Can Psoriasis Make You Feel Tired?
It is normal to feel the occasional fatigue. A bad night's sleep or a stressful day can lead anyone to feel tired, but persistent exhaustion may be a sign of an underlying cause.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), many people with psoriasis experience persistent fatigue that may interfere with daily function.1
A study published in February 2017 in the British Journal of Dermatology assessed fatigue in 84 psoriasis patients and 84 healthy people without psoriasis and found that nearly 50 percent of those with psoriasis experienced substantial fatigue.2
Fatigue is a symptom of psoriasis
While psoriasis may appear to be just a topical disease, those who live with this condition know that it goes deeper than that. Psoriasis is a systemic disease and affects the entire body, most notably the immune system.
Though doctors aren’t exactly sure how psoriasis causes fatigue, they do suspect that this inflammation of the immune system has something to do with it. With the immune system in hyperdrive, the body is constantly working, which could explain this feeling of exhaustion.
Plaque psoriasis can also cause extreme pain and discomfort, making it difficult to sleep at night. A poor night's sleep would make anyone tired the next day. Psoriasis is also linked with depression and stress, which may cause fatigue as well. There are a number of reasons why psoriasis could cause fatigue and while we don’t know exactly what causes it, we can certainly try doing things that may prevent it.
Tips for managing fatigue
If you feel exhausted all the time, please talk to your doctor. It is important that they are in the loop when it comes to your symptoms. In the meantime, making some lifestyle changes can’t hurt.
Get a better nights sleep.Get some sleep! This seems like an obvious answer but not everyone is doing it. Shut off your electronic devices and TV at a certain time. Pick up a book or put on a podcast. (Need a suggestion? Try listening to the Sleep With Me Podcast)
Improve your food choices. Your body is a machine. Give it the best fuel you can by making better food choices. If you need to picture your mom lecturing about finishing the veggies on your plate, then do that! Eat lots of veggies and fruit. Replace some of your red meats with fish to get those Omega-3’s in. Personally, I find that when I eat before bed I wake up more in the middle of the night so I try to stop eating way before my bedtime.
Physical activity. I know moving can feel like a chore some days but even just 10 minutes of movement helps. Walk the dog (or yourself) for a bit. Do some gentle yoga or body stretching. Don’t push yourself if you are in pain, be gentle to yourself.
Boost your morale. Find something you enjoy doing and do it. Whether that’s a little arts and crafts, reading a book, or just talking to a friend. A simple change in attitude can boost your energy in surprising ways.
Keep a journal.Try writing down when you feel tired. Was it after a meal? After an activity? Did anything help improve your energy? How are you feeling emotionally when you feel tired physically? Bring these notes to your doctor and let them know when and what you are feeling.
Where on your body does psoriasis bother you the most?