Psoriatic Arthritis: How to Manage Your Energy Level

by 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.

Young woman walking dog in morning.
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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.

Avocado dressing, cucumbers, poached egg and multigrain bread.
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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.

Fruit flavored infused water with fresh organic lemon.
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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.

Drinking coffee in morning only.
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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.

Plate full of Sugar, Donuts,Candy, and Soda.
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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.

Asleep at home office, over commitment can wear you down.
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Don’t overexert

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.

Aroma bubble bath in evening.
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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.

Good sleep in a comfortable bed.
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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.

Turmeric supplements for their anti-inflammatory effects.
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Work to reduce systemic inflammation

While some fatigue-fighting techniques also combat inflammation, it’s worth targeting PsA’s trademark inflammation through diet and anti-inflammatory supplements.

Preparing patients arm for blood draw.
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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.

Casey Nilsson
Meet Our Writer
Casey Nilsson

Casey Nilsson, an award-winning journalist and magazine editor based in Rhode Island, writes about autoimmune disease for HealthCentral. Casey is a 2018 Association of Health Care Journalists fellow, and her reporting on unfair labor conditions for people with disabilities was a finalist for the City and Regional Magazine Association Awards. Diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2016, Casey enjoys digging into rheumatologic news, research and trends.