A60_Fatigue Busted

Is it normal to feel tired when you have psoriatic arthritis?

Joint pain

Synopsis

A lot of people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis report feeling tired, but it is very difficult to consider fatigue to be normal, because there is no way to measure it and to compare it. If you are often feeling fatigued, it is important that you seek proper treatment for your psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.

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Expert Answers

Dr. Marc Bourcier:

The reason I cannot positively say yes to this question is that it is very difficult to quantify fatigue. We do not have a measurement system to evaluate fatigue and we are left with subjective impressions.

Of course, for any autoimmune disease, when there is a flare-up, there are good possibilities that someone would feel tired. This is not specific to psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis.

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Carolyn Whiskin:

Fatigue can be caused by many factors from low levels of iron or vitamin B12 to low thyroid function. However, feeling fatigued can be a complaint of people suffering with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in whom these levels are normal. We can feel tired anytime our body is undergoing a stressor and chronic inflammation definitely places a burden on the body. At times of stress, the adrenal glands produce cortisol. After prolonged periods of stress, which may include poor sleep, pain and inflammation, the ability to make cortisol can be reduced to a level below what is needed for healthy daytime function, leading to feelings of exhaustion. In addition, depression is a frequent comorbidity of psoriasis, and depression also increases symptoms of fatigue. When well treated, all symptoms of psoriasis – including possible fatigue – are usually improved. It is important to consult with your doctor or pharmacist as some medications used to treat psoriasis and/or other conditions may also be causing fatigue.

There are plenty of ways that you can reduce tiredness: exercise, a healthy diet, 7 or 8 hours of sleep and activities which reduce stress such as yoga and meditation, when done regularly, can help reduce fatigue. 

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Andrew Gosse:

A lot of patients report a significant increase in fatigue. It should be noted that this is not just because of psoriatic arthritis symptoms, but from the psoriatic disease itself and its associated comorbidities. People with psoriatic arthritis can find themselves much more tired and fatigued. The arthritis itself causes fatigue, but there are other components that accompany the disease. It is important that people understand that there are associated conditions with psoriasis, as opposed to what they can see or feel.

A lot of people with other types of psoriasis also report fatigue, but I would suggest it is worse for people with psoriatic arthritis, because they have to deal with the impact of limited motion and pain created by movement.

This heightens the necessity for proper therapy, because there is nothing you can do about fatigue. And once you are fatigued, it affects every aspect of your life: work, personal, etc. People with psoriatic arthritis should be very vigilant about finding effective treatment.

Going to bed early is not going to help you in the long term.

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Painful joints might hide something else

I want to know what it is