Fatigue and Psoriasis

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,  as psoriasis is a condition that can be visibly seen, and therefore carries a higher rate of depression than other chronic conditions. Depression also increases symptoms of fatigue. When well treated, all symptoms of psoriasis including possible fatigue are hoped to be improved. It is important to consult with your doctor or pharmacist as some of swallowed medication that is used to treat psoriasis may also be causing fatigue,  such as methotrexate.

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

Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health.  Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.

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