Possible Lifestyle Approaches for Managing Psoriatic Arthritis

I was diagnosed with psoriatic disease many years ago. One of the most important things this condition has taught me is that to manage any sort of illness, medications, and doctor visits are not enough.

Managing psoriatic arthritis with lifestyle changes

How you live your life is important in maintaining your overall health. I want to share with you how making some lifestyle changes has helped me deal with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). 

As we all know, the first thing that our healthcare professionals talk about is diet. I had to change my mindset and shift towards a healthy lifestyle. I added in some anti-inflammatory foods like fish which have omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, and vegetables.

These foods help reduce the inflammation and stiffness in our joints. I also had to cut back on my intake of processed and sugary food, which was making my symptoms worse.

The second thing that I started is doing regular exercise, mostly walking. Staying physically fit with PsA is very important but not easy.

I focused on low-impact exercises like cycling and yoga for my muscle, strength, and overall health.  These exercises not only reduced my joint pain but also helped in keeping me active.

Managing stress

Whenever someone gets diagnosed with a disease, they tend to take on a lot of stress. This was my case, at least. Stress also contributed to worsening my symptoms.

To manage stress, my doctor suggested I get help from stress management techniques like meditation. I did try this. By doing meditation and yoga daily, I had “some” control over my stress and felt relaxed during the day.

A good sleep cycle also contributes positively to managing this illness. To that end, I made sure to relax my mind before sleeping and created a good sleeping environment, which helped me sleep much better.

I made sure to focus on my body weight. I lost 60 pounds, as being overweight adds stress to the joints, which worsens the symptoms of PsA.

To control my body weight all I had to do was keep my diet healthy and do low-impact exercises. Controlling weight doesn’t only help with this but it also helps in lowering the risk of other chronic diseases.

During this very hectic journey, I learned many techniques that protected my joints during daily activities. Wearing comfortable shoes and using devices like ergonomic tools helps reduce the stress on joints and helps prevent any further damage.

Prioritizing self-management and healthcare team communication

For patients like us, finding the right balance between resting and keeping our body active is important. To tackle this, I listen to my body signals and work accordingly. I take breaks when necessary. To manage fatigue, I use hot and cold therapy for pain relief and combine them with relaxation techniques in my daily routine.

The most important thing I do is always communicate openly with my healthcare team. These include my rheumatologist, dermatologist, therapist, and other specialists.

Before incorporating anything into my lifestyle, I always discuss it with them first. Due to this, they were able to treat my condition and help me feel a little better.

We are all in this together.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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