Is There A Link Between Diabetes And Hair Loss?

Hair loss is a normal part of the hair growth cycle. On average, a person can lose 25 to 100 hairs per day. The hair follicles then produce new hair, which replaces the lost hair. This process is repeated continuously throughout a person's life. However, if hair loss exceeds this normal amount and results in thinning or bald patches, it may indicate a more serious underlying condition.

Some people also believe that medical conditions like diabetes can cause hair loss. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition in which the body cannot produce or effectively use insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels (via the Cleveland Clinic). According to the clinic, there are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. It occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels effectively.

If you're experiencing hair loss and think it's caused by diabetes, it's important to consult a doctor, especially if it's sudden. Your doctor can determine the cause of your hair loss and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Is there a link between diabetes and hair loss?

There appears to be a link between diabetes and hair loss. High blood sugar levels can negatively affect the hair growth cycle, causing you to lose more hair than normal and regrow it more slowly. Uncontrolled diabetes can also damage the blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles, which can contribute to hair loss.

Some evidence also suggests that people with type 1 diabetes may have an increased risk of developing alopecia areata. This is an autoimmune disorder, meaning it is caused by a problem with the body's immune system.

In people with alopecia areata, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy hair follicles, leading to hair loss, per the American Academy of Dermatology Association. As a result, hair can fall out in round patches, leading to bald spots on the scalp, beard, eyebrows, and other areas where hair grows.

How is hair loss caused by diabetes treated?

Treating hair loss caused by diabetes often involves managing the underlying condition, which is usually high blood sugar levels. A doctor or dermatologist should be consulted to determine the most appropriate treatment. The best approach may depend on your circumstance and the extent of hair loss.

Maintaining good blood sugar control is crucial and can be achieved by following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking prescribed medications as directed by a doctor. According to theĀ American Academy of Dermatology Association, supplements may be recommended to help slow hair loss if you are found to be deficient in any vitamins.

In some cases, anti-inflammatory medications like corticosteroids may be recommended. In other cases, hair loss medications like Minoxidil may be prescribed. Minoxidil is a topical medication that is commonly used for the treatment of hair loss. A doctor or dermatologist may also recommend other treatments to help improve hair growth.