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Is psoriasis making me tired?

Man at outside psoriasis talking fatigue and skincare

This content reflects the views of the individual blogger and is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.

Do you ever feel unusually tired, exhausted or do not have the energy to carry out daily tasks and activities?

Studies looking at the link between psoriasis and fatigue have found chronic fatigue and psoriasis may impact up to fifty per cent of patients, with a quarter of patients saying the fatigue is severe.

It all points to a pretty tough picture for those of us with psoriasis who suspect we may be suffering fatigue too. It’s important if you suspect you may have a problem that you seek medical help. Researchers think the presence of fatigue may be caused by the overproduction of proinflammatory proteins. But it may also be caused by a secondary illness including mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, or complications such as chronic pain. So, it’s important to see your doctor so they can look into it. 

My fatigue

I have been suffering from fatigue for a while now. The cause has never been found but I suspect a lot of it has come from my skin condition. Why do I think this? Because when my psoriasis is very bad, I feel more tired and more exhausted. I have to push through the days and do as much as I could without getting burnt out. As I’ve been seeking treatment and on a  biologic injection, my fatigue has gone down and I feel more able to take on the day and carry out daily tasks. I have heard stories from friends who suffer from psoriasis that they have had to quit their job or cancel social activities because their fatigue has been so bad. For them, it’s mostly been tiredness and exhaustion, and just feeling like getting through the day is a slog. Thankfully, I haven’t had to cancel my social plans too many times when battling this disease but I have had moments when I’ve had days of doing nothing just to cope with both the psoriasis and fatigue battles.

I do think it’s worth pointing out, however, that in my case, I suspect psoriasis wasn’t the only condition causing the fatigue. I have suffered mental health problems alongside my skin condition and I have no doubt the bouts of anxiety and depression made me feel more sluggish and less attentive. Battling a number of conditions can make one of them feel like they have a greater hold over you and for me, how my mind was responding to my psoriasis made me feel more upset and unhappier and therefore more exhausted and tired.

Some may mistake your fatigue for laziness. People may assume you don’t want to work or you don’t want to socialise with friends, but actually, it can just prove too much to do either. Some people can’t do daily tasks such as washing up or getting dressed let alone go out and go to the pub. Reserving energy levels is important here and some, for their own well-being, choose to shun certain activities which bring on greater levels of exhaustion or tiredness.

What can I do about it?

There are different things I have done to help my energy levels and keep my fatigue under control.

1) Be proactive with your treatment. Make sure you are in contact with your health team and are getting whatever medication necessary to keep your psoriasis under control. Don’t be afraid, as well, to mention your fatigue as your doctor can help with that condition and may choose to treat it separately. But it’s important to keep on top of both the skin condition and the exhaustion.

2) Keep a diary of some sort. Log down each day your feeling fatigued and how exactly that has impacted you. Have you had to cancel social activities? Are you unable to work? Are you able to clean up your house and keep the place tidy? Just find some time to really write down what tiredness you’re feeling and how it’s affecting your daily life.

3) Look at your diet and sleeping pattern. Are you consuming too many fatty, sugary foods? Are you consuming caffeine near bed time? These things may seem easy but it’s amazing how much we forget to do them. In your diary, keep a log of the foods and drinks you’re having. Try to cut down on tea and coffee, and fizzy drinks. Don’t drink so much alcohol too. Get a good night’s rest of at least eight hours per night.

4) Lon’t forget to exercise, too. If you’re feeling self-conscious because of your skin or don’t feel like going outside for a run, have you thought about doing a few routines in your own home? There are some great free exercises which you can do and they won’t take very long. Alternatively, have a look at an at-home gym video where you have a trainer explaining the routines for you. Personally, I like to do home workouts and on days I don’t feel like doing them, I walk instead. I try to walk at least 12,000 steps per day and I have felt so much better and fitter for it. My tiredness and exhaustion have attempted to stop me doing that in the past but I always try and push through and see weight loss and feeling healthy as my end goal.

If you have psoriasis and are suffering symptoms of fatigue, as I’ve said, make sure you seek help. There are things you can do to help yourself, but if it’s having a big impact on your life, you may need more serious intervention. Psoriasis can make you feel tired, exhausted and lacking in energy, and it’s enough to just live with the skin disease without having comorbidities too. Whatever you do, make sure you keep yourself well and healthy.

Article developed in partnership with LEO Pharma.

MAT-48415 July 2021 

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