Why do I feel so tired?

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Occasional tiredness is normal, and affects everyone. But people with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis often feel tired all the time. Some people who develop this symptom think there must be something psychologically wrong with them or that they are going mad. You are not - fatigue is a common and recognised symptoms of your condition.

Why do I feel tired all the time?
Fatigue often occurs when there is inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked with the release of powerful chemicals. These include:

  • inflammatory proteins which increase the stickiness of blood platelets
  • proteins which bind to antibodies and circulate as immune complexes
  • immune system chemicals that help immune cells communicate with each other such as interleukins, especially interleukin 1.

Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are long-term inflammatory conditions. With both of them, fatigue may be an early symptom. Researchers do not know exactly what causes it, but it seems to be linked with increased levels of the above inflammatory substances in the body.

What can I do to help?

If you feel tired all the time, tell your doctor. Sometimes you may need to have your medication changed. A number of things may help you feel less exhausted all the time:

Eat a diet providing at least five servings of fresh fruit or vegetables a day
Reduce the animal fats in your diet and avoid fatty foods as much as possible
Eat fresh, home-made foods rather than pre-packaged convenience foods
Increase your intake of B-group vitamins needed for the production of energy in the body: brown rice, wholegrain bread and cereals, oatmeal and oatflakes, pulses, green leafy vegetables, oily fish, poultry
Aim to eat more oily fish, virgin olive oil or rapeseed oil, nuts and seeds
If you are unable to increase your intake of fish, consider taking an omega-3 fish oil supplement
Cut back on saturated spreads and vegetable oils and products containing them such as bought biscuits and cakes
Consider taking a vitamin and mineral supplement supplying around 100% of the recommended daily amount for as many nutrients as possible
Avoid excess stress
Take regular, gentle exercise
Try to lose any excess weight
Try to get a good night’s sleep
Avoid things that interfere with sleep such as caffeine, nicotine, excessive alcohol and eating rich, heavy food late at night.