caret icon Back to all discussions

Top 3 Triggers

What are your top 3 triggers that cause your psoriatic arthritis to flare up?

  1. You know I've really struggled with figuring out what those are. It seems like a moving target. But here is my best guess.

    Food, I think, is definitely one. The more I avoid processed foods and refined flour and sugar, and the emptier my stomach is, the less pain I seem to be in. Beer, especially, seems to be a trigger. Which sucks pretty hard because I love a good craft beer.

    Sleep is one, I guess. If you can call it a trigger. My worst time is always the first two hours of the day. After that I'm usually pretty good. But I think that's pretty typical for psoriatic arthritis.

    And cold would be my third. My wife and I took a vacation to Cancun over the summer and being able to take a dip in the warm ocean every morning worked wonders for my PsA. I don't think i was really in any pain all week. It got me to thinking about moving to a warmer, more humid climate.

    1. Lack of adequate sleep is a big trigger. But, that's difficult to do when you get stiff and sore from laying in bed for too long. I typically get up after about 4 hours, move around a bit, go back to be and sleep another 3 if I'm lucky.

      Alcohol and certain foods are my number two trigger. I love to go out and have a glass of wine but I'll pay for it if I do. And, I love fresh tomatoes, salsa, and hot and spicy foods. But, nightshades are a big trigger for me and if I eat any foods out of the nightshade family, then it takes about five days for my joints to calm down.

      But, my biggest trigger by far is STRESS!!! I try to read devotionals and inspiring quotes daily to keep me grounded. I also set aside time on a daily basis for prayer and meditation. Currently I am flaring and have several swollen lymph nodes. That always set's me into a tailspin! I always get swollen lymph nodes when I flare and I've had them checked out in the past with ultrasound, etc. But, I was on biologicals for years so I always have that in the back of my mind. It's the unknown that causes me the most anxiety. Ugh!

      1. I've heard a lot of talk about nightshades - and I must confess I didn't even know what they were until I began working here! It seems that they are linked with a lot of the autoimmune conditions and recommended that they be avoided!

    2. How do you find a trigger? I am in constant pain. I was just diagnosed with this and also my blood test shows RA factor. I have pain in my fingers and swollen, R. elbow my R. wrist my knees hurt so much my ankles the outside of my left foot and the pain travels to the arch and my toes in both feet. Burning and nueropathy all over. I get worn down so much just want to sleep. I am on methotrexate, it doesnt help much. and my Rhuematologist wants me on something like Huamra I get cramps in my feet and legs. What medication causes osteoporosis? I work full time but to the point where I am not able to. I cant afford to quit but this is too much! I hope I am not boring anyone. I also have lucid dreams now and most are not pleasent.

      1. Hi Patrick! It sounds like you're going through a lot lately. Have you thought about the Humira your Rheumy recommended, if the Methotrexate doesn't seem to be doing much? It can be so hard to hold down an 8-hour work day when pain and exhaustion are always with us. And of course you're never boring us here! We want this to be a space where you feel free to share all your thoughts. It's tough when no one can relate, we all need that place to share our burdens. Warmest wishes to you today,
        -Victoria, Community Moderator

    3. I have been trying to narrow things down to better control my triggers. Here is what I've found so far:

      1. Overuse of my joints. If I am on my feet too long, or when I have a particularly long photography session, or typing all day, etc- that really seems to inflame my joints. My fingers will feel hot, a bit swollen, but mostly extreme shooting pain- some of my fingers even look like the veins are bulging (kinda weird right). My achilles tendonitis is the worst! It prevents me from being able to exercise like I used to- which is a huge bummer.
      2. Cold. And I totally live in the wrong area! Western New York where we are pummeled with wicked cold and snow. Moving is not an option because we have roots here, so heating pads are my best friends to stay warm.
      3. Lack of adequate rest. I work full time and have a 12 yr old boy who is involved with lots of things and I certainly won't stop that. Couple all that with my medication ramping me up (I have to experiment with taking it at different times of the day I think) and if I don't get at least 9 hrs of sleep, I am completely exhausted the next day.

      I haven't been able to narrow foods down yet as I'm just in the early learning stages of the diagnosis, but I am sure that soon I will get that narrowed down as well, as long as it doesn't turn into a moving target as I know some people experience! Boy this illness keeps you on your toes!

      Please read our rules before posting.