Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on October 29, 2021
1 / 6

Talk to Your Doctor

I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2012. It was really daunting at first. But I was excited to see what we could accomplish with treatment. Coming up with a treatment plan showed me that rheumatologists are very patient-centered and want you to feel better. If you’re not feeling your best on one medication, talk to your doctor about other things you can try.

-- Lori-Ann Holbrook, a writer and psoriatic arthritis patient leader in Dallas

2 / 6

Control Your Stress

Stress affects the immune system. And when you're stressed, you’re going to feel worse. Inflammation plus stress is a bad combination because it increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. Finding ways to control your stress is very important when you have psoriatic arthritis.

-- Carlos Julio Aponte, MD, chief of rheumatology emeritus at Fairview Hospital in Cleveland, OH

3 / 6

Assess Your Energy

Fatigue is a major symptom of the disease. Develop some relaxation strategies, like mindful breathing or listening to music, to manage stress in the moment. And be honest about your energy level. Fatigue can change from day to day. Be patient and complete just two or three essential things on the hard days. Each day, add one thing to your schedule that you enjoy. Adding meaningful moments can help offset the energy drain. 

-- Polly Campbell, an author and advocate for people with chronic illnesses in Beaverton, OR 

4 / 6

Consider Intermittent Fasting

There’s some evidence that intermittent fasting can lead to better disease control. When you eat three meals per day, your body is focused on digestion, which takes a lot of energy. Restricting eating to an 8-hour window and dropping your caloric intake a couple of days per week frees up your body systems to focus on other areas, like disease control.

-- Christopher T. Ritchlin, MD, MPH, a professor of medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York

5 / 6

Seek Out Support

When you live with a chronic disease, support is vital. A diverse support network is just as important. You need not just your family and your spouse -- you need friends who understand. The National Psoriasis Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation are great places to connect with peers and support networks.

-- Lori-Ann Holbrook, a writer and psoriatic arthritis patient leader in Dallas

6 / 6

Get Your Weight Down

One of the big challenges with PSA patients is obesity. It’s a component of the disease process. And it’s an important area for patients and their team of caregivers and health care professionals to address. Work with a nutritionist to get your weight down. Some drugs are not as effective in obese patients. But we know that in patients who are obese and do lose weight, the response to medications goes up dramatically.

-- Christopher T. Ritchlin, MD, MPH, a professor of medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York

Show Sources

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

  1. BSIP / UIG / Getty Images
  2. JGI / Tom Grill / Getty Images
  3. Dianne Avery Photography / Getty Images
  4. pakornkrit / Getty Images
  5. monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images
  6. monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

 

SOURCES:

Lori-Ann Holbrook, Dallas.

Carlos Julio Aponte MD, FACP, Fairview Hospital, Cleveland, OH.

Christopher T. Ritchlin, MD, MPH, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY.

Polly Campbell, Beaverton, OR.