Diabetes can cause a variety of symptoms and health problems, including severe hair loss. Stress, hormones, excessive blood sugar levels, and underlying health issues such as diabetes can all have an impact on hair growth. Keep reading to find out how diabetes causes hair loss, and what you can do to prevent it.
How Does Diabetes Trigger Hair Loss?
Insulin is a pancreatic hormone that permits your body to use glucose (sugar) from carbohydrates. Insulin transports glucose from the bloodstream to cells, where they are either consumed for energy or stored for later use. If you have diabetes, your body either does not create insulin (Type 1) or does not utilise it well (Type 2), or both. This is the case.
This can cause sugar to accumulate in the bloodstream. High blood sugar levels can lead to a number of issues, including:
- Endangering the body’s organs, such as the eyes, nerves, and kidneys.
- Blood vessel damage may limit blood vessels from providing adequate oxygen to nourish organs and tissues, including hair follicles.
Hair loss can occur in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Can Insulin Resistance Cause Hair Thinning?
Insulin is a hormone that regulates the level of sugar in the blood. Insulin resistance occurs when your cells cease responding to the hormone, resulting in an increase in blood sugar levels. This can lead to type 2 diabetes in the long run. Blood sugar levels have a variety of effects on your physical systems, including the health of your heart and the ability of your hair to grow. Studies have shown a relationship between Androgenic Alopecia, a genetically predisposed condition characterized by hair loss in men and women, and insulin resistance.
What are the Causes of Hair loss in Diabetics?
What causes hair loss in diabetes sufferers? Here is a list of causes:
- Hereditary – brought about as a result of genetics
- Immune system disorders
Diabetics may be at an increased risk of developing other immune system disorders. Sometimes, people with diabetes can also have thyroid disorders, causing hair loss due to disruptions of the thyroid hormone. Scalp autoimmune diseases such as alopecia areata can occur in people with type 1 diabetes which is also an autoimmune disease, resulting in hair loss.
- Poor circulation – insufficient nutrients are delivered to the hair follicles, stunting hair growth.
- Medication side effects
Certain types of medications can cause hair loss by disrupting the hair cycle. These include:
- Medications for gout
- High blood pressure medications
- Inadequate blood sugar control
Uncontrolled diabetes can cause a person’s blood sugar levels to become dangerously high. Consistently high blood sugar levels cause damage to the body’s tissues, organs, and blood vessels. Blood flow is restricted due to atherosclerosis in the blood vessels, resulting in particular cells receiving less oxygen and nutrients than they require. Together with oxidative stress and disruption of cell metabolism which occur in diabetes, they result in follicular damage and the natural growth cycle of the hair follicles is altered, resulting in hair loss. There is hair thinning, hair fragility, reduced hair density and retardation of hair growth.
- Nutrient deficiencies – iron deficiencies may result in anaemia, which is a cause of hair loss.
Will Hair Loss from Diabetes Grow Back?
Diabetes-related hair loss or thinning might persist for a long time in certain individuals. The good news is that, with the right approach, diabetes-related hair loss can be controlled and treated in the majority of instances.
Treatment or Management Options
Firstly, it’s very important to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Check with your doctor on how best to prevent surges by adjusting medication doses, reducing processed food in your diet, obtaining more exercise, and increasing the amount of whole, real food in your diet. You can also consider hair supplements such as Viviscal Pro, or topical medications like Rogaine.
In addition to your regular healthcare professional, you may also want to consider seeking doctors who have experience in treating a wide range of hair loss disorders, including diabetics sufferers. They will be able to propose creative yet safe hair loss treatment in Singapore options designed to work for your specific option.
How Can I Prevent Hair Loss?
Preventing hair loss is manageable with some personal lifestyle changes. However, for diabetics sufferers, it’s highly recommended to visit a medical professional who can provide unbiased and proven advice. Our doctors have encountered patients from all walks of life with hair loss problems that have damaged their self-esteem and confidence throughout the course of cumulative 40 years of medical work in family medicine and medical aesthetics. Rest assured that they will lead you to the right course of action. Contact us now for a no-obligation consultation.
- Bakry, Ola Ahmed, et al. “Androgenetic Alopecia, Metabolic Syndrome, and Insulin Resistance: Is There Any Association? A Case-Control Study.” Indian Dermatology Online Journal, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, July 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4144211/.