My 6-Part Plan for Psoriatic Arthritis Disease Management
Managing psoriatic arthritis is a full-time job. While it doesn't pay in money, it pays off in dividends in so many other ways. Meaning, we get out only what we put in. It's tough, since we can't just solely wear this one hat. We have life to contend with.
How have I managed my psoriatic arthritis?
Like many of you, I have quite a delightful combination of several autoimmune conditions that cause a wide array of symptoms. Over the years, I have tried anything and everything to find relief. I thought I'd share with you what I've finally found that has worked best for me.
I share this, not to prescribe the same for you, rather, that it might help you sit down and look at all the ways PsA can affect you in addition to your life. My goal is to inspire you to develop your own, well-rounded plan to keep the PsA inferno from burning down our house.
It's important to tackle your gut health first. That's what is going to set the precedent for how your body functions. Are you sensitive to gluten? Over serving yourself in the sugar department? Partaking in too much alcohol?
All of these things not only change the environment in our bodies, but affect how our bodies are able to access the minerals and nutrients that it needs to help heal itself. There are many wonderful resources on healing your gut and learning what foods your body might be having an inflammatory response to.
If you are financially able, consult with a functional medicine doctor. They might be able to assist you in alternative options that may help improve some of your psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Chronic pain management comes with lots of alternative options, all it takes is a quick google search.
Of course, it looks different for everyone but there is medicinal marijuana, acupuncture, meditation focused on chronic pain specifically, and so many others.
In my case, it has taken me years to cobble together the different prescriptions of my doctors with the right combination of supplements to keep my body functioning and fighting my diseases all while managing the symptoms.
In addition, there are several supplements, such as vitamin B and others that my body badly needs to, let’s say, “keep the lights on in my house.”
I’m not saying you have to run a marathon (but hey, if that’s your jam, kudos to you!). Simple movements daily can make a major difference, particularly in stiffness, and building strong muscles, tendons, and ligaments to protect our joints.
You know what they say about the squeaky wheel. Grease up those joints a little bit and you will be glad you did. We have quite a few beginner friendly resources here to get started. It isn’t about how much you do, rather it is about simply doing something.
Protect your mental health. Eesh. If there was ever a topic that I didn’t expect to encounter within my psoriatic arthritis journey, it was my mental health. Talk to professionals. Journal. Do things just for the fun of it. Visit with friends.
All of these things work like the mortar to secure the bricks into place to keep our mental health intact. The mental and physical connection is so real when you're battling a chronic condition like PsA.
I always end up finding myself squeezing my moments of faith into whatever time happens to be left over. I personally did a deep dive into the relationship between religion/spirituality and health. I’d like to dive more into this topic, but for now, I say this is what the science of religion tells us.
“Thus, religious beliefs have the potential to influence the cognitive appraisal of negative life events in a way that makes them less distressing. For people with illness, these beliefs are particularly useful because they are not lost or impaired with physical disability, unlike many other coping resources that are dependent on health (hobbies, relationships, and jobs/finances).1
Can you do it all?
Ultimately, I know keeping track of all these different parts can feel overwhelming at times. You don’t have to do it all alone. A supportive community can play a huge role in holding all the parts together and managing to figure out what possible combinations might work best for you.
This or That
Do you know what type(s) of psoriatic arthritis you have?
Have you taken our In America Survey yet?