How Weighing Yourself Daily Could Save Your Feet – And Even Your Life
Posted Jun 29 2009 6:15pm
This Scale Could Save Your Feet – and Maybe Your Life
Most people don’t think much about their feet, let alone take time to look at them. But, nearly everyone cares about their weight.
Now, a remarkable new scale—the Insight Foot Care scale—facilitates daily foot exams when you weigh yourself.
Still, most people are probably wondering why they should check their feet daily. One word: melanoma. This disease can affect anyone and can lead to a foot amputation and even death.
Before we discuss melanoma, let’s talk about the main reason for the Insight Foot Care scale—prevention of diabetic foot amputations.
For diabetics, the smallest sore, blister, or infection can quickly accelerate to a severe problem or gangrene, and quickly lead to the need for amputation of a toe, the foot, or even the leg.
Studies show that one in five diabetics will endure an amputation.Sadly, most of these amputations are preventable, if caught early.
Diabetes often causes decreased sensation in the nerves of feet and as a result, people with diabetes may not feel a sore or infection on the bottom of their foot.
Many diabetics often don’t realize they have an infection or sore on their foot until they try to remove their sock and it sticks the foot (from pus).
In fact, I have had diabetic patients come to see me for sores on the bottom of their feet and when I take an x-ray, I discover a needle or other sharp object inside the foot. Because these patients have decreased sensation, they usually don’t have any pain, and as a result, are surprised to learn they stepped on a needle or other sharp object.
Loss of sensation in diabetic feet is often due neuropathy, which literally means, “a disease of the nerves.” Neuropathy is nothing to get nervous about, but you do need to take it seriously.
Neuropathy affects millions of people each year, and though diabetics are most affected, it also occurs in people with thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies, alcoholism, and some types of arthritis, and as a possible side-effect of chemotherapy treatment.
Anyone with neuropathy (lacking normal sensation in the feet) is at higher risk for recognizing serious foot problems too late.
Healthy people, without diabetes, can feel pain and this is the body’s way of alerting us that there is a problem. But, without that pain sensation the only way to catch a problem is to see it—that is why diabetics or those people without normal sensation must check their feet daily. In a moment, I will explain how the Insight Foot Scale makes checking your foot easy.
First, let us return to melanoma, a deadly disease that can affect anyone.
Melanoma is a cancer that often starts as a small mole, lesion, or freckle.
When melanoma occurs on the foot it is usually not caught until it is too late, often resulting in the loss of the foot or leg, and even death. Each year more than 8,000 people die from melanoma—nearly one death every hour.
Fortunately, when caught early, most people with melanoma survive.
Melanoma does not discriminate. It occurs in the young and old, in African-Americans and in Caucasians, and in males and females. Though, Caucasians or fairer-skinned people are at higher risk.
Any suspicious moles, lesions, or freckles on your foot could be melanoma and a podiatrist should evaluate these. The Insight Foot Care scale makes checking for melanoma on the bottom of the foot easy.
The Insight Foot Care scale makes examining your feet not only easy, but also fun.
The scale arrived in a well-padded box and came with detailed, easy to follow instructions.
Since my partner in practice with me at Friendly Foot Care,Dr. Michael Lacey, is a type 1 diabetic, I asked him to help me test the Insight Foot Care scale.
Dr. Lacey Tests the Insight Foot Care Scale
The scale appears to be well built and sturdy. Certainly, able to withstand being stepped on repeatedly by some of the populations heavier people.
The scale’s has a modern, sleek design ensures it would never be an eyesore in even the most luxurious of bathrooms. As far weighing yourself, the numbers are large and easy to read.
The real innovation of the scale is its two illuminated tilted mirrors that magnify the bottom of your feet. These mirrors allow you to observe every detail of the bottom of your feet each day your weigh yourself.
Dr. Lacey and I found the Insight Foot Care scale easy to use, fun, and most importantly it succeeds in doing what it advertises: allows great visualization of the bottom of your feet.
In summary, I believe everyone should have (and use!) this scale, especially if you are diabetic or have neuropathy.