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.
What Are the Causes of Your Fatigue?
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 drugs used to treat psoriatic arthritis can cause fatigue as a side effect. The same is true for some medications used to treat depression.
- Poor nutrition. When your joints are aching, it can be hard to find the energy and resolve to eat right. But poor nutrition is an important cause for a lack of energy and being overweight or obese can also zap your energy levels.
- Inadequate sleep. 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.