A little over a month ago, I told you about some pretty serious finger pain I was experiencing. If you missed that post, you can find it here. While I don’t have a formal diagnosis, all signs point toward arthritis. My right ring finger was very stiff and sore in the mornings, for a prolonged period, and I experienced pain throughout the day that was limiting my everyday activities. Anything that required a grip was hard for me to accomplish.
I decided before seeking professional help from a doctor, I wanted to reduce inflammation in my body and see if that helped ease the pain. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many diseases, and I knew I wanted to try a natural, dietary approach to fight what may be causing my finger pain.
The first two weeks on the anti-inflammation diet, I was very strict, and the results were amazing. After just one week I felt an incredible difference. The stiffness and pain I was feeling in the morning only lasted a minute or two and the pain during the day was greatly reduced. By the end of the second week, I could barely feel any pain during the day. My range of motion was back 100%. Before I started the diet, I couldn’t bend my finger to the palm of my hand, and that movement came back totally, and without pain.
The next two weeks I wasn’t quite as strict with the diet. A combination of social events, a hectic schedule, and the diminished pain all contributed to this. It’s hard to be as motivated when you aren’t in as much pain. I think this is why I didn’t see much improvement the second two weeks. The finger is still good, but not 100% better yet. Even though it’s only for a minute or two, it’s still stiff and painful in the morning and I’d like to see that go away completely. And although I don’t feel actual pain during the day, I can tell which finger it is. There’s a slight stiffness and swelling that is still there. I think if I stay the course and not have so many lax days, I will see more improvement.
My plan is to continue my original 8 week commitment and if the finger isn’t 100% better, I’ll see a doctor. If it is 100% better, I’ll slowly start adding some foods back in to see how my body handles them and which might be causing the most inflammation for me. I need to find out if certain foods (like wheat or sugar) can be eaten in moderation without the pain coming back.
Now, let’s take a look at a weekly meal plan to get an idea of what I’ve been eating.
As you can see, the meal plan incorporates a lot of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, with more fish than I’d normally eat. I’ve also cut back on dairy and meat and cut out wheat and sugar. I will give you another update at the end of the 8 weeks–I’m hoping at that point I’ll be able to say my finger is totally healed.