Here’s the scene: It’s 3pm in the afternoon, you’re sat at your desk with a to-do list as long as your arm and WHAM – suddenly fatigue hits like a tonne of bricks. Sound familiar?
Have you ever wondered why fatigue will suddenly strike with no apparent warning? It’s the most difficult to anticipate but also one of the most common symptoms of PsA,1 so just imagine if your fatigue could talk…
You: Fatigue, are you stalking me? You seem to want to hang out all the time, and the truth is I’m just not that into you.
Fatigue: Of course I do! You can thank PsA for that. Did you know that I’m BFFs with nearly half of people who live with PsA?1 What can I say? I’m super popular. I like people with PsA, you all see me as a really big deal. Apparently I’m the second most important thing about the condition (lost out to pain on the top spot).2 Pretty cool, don’t you think? Especially since no one can even work out what exactly makes me want to hang out with you all so much.
You: No, not really.
Fatigue: That’s not very friendly! Let me ask you a question; is your PsA particularly bad? That could be the reason I like you so much, because the worse the condition is then the more often I’ll come and visit.2
You: So, let’s get this clear; not only do I have killer PsA, but the worse my PsA gets the more likely I am to see you?
Fatigue: Fun cycle, isn’t it? The real kicker is that we know PsA is linked with anxiety and depression, and guess what… I am too! The more anxious you feel, the more likely it is you’ll get a surprise visit from me.3,4
You: Wow – this sucks. Ok, so healthy living is meant to help everything. Starting right here, right now, I’m going to transform my diet – no gluten, no sugar, no dairy, none of the fun stuff. THEN will you leave me alone?
Fatigue: Mmmmmm, let me think…. Maybe. I really don’t know. Cutting out refined sugars might make you feel better in general, but in all honestly it isn’t enough to be 100% sure I’ll go away.1
You: Ok, so how CAN I make you go away?
Fatigue: It’s murky – I’ve been super sly and actually no one knows the answer. All I know is that the more chronic pain shows up, the more likely I am to pay you a visit (I don’t like to feel left out). But exercise is said to reduce pain in arthritis, (it keeps muscles strong and helps protect joints, decreasing the amount of work they have to do and thus reducing pain).1 So I guess if you really, really want us to stop being friends then exercising more could help? I also hate planning and love spontaneity, so if you pace yourself throughout the week and go steady, then the chances are you’ll just be too boring for us to hang out. Laters!