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.
The symptoms of DPN may vary depending on the severity of the condition and the nerves affected. Some common symptoms include:
If left untreated, DPN can lead to several complications:
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:
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!
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:
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:
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.