A woman stands surrounded by depictions of symptoms of her psoriatic arthritis

4 Symptoms I Experience With PsA And How They Affect My Life

The many different symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can impact each body differently. At this moment, I only deal with a mild case of psoriatic disease. However, I've been dealing with pain in my right knee since I was a teenager, never associating it with being a symptom of my psoriasis.

I assumed it was normal joint issues, mainly since I lived in Michigan, where temperatures can fall below zero and impact the body.

What PsA symptoms impact my life the most

Here are the symptoms I deal with when I'm having a PsA flare, how it impacts my life, and how I deal with it.

Fatigue

No matter how much sleep I get the day before, I'm always ready for a nap at some point the next day. Fatigue is my most active symptom of psoriasis on any given even day. The worst my flare is, the worst the fatigue. This impacts my life by making me feel unmotivated and sluggish.

Some days I just want to lay and rest. This feeling is typically worst after rigorous exercise. Also, a flare causes me to lose sleep because I can't rest due to the constant itching occurring all over my body.

Studies show a change in diet can help decrease fatigue. When I eat better, I do notice that I tend to have more energy, but I have not kept actual notes to prove this is true for me.

Nail changes

My nails are always weak, brittles, and ridged, which is a symptom of PsA. Due to the challenges my nails face from the impact of psoriasis, they don't grow very fast, and if they do, they break easily.

Other symptoms can include pitting and separation from the nail and the nail bed. I keep my nails short and filed down. There are times when I will wear artificial nails, which extends the length of my natural nail.

While this option can be a way for women to protect their nails, if you aren't careful with removing the acrylic, it can cause additional harm to your nails.

Swollen fingers

When one of my injections started to fail, PsA hit me pretty hard. I began experiencing swelling for the pinky and ring finger every morning, warm to touch.

The pain would wake me up every morning and fade away as the day went on. Once I switched to new medicine, the swelling in the morning subsided.

Tight tendons

If it's cold outside, I am guaranteed to wake up in the morning with a tight yet throbbing pull in my inner thigh. If tight tendons are active, it typically makes my inner thigh feel tight and stiff.

As the day goes on, this tightness typically subsides. The more active I am with exercise, the less I tend to have these issues.

Keep your symptoms in check

Other symptoms not mentioned here include reduced range in motion for joints, back and neck pain, and redness of joints. It's important to have these symptoms assessed to prevent irreversible damage.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, including the ones I mentioned for myself, it's time to make an appointment with your doctor. Preventing the pain is your best bet of staying ahead of PsA symptoms.

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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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