Psoriatic Arthritis: How to Manage Your Energy Levelby Casey Nilsson Patient Advocate
Managing Your Energy Level With Psoriatic Arthritis
Fatigue and autoimmune disease go hand in hand. If you have psoriatic arthritis, there’s a good chance you’re also battling low energy levels (thanks, systemic inflammation!) But PsA warriors can rejoice: There are lots of simple ways to trick your body into forgetting the fatigue — and, without exhausting yourself in the process.
Go for a morning walk
The sunlight, fresh air and exercise will give you the jolt you need to keep up with the day. Plus, a dose of vitamin D could help psoriasis lesions, if you have them.
Eat fatigue-fighting foods
Protein, omega 3s and dietary fiber will fill you up without draining your energy. Smart choices include eggs, multigrain bread, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Try some of these psoriasis friendly breakfast ideas.
Drink more water
Even the slightest degree of dehydration causes fatigue, so make sure you’re getting enough water. Err on the side of over-hydration and aim for an ounce of water for each pound of body weight. Try this hydration chart for easy reference.
Cut back on caffeine
Don’t get caught in the vicious cycle of caffeine: you’re on borrowed energy. If you can avoid it altogether, you’ll realize you don’t need that cup (or three) in the morning. If abstinence isn’t for you, shoot for your last cup of coffee or tea before lunch. Find out how much coffee is too much here.
Avoid energy-zapping meals and sweets
Sometimes, it’s that huge turkey dinner that sends you into a fatigue spiral. (Although it’s not always that simple.) Listen to your body and avoid overeating. Sugary foods and drinks, similar to caffeine, only offer a temporary jolt of energy.
A surefire way to exhaust your already weary bones is to overcommit. Learn to prioritize and learn to say no — something challenging for many people who live with chronic illness. It might help to remind yourself: Your health is more important than a clean house or a stocked fridge or a social commitment.
Establish a solid nighttime routine
Plan to eat dinner at least two hours before bedtime. Take a bath with relaxation-promoting aromatherapy, like lavender, and avoid screen-time before you go to sleep. And try these tips for better sleep with PsA.
Get enough sleep
Seven hours should be the goal, but your body knows what’s best. Use sleep-promoting elements like blackout curtains, white noise machines and comfortable, PsA-friendly bedding to help you stay asleep.
Get your levels checked
Fatigue could signal a co-occurring deficiency – think low iron or vitamin D – so have your physician run a blood panel to check. He or she might also have supplement suggestions, should you need them.