Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy in Singapore

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy in Singapore

What is Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) results from nerve damage caused by long-standing high blood sugar levels. It is a common complication of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. DPN primarily affects the nerves in the legs and feet but can also involve the arms and hands. DPN generally develops gradually and may lead to complications that can greatly impact the quality of life.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy in Singapore


The symptoms of DPN may vary depending on the severity of the condition and the nerves affected. Some common symptoms include:

  • Numbness, tingling, shooting or burning pain in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • Inability to feel pain when there is a cut in the skin
  • Difficulty sensing temperature
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Small muscle wasting in the feet


If left untreated, DPN can lead to several complications:

  • Fall risk: Loss of balance and coordination can increase the risk of falls and suffering injuries.
  • Foot ulcers: Numbness may make it difficult to feel a minor injury or pain from calluses or corns, leading to the development of ulcers.
  • Infections: The inability to feel pain can make it challenging to notice wounds, hence increasing the risk of severe infections
  • Charcot’s foot: A condition that causes the weakening of bones and joints, leading to severe foot deformities and may cause disability.
  • Amputation: Severe infections or ulcers that don’t heal may end up needing amputation of the affected limb to prevent the spread of infection.

Treatment Options in Singapore

There is no definite cure for DPN, but proper control of diabetes and a comprehensive management plan can help control symptoms, prevent complications, and improve the quality of life. Treatment options include:

  • Blood sugar control: Maintaining blood sugar levels within the target range is crucial to prevent the progression of DPN.
  • Medication: Prescription medications from your doctor may help manage DPN pain and discomfort.
  • Physical therapy: Exercises, stretches, and balance training can help improve strength, coordination, and mobility.
  • Orthotics and footwear: Proper footwear and custom orthotics can protect the feet, reduce pressure, and prevent ulcers.
  • Regular foot care: You should inspect your feet daily, keep them clean and dry, and promptly address any injuries to help prevent complications.
  • Regular diabetic foot screening: We recommend at least a foot screening once or twice a year to monitor your foot health.

Managing diabetic peripheral neuropathy in Singapore


Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a common and potentially debilitating complication of diabetes. By understanding the symptoms, complications, and available treatment options, you can actively manage your condition and maintain a better quality of life. If you live in Singapore and need a podiatrist to support and manage your symptoms of DPN, contact us at Straits Podiatry today!

Do You Have A Question? Ask Us...


Yes. If you suspect you may have DPN, you should see a medical professional as soon as possible. You may also inform your general practitioner (GP) so that they can recommend a clinic for you.

Controlling your diabetes is crucial for managing diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), but it may not necessarily cure it. Strict blood sugar control can help prevent the progression of nerve damage, soothe symptoms, and reduce the risk of complications. However, once complete nerve damage has occurred, it is often irreversible.

It is, therefore, essential to work closely with your podiatrist and diabetes doctor on your diabetes management plan, including a healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper medication use. This comprehensive approach will help you maintain optimal blood sugar control, slow down the progression of DPN, and improve your overall quality of life.

No, it is never too late to control your blood sugar levels, even if you have developed DPN. While existing nerve damage is irreversible, good blood sugar control can help prevent further nerve damage and reduce the other risk of complications associated with diabetes.

If your feet are numb from the effects of DPN, several issues and complications may happen:

  • You get injuries without knowing. The inability to feel pain means you will not know when you have a cut or abrasion. The unnoticed wound can then be easily infected.
  • Without pain, you may not notice the early symptoms of infection. You may only know your wound infection once severe, leading to delayed treatment.
  • Numbness in your feet can cause pressure distribution under the feet to change. Over time, this can lead to foot deformities such as hammertoes and clawed toes.
  • Numbness in your feet can affect your coordination and stability and increase your risk of falling.

Podiatrists play a crucial role in supporting and managing patients with DPN. Our primary focus is on prioritising foot care and preventing further complications. If you have DPN, your podiatrist should:

  • Conduct regular diabetic foot screening at least once or twice yearly to identify new symptoms, injuries, deformities, or potential issues requiring intervention.
  • Provide comprehensive advice and education on diabetic foot care practices, such as daily foot checks, hygiene, and toenail trimming techniques.
  • Diagnose and manage various foot-related issues, such as corns, calluses, ulcers, and infections.
  • Recommend customised orthotic devices and footwear to redistribute weight and pressure and support foot deformities. Proper footwear and orthotics can help prevent ulcers and other foot complications.
  • Manage and provide care for any foot ulcers, which are common complications of DPN. Your podiatrists may use a combination of wound dressings, pressure offloading, and infection management to promote healing.
  • Understand your overall management of diabetes. Podiatrists often collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as endocrinologists and general practitioners, to ensure your overall health is well looked after.
  • Refer you to other specialists promptly. If your podiatrist suspects any severe complication, they will refer you to the right specialist to manage it. Early treatment often gives you the best outcome.

Having a podiatrist in your diabetes management plan can significantly improve your foot health and reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.