I Am Diabetic: How Do I Treat Hair Loss
One of the very first steps is to speak to a doctor if you have been experiencing worrisome hair loss in any part of your body. If diabetes has been identified as the cause of your hair loss or thinning, here are a few things you can do to not only prevent this but also help nurture hair growth in affected areas.
Other Effects Of Diabetes On The Body
Diabetes affects the body in countless ways and can lead to devastating complications if left untreated. Some of the common effects of diabetes include:
- Risk of heart disease
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Heavy thirst
- More likely to develop periodontal disease
Does diabetes cause hair loss? The answer is yes. The normal hair growth cycle can be affected by the combination of high blood glucose levels, stress and hormonal imbalance, and certain diabetes medication. Early diagnosis and treatment are necessary to keep the blood sugar levels under control and combat hair loss problems due to diabetes.
The Connection Between Hair Loss And Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that affects blood sugar levels, which subsequently affects every system of the body.
It damages blood vessels and causes a chronic decrease in your bodys supply of oxygen and nutrients.
One side effect of type 2 diabetes can be hair alterations like severe hair loss, hair thinning, hair fragility, the sparseness of hair or decreased hair growth speed.
In fact, shedding hair at a noticeable and significant pace can be one of the first warning signs of unchecked diabetes.
Different mechanisms in the body can explain the connection between hair loss and diabetes.
The hair follicle is a highly active organ and needs a special environment with an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients.
Diabetes causes poor blood circulation which can affect the ability of hair follicles to operate normally.
This results in the follicle not producing a new strand of hair. When the old strand dies and falls, there is no replacement for the fallen hairs.
This gradually changes your scalp, resulting in thinner and more sparsely located hairs.
Diabetes also causes both physiological and psychological stress and anxiety. Anxiety and stress are clear-cut factors in hair loss.
Dehydration is a factor as well. When coupled with stress, it can result in severe hair loss.
In patients with type 2 diabetes, cells dont respond normally to insulin this is called insulin resistance.
Also Check: Does Glipizide Lower Blood Sugar Immediately
How Can Diabetes Cause Hair Loss In Women
Diabetes is a disease that makes your body resistant to insulin action or production. Insulin is a hormone that absorbs excess glucose from our bloodstream.
Consistently high blood sugar level eventually leads to many health complications, including diabetes hair loss from damaged hair follicles.
A spike in your blood sugar levels will affect the blood vessels and limit fresh blood supply to your scalp. As a result, the hair strands wont get enough nutrients and thus, start falling out.
In other words, both diabetes and hair loss go hand in hand.
But losing your hair is not the only indication of this disease.
Here are some other reasons why you might lose your lush hair besides hair loss from diabetes.
Diabetes And Hair Loss
Hair loss is a very common problem that affects many people. There are many factors which may contribute to hair loss. Diabetes, which can have various devastating affects on sufferers, is known to be one cause of hair loss. There are several reasons which may be held accountable for diabetes and its connection to hair loss. Here are some of the reasons that diabetes can cause you to experience hair loss, as well as what can be done to prevent to prevent hair loss related to diabetes from occurring.
Diabetes Causes You to Feel Stressed: As with many other medical conditions, diabetes can cause you to feel very stressed out. Stress in itself is known to be another cause of hair loss. If you know that diabetes is a cause of your stress, the best thing that you can do is make time for yourself. Find the time to relax when it is necessary. Make sure that you get the right amount of sleep and that you don’t forget to eat at times when you feel too busy to do so. Unfortunately, aside from relaxation, there is not much else that can be done to naturally prevent hair loss caused by stress.
Read Also: What Is My A1c Supposed To Be
Avoid Harsh Chemical Treatments
I remember this aunt of mine who made the mistake of listening to her friend and invested in $500 shampoos. Apparently, they were meant to fix the hair fall problem magically.
Um, yeah right!
Honestly, if you want to prevent hair loss from diabetes for good, the last thing you want to do is expose your hair to chemical-filled products.
These are the culprits that could potentially aggravate the hair loss process!
Steer away from serums, shampoos, and self-prescribed medications as they might cause adverse reactions with your diabetic medicines.
Which brings me to my next point what can you do to regain your lost hair?
Can Diabetes Cause Hair Loss
In some cases, diabetes can lead to the thinning of the hair and hair breakage. Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, High blood sugar disrupts the lymph and fat tissue . A disrupted lymph impairs the nutrient supply to hair, making it susceptible to scalp infections. Fat tissue nourishes the bone tissue. Hair being a by-product of bone tissue, gets affected when fat tissue metabolism is impaired.
This happens as diabetes affects your hairs natural growth cycle by:
- Inhibiting new hair growth
Some common reasons of hair loss due to diabetes are:
Also Check: Which Pancreatic Islet Cell Type Is Responsible For Secreting Insulin
What Should You Do
Studies suggest that people who have Type 1 diabetes are likely to develop alopecia areata more than other people. So what is alopecia areata? Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition. Often it starts with sporadic patches in your head. These patches could reveal as coin-sized shapes, or sometimes bigger. It could be seen in other parts of the body as well as on the scalp. Beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, or even pubic hair are examples of it.
However, it is quite different from male pattern alopecia, which is the most common type of hair loss. It does not reveal in a noticeable path. You could see these patches anywhere in your body. So it might be unlikely for you to realize easily. Furthermore, as an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks your hair follicles. As we talked about earlier, hair follicles are the ones who produce hair. How Long Does Hair Implants Take?
So what can you do in a situation like this? The first and one of the golden rules is admitting that you have this problem. Perhaps you would not be able to see it. Still, mind what your family, friends, and close ones say to you. They might see what you could not see about you. Then, another golden rule is to mention your hair loss problem to your doctor as well as other symptoms. Because hair loss in your forearms and legs could be signs. Your blood might flow irregularly.
Hair Loss And Diabetes The Connection
Its not actually frizzy! The connection between hair loss and diabetes is pretty straight. Diabetes, when uncontrolled, tends to affect every cell of your body. While we concentrate on its major complications, many minor complications of diabetes go unnoticed. Thats where your hair loss comes into the picture.
Diabetes affects both the large and small blood vessels. Larger blood vessel damage leads to heart diseases. Damage to smaller blood vessels is linked to kidney and eye damage, and of course hair loss. This is because when smaller blood vessels are damaged, cells of the skin do not get proper supply of fresh oxygen required for good hair growth.
Recommended Reading: Why Is Pasta Bad For Diabetics
What You Can Do About Diabetes Hair Loss
While hair loss can be extremely distressing and can affect your self-esteem, there is good news. Most hair loss is not permanent and can be reversed with the right approach.
Here are some tips on how to treat or manage your hair loss.
Talk with Your Doctor
The first and most important step is to talk with your doctor. Hair loss is quite complex and can exist for a number of reasons, not always relating to diabetes. Your doctor can help to rule out possible causes and lead you to the right course of action.
Eat for Your Hair
What you eat has a huge impact on all aspects of your health, including your hair! Sometimes a lack of nutrients, such as too little protein or iron, can cause hair to fall out. Making sure youre eating a proper diet with all the essential nutrients can help prevent or reverse hair loss.
A healthy diet is also one of the best ways to balance out hormones. This can aid in hair health and growth in a number of ways, both directly and indirectly.
Mirror.co.uk has listed out some great foods for promoting hair health.
Get in Regular Exercise
Exercise aids in weight loss and hormone balance, which can help to reduce hair loss. Further, exercise can reduce your blood sugar levels and improve blood circulation within the body, making oxygen delivery more accessible to hair follicles in order to nourish and help them grow.
Keep Stress at Bay
Weve noted that stress can be a cause of hair loss. Check out this article on how to minimize your stress.
An Overview Of Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease wherein the body does not produce or does not properly utilize insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for moving blood glucose from the food one eats into the cells to store or use as energy.
The lack of or inefficient use of insulin causes ones blood glucose levels to go way above normal. This excess sugar can wreak havoc on all the organs, even ones eyes, nerves, and kidneys. It can even lead to heart disease, stroke, or in severe cases, amputation.
The link between diabetes and hair loss lies in ones blood vessels. Blood vessels function to carry oxygen around the body to nourish organs and tissues. When diabetes causes damage to the blood vessels, there would not be enough oxygen to support the hair follicles. This can then result in hair loss.
Recommended Reading: Which Of The Following Is Not Associated With Type 2 Diabetes
What Is Sugar Related Hair Loss
Sugar-related hair loss results in androgenic alopecia in both men and women. In men, it’s usually referred to as Male Pattern Baldness. Usually this type of balding begins with the thinning of hair at the crown or at the front of the hairline. In women, it tends to be an overall thinning of the hair.
Sugar related hair loss is based on the two following scientific premises:
Spironolactone For Female Pattern Hair Loss
Spironolactone is the prescription medication for female pattern hair loss . It helps increase hair thickness and reduce hair loss. However, this medication is not safe to take during pregnancy.
There is no doubt that medical treatments and medications are some of the most effective ways to treat hair loss. However, self-care and developing healthy habits are equally important for preventing hair loss. Here are a few tips to take care of yourself and your hair at home.
Also Check: Can You Get Type 2 Diabetes If You Are Skinny
High Blood Glucose Levels
Just like the rest of our body, high blood sugar levels can impact the health of your hair follicles, too. High blood sugar levels damage small blood vessels, explained Dr. Raman K. Madan, dermatologist at Northwell Healths Hunting Hospital in New York.
This damage to the blood vessels leads to less oxygen and fewer nutrients reaching the hair follicles which can cause hair to become thinner, Dr. Madan told DiabetesStrong.
Those damaged blood vessels can also cause your hair to lose its luster, appearing more brittle and dried out because it isnt getting the nutrients from your bloodstream that it needs.
Seek Professional Help For Hair Regrowth
Most women go for laser therapy or medications prescribed by dermatologists to regrow the hair.
Some professionals recommend hair lotions and topical sprays. Others give vitamin supplements to grow back the lost hair.
You can also go for surgical options such as hair transplant or scalp surgery to initiate hair regrowth.
If the diabetic hair loss is permanent or beyond repair, no worries. You can always get a sleek wig and rock a totally new style!
Read Also: What Kind Of Pasta Can A Diabetic Eat
Why Am I Going Bald
When people lose their hair, it typically falls out in a specific pattern. Most of the hair in the back and on the sides seems safe from the threat of balding while the top begins to recede from the hairline back. This is known as Androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness.
According to Health Line, this condition is responsible for nearly 95% of all baldness cases in men. It also effects about 73.5% of the overall male population according to the American Hair Loss Society. Unfortunately, thinning hair and going bald isnt exclusively reserved for men as more than half of all women will struggle with pattern baldness caused by the release of certain hormones called androgens.
Common Causes Of Hair Loss In People With Diabetes
- High Blood Glucose Or Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar levels are dangerous for the body and can trigger hair loss. Spikes in the sugar levels can cause inflammation, injuring the blood vessels on the scalp. This can lead to hair thinning and eventually halt hair growth as the hair follicles do not get adequate supply of nutrients.
- Hormones And Stress
Hormones and stress can both affect the health of your hair. Those who have high blood glucose levels have a flat cortisol profile . In healthy humans, the cortisol levels fluctuate. However, the cortisol levels remain unchanged in those with diabetes. Constant stress also increases the dihydrotestosterone hormone, triggering hair loss .
Diabetes may trigger insulin resistance, which may cause androgenetic alopecia, also known as pattern baldness. This is common in both men and women. This condition stimulates the dihydrotestosterone binding to the androgenetic receptors, causing hair thinning and hair loss .
- Thyroid Imbalance
People with diabetes are more susceptible to thyroid disorders. Thyroid imbalance or hyperthyroidism may cause telogen effluvium or temporary hair loss . Telogen effluvium is often preceded by changes in the hair structure, such as dry, brittle hair, which may gradually reduce the hair volume.
- Iron Deficiency
- Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery is often recommended as an effective treatment for managing type 2 diabetes. Rapid weight loss may also cause hair loss.
Also Check: Is Pasta Bad For Diabetics
High Blood Sugar Levels
Uncontrolled or untreated diabetes can result in a persons blood sugar levels becoming too high. Persistently high blood sugar levels can lead to damage in various tissues, organs, and blood vessels within the body.
Damage to blood vessels can restrict blood flow, resulting in certain cells getting less oxygen and nutrients than they need. This deficiency can negatively impact the normal growth cycle of hair follicles, which can lead to hair loss.
S To Stopping High Blood Sugar
Don’t Miss: Insulin Is To The Pancreas As Ghrelin Is To