Fatigue is more than feeling drained after a long day at work. It's a serious symptom that can affect your quality of life and well-being. It could be from your psoriatic arthritis, the medications you're taking, or something about your lifestyle.
How Arthritis Causes Fatigue
When you have this disease, your body makes proteins, called cytokines, that cause inflammation. They make your joints swell and become painful or stiff.
These proteins may also cause fatigue, although doctors aren't sure why. When you have a flare, the cytokines set your immune system off. But instead of fighting an infection, your immune system attacks your joints. Maybe the fatigue comes from your body using energy to do this.
The joint pain and skin rashes that can come with this type of arthritis may also keep you from getting a good night's sleep. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, talk to your doctor. A medication might help you get better rest.
Some painkillers, such as tramadol, can also have this effect.
Lack of exercise. Get more physical activity to boost your energy level. It can also ease some joint pain so you sleep better.
Unhealthy snacks. Candy and refined starches like potato chips may give you a quick boost, but it doesn't last. They'll bring you down later.
Too much caffeine. Coffee or cola can give you a morning jump-start, but its effects are also short-lived. And drinking it later in the day can make it hard to fall asleep.
Stress. When you feel anxious and tense, it can take a toll on your sleep. Stress drains your energy.
Gadgets at bedtime. Don't use a device that glows, like a smartphone or tablet, before bedtime. The light tells your brain to stay awake.
Alcohol. While a nightcap may help you relax, alcohol actually makes it hard to stay asleep.
Other Health Problems
Your fatigue might not be related to psoriatic arthritis. Other conditions that can make you feel wiped out include:
- Depression, which is more likely when you have an ongoing illness like psoriatic arthritis
- Restless legs syndrome
- Sleep apnea
Talk to your doctor if you can't shake the sluggishness. You may need tests to figure out what's going on.