Warning: Diabetes Can Cause Hair Loss?

Introduction

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that can lead to many health problems, including hair loss.

While it is more common for diabetics to experience thinning hair, some may also lose their hair entirely.

Diabetes can cause hair loss due to numerous factors, including damage to the hair follicles, reduced blood flow to the scalp, and hormonal changes.

Treatment for hair loss caused by diabetes typically includes medication and scalp treatments.

I will discuss all the above mentioned topics and more in the following blog post.

What is diabetes?

It’s a chronic condition that affects how your body regulates blood sugar levels.

When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin. Also, it can’t effectively use the insulin it produces.

The result is a high level of sugar build-up in your bloodstream.

Consequently, it can lead to many serious health problems.

Besides, diabetes also affects the eye, nerves and heart. It can harm organs, tissues, and kidneys if it is not controlled.

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

The main difference between the two is that type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition that often shows up early in life.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is mainly lifestyle-related and develops over time.

Although diabetes type 1 and 2 have some things in common, there are lots of differences between them.

For example, diabetes type 1 affects 8% of everyone with diabetes, while type 2 diabetes affects about 90%.

Also, type1 causes your immune system to attack and destroy the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas.

While the cause of type 2 isn’t fully understood.

Managing diabetes type 1 and 2 also differs.

For instance, people with diabetes type 1 need to take insulin injections regularly.

While people with diabetes type 2 might only need to make lifestyle changes, such as exercise and eating a healthy diet.

If you have diabetes, check with your doctor to monitor your blood sugar levels and manage your condition.

Diabetes causes hair loss : what is the connection?

Hair loss is a common problem that affects both men and women.

There are many reasons why people might lose their hair.

Some of these causes are genetics, age, hormonal changes, stress, and illness.

People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing various complications.

This can lead to thinning hair, balding or slow hair growth.

Hair loss high blood sugar

Although the exact link between diabetes and hair loss is unclear, high blood sugar levels can damage the small vessels which supply blood to the hair follicles.

When this happens, the hair may thin or fallout, and also lead to alopecia.

In some cases, loss of hair is diffuse. This means it affects the central scalp hair loss.

Additionally, some diabetes medications may also cause loss of hair as a side effect.

In some cases, treatment for the underlying condition may stop or reverse the loss of hair.

Symptoms of diabetes

There are many symptoms of diabetes, and some people may experience all while others may only have a few.

Some common symptoms include polyuria, dehydration, weight loss, blurry vision, and fatigue.

Additional symptoms are paraesthesia, dry skin, and slow healing.

Hair loss from diabetes is usually reversible

The good news is that if diabetes has an impact on hair development, it is generally reversible.

Once you get your elevated blood sugar under control, your hair should start to grow back.

What are the causes of hair loss in diabetics?

Loss of hair is a common problem for people with diabetes.

There are several possible causes of hair loss for diabetics, including the following:

1.Poor blood sugar control:

If you have uncontrolled diabetes, it can lead to high levels of sugar in your blood.

This can damage small blood vessels, providing oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles. Thus leading to potential hair loss.

Moreover, this can cause the follicles to shrink to produce hair thinning, and damaged hair growth.

2.Skin infections:

Diabetes can have an impact on skin, including dryness, and a rise in skin inflection.

Such changes due to bacterial and fungal infection cause the central scalp to lose hair.

3.Stress:

Managing diabetes can be stressful, and stress can lead to hair loss.

4.Alopecia areata :

Diabetes can interrupt the hair growth cycle, causing hairs to grow more slowly and fall out more easily.

However, this type of hair loss can affect your head, arms and legs.

Patchy hair loss is also a symptom of alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that type 1 diabetics can develope.

With alopecia areata, the immune system attacks the hair follicles.

Thus, leading to the loss of patches of hair on the head and elsewhere on the body.

5.Thyroid levels:

Anyone with diabetes should have their thyroid levels checked regularly.

This is to ensure they aren’t developing hypo- or hyperthyroid disease.

Hypothyroidism is common in patients with type 1 diabetes, which triggers hair loss.

You can treat hypothyroidism with medications to bring thyroid hormone levels to normal.

Which in turn should prevent further hair loss and help with hair regrowth.

6.Hormonal changes:

People with diabetes can experience changes in their hormone levels.

With such a change, it can lead to a slowing of hair growth.

7.Medications:

Taking medications such as insulin and blood sugar-lowering drugs can impact hair loss.

If you are concerned about such side-effects, seek professional medical advice.

How is hair loss diagnosed in people with diabetes?

If hair loss is a worry, the first step is to visit your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

Visit your doctor for treatment options

Your doctor will likely do a physical exam and ask about your medical history.

Furthermore, a blood test is conducted to check thyroid, hormone levels, and blood sugar levels.

If your doctor suspects your hair loss is due to diabetes, they may refer you to a dermatologist.

A visit to the dermatologist

A dermatologist can perform a scalp biopsy. This happens when a small sample of skin is taken from the scalp to check for underlying problems.

They may also use a device called a dermatoscopic to examine your scalp more closely.

This device magnifies the skin. It also allows dermatologists to check for changes in hair follicles, which can lead to hair loss.

Hair treatments for diabetics

Diabetics need to be aware of the possible complication of their condition.

For example, cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, skin condition and Alzheimer’s disease

While hair loss may not be a life-threatening condition, it can be a source of great anxiety and distress.

There are a few steps that diabetics can take to protect their hair and minimize the risk of hair loss.

Blood sugar management

One of the things diabetics need to be aware of is the effect that high blood sugar levels can have on their hair.

Hair follicles are sensitive to changes in blood sugar. Unless it’s at high levels, it can damage and trigger hair loss.

Diabetics can work with their doctors to develop a strategy for lowering blood sugar levels.

By doing so, they can protect and decrease hair loss by controlling their blood sugar levels.

Hair loss treatment without a prescription

Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to help you stop or reverse hair loss caused by diabetes. Here are a few examples:

Rogaine and finasteride

Rogaine was originally used as a medicine to treat high blood pressure. It’s also been utilized to promote hair growth.

In addition, finasteride can prevent male pattern hair loss.

It works by blocking the production of a hormone that contributes to baldness.

Both treatments have their advantages and side effects.

So it’s important to speak with your doctor about which option is right for you.

With the right chosen treatment, you can regain a healthy head of hair.

Other treatment options

Platelet-rich plasma

This treatment extracts the platelet-rich plasma from a sample of blood using spinning and centrifugation.

Since plasma contains growth factors, it provides oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles.

PRP therapy is still in its infancy, and further study is needed to assess its efficacy.

However, as a potential diabetes-related hair loss treatment, it has promise.

Hair transplant or follicle transplant

Hair transplants are typically more successful than over-the-counter hair restoration products.

Like regular hair, the transplanted hair will thin over time.

People with dormant hair follicles are likely to have less effective transplants.

But, according to Healthline’s study plasma therapy can regenerate 75% transplanted hairs.

However, hair transplants doesn’t work for everyone.

They’re mainly used to restore hair if you’re balding or thinning or have lost hair due to an injury.

If your diabetes is causing significant hair loss, a transplant may be an option for you.

Be sure to seek advice from a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Life-style change – diet rich, supplements and exercise

A healthy diet and lifestyle are always important for people suffering from diabetes.

Likewise, a diet with more protein, vitamins and minerals will help hair regrowth.

In addition, a diet rich in vitamin D foods like eggs, fatty fish and cereals with daily supplements will go a long way.

Supplements such as iron, biotin, fatty acids, zinc and amino acids, all help in the hair growth cycle.

Also, do exercise, as it stimulates blood flow and delivers nutrients to your follicles.

It also lowers stress levels, which can contribute to hair loss.

Try to exercise for 30 minutes on most days of the week to see results.

Going natural

Onion juice

There is little scientific evidence suggesting onion juice can be used as a remedy for hair loss.

Nevertheless, a small study found it helps regrow hair in people with alopecia areata. This is a condition that causes patchy hair loss.

If you’re considering trying remedy for hair loss, be warned it can cause skin irritation and smell bad.

Saw palmetto

Native Americans used palmetto as food and medicine for centuries.

In recent years, it gained popularity as a natural remedy for hair loss and diabetes.

Studies have shown it helps prevent hair loss by blocking hormone testosterone.

Also, saw palmetto is used in treating diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels.

Moreover, research needs to confirm the efficacy of saw palmetto, for treating diabetes. It is still a safe and inexpensive alternative treatment for anyone to try.

Green tea

For centuries, Chinese have used green tea in traditional medicine.

Besides, recent studies have shown its health benefits, including treating diabetes. 

Another potential advantage is stimulating hair development. However, further study may resolve this issue

Pumpkinseed oil (PSO)

Pumpkinseed oil is a good source of linoleic and palmitic acids.

Both acids can have preventative and therapeutic effects against diabetes and hair loss.

A daily dose of pumpkin seed oil taken orally could help bring your hair back.

Some research suggests taking four PSO capsules daily for six months helps hair count by forty percent.

Like saw palmetto, PSO can block testosterone from changing into DHT, linked to hair loss.

Pumpkinseed oil is used in preventing diabetes.

In a study of diabetic rats, those given pumpkin seed oil had lower blood sugar levels than those who were not.

This results suggest PSO could be a possible alternative natural treatment for diabetes.

Hair care that looks good

Instead of treating your hair like an enemy, try to understand its needs.

  1. Be gentle when you wash and dry.
  2. Do away with curl and bobby pins, they can damage sensitive locks over time.
  3. Quit smoking, as this can chip away at the healthiest parts of your head.

Conclusion

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that can lead to numerous health complications.

The possible end results could be thinning hair and worst case, balding of your head.

So if you are diabetic, it is important to be aware of these potential dangers.

As long as you take steps to protect your hair’s health and control your blood sugar, losing hair is the least worry.

If you find this article informative, please share it with your friends and relatives.

Any comments would be welcome!

FAQ

Where do you apply metformin topical?

There is no topical form of metformin available. Metformin is an oral medication used to treat type 2 diabetes.

What pills grow hair fast?

No pill will magically make your hair grow faster.

However, taking biotin supplements may help support healthy hair growth.

Do diabetics go bald?

Diabetes itself does not cause baldness. However, high levels of sugar in the blood can impact conditions leading to baldness, such as alopecia areata.

What is the best shampoo for diabetics?

There is no one “best” shampoo for diabetics. But, gentle, sulfate-free shampoos are a good choice for people with diabetes.

Disclosure: 

Just a heads up: My articles may include affiliate links! 

If you buy something, you will not pay any extra money, but I will get a small commission. 

Many thanks for your support!

Disclaimer: 

I don’t recommend using any phrases in place of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

They are for educational purposes only. 

The FDA has not conducted any studies on them. 

If you have a medical concern, see your doctor immediately.

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