. It keeps you in fit, and more energetic, which in turn, motivates you to exercise.
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