Surviving Fatigue: Psoriasis Is Tiring and So Is Everything Else
Last updated: September 2022
Around the time my first plaques popped up, seemingly out of nowhere, I began having trouble sleeping. I lay awake for hours at night and sleep wouldn’t come. When I finally did manage sleep, I couldn’t get myself to stop.
Some days, naps weren’t necessary. Other days, multiple naps occurred throughout the day and evening and continued on. We hadn’t the foggiest idea, at the time, that my immune system was waging a war against my body.
Over the years, it’s felt like I have accumulated one chronic illness after the next. I suppose it’s only natural that chronic fatigue fit right into the mix. But why does this happen?
Connecting psoriasis and fatigue
The most simple answer is the same cells creating an attack upon your skin causing psoriasis also exhausts you physically. If you’re on treatment for psoriasis, a side effect of the treatment can be — fatigue. Feels like a double-edged sword, right?
The lack of sleep you experience is because your skin is on fire, crawling or just plain painful. This certainly does not help the situation. When we don’t feel well, we don’t always want to exercise or follow a well-balanced diet either. Guess what can contribute to fatigue?
Yep, poor food choices and a lack of movement can contribute to fatigue, too. So, what can we do to help break this vicious cycle? Eat better, move more, and get a good night’s slip. Hah! Easier said than done, am I right?
Diet and how it impacts fatigue
Also, let me be clear in saying, fatigue is not your fault. What we can do is make some adjustments to help improve these facets. One way I’ve helped combat fatigue and not resorting to having my husband bring home junky takeout every night is meal planning and meal prepping. I do this for his lunches, so why not for our family dinners?
By choosing one day out of the week to cook, I make a batch of sides and one protein and stretch it into several meals. Doing this helps not having to feel pressured making food every night when the energy just isn’t there because of fatigue.
Chicken, steak, or a vegan protein substitute, a side of steamed broccoli, side of brown rice or cauliflower rice and a salad base with add-ins of seeds, raisins, apples, cashews, walnuts or pecans are examples of easy to make ingredients I use for meal prepping for lunches or dinner.
Exercise and psoriasis
Movement is hard when your limbs feel like they are tied down by lead weights. Ironically, the more movement I get in the more endorphins are created and the more energy I usually get from it all. Getting some sun equals getting some vitamin D, which is great for inflammatory conditions.
Logically, it all makes sense. Unfortunately, summoning up the energy some days it’s just not happening. And on really fatigued days, I certainly don’t want to be outside in the heat because that just sucks. You just have to find habits for a healthier self without exercise.
How I combat all of this is getting movement in while browsing at big box stores and dog walking. Big-box stores are great for walking because they have central air and are very cool They also allow you to finish an errand while getting steps in. My dog won’t walk herself, because she’s selfish. Okay, she’s not selfish, she’s needy. Anyway, I try to walk her at least twice during peak daylight hours. Even if they are short walks.
Learn to manage your psoriasis fatigue
No one is perfect. Not every day is going to a decent movement, eating, or sleeping day. I try to set small attainable goals in general; this is no different.
I know psoriasis is tiring and so is everything else. By implementing some of these modifications each day, it helps make things less exhausting.
How do you manage your psoriasis and fatigue?
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