Diabetes and Hair Loss

Jul 29, 2008Updated 8 months ago

There are two types of diabetes, and both involve insulin, which is produced by the pancreas to break down carbohydrates during digestion. This disease can have many adverse effects on your body, including hair loss.

Diabetes and Hair Loss Can Be Related

Why is diabetes one of the causes of hair loss? Your body has certain metabolic cycles, and one of these is the hair growth cycle. An individual hair will grow for several years and then enter a resting phase before being shed. In a healthy person, this hair regrows quickly.

However, diabetes affects the normal metabolic cycles of your body, including the hair growth cycle. If this cycle is disrupted, hair that is shed normally may not regrow right away, or it may not regrow at all.

Other Ways Diabetes Can Affect Hair Growth

Diabetes can also affect hair growth in these ways:

  • This disease weakens your immune system. The result is increased susceptiblity to infections, including scalp infections, which can cause hair loss.
  • Diabetes adversely affects the circulatory system, causing problems all over your body, including your scalp. Hair follicles that don't get enough nutrients because of circulatory problems can't produce new hairs, and the follicles may even die from lack of nutrition.
  • Diabetes is a hormonal disease, disrupting other hormone levels in your body. Hair loss in women is often caused by hormonal imbalances.
  • Skin rashes and thyroid conditions are often seen with diabetes, and these conditions also affect the hair growth cycle.
If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, and you're taking medication to control it, be aware the some of these medications can cause hair loss, too. Your doctor may need to change or adjust your prescription.

What Are Other Symptoms Of Diabetes?

Whether or not you're losing your hair, you should be aware of these symptoms:

  • Feeling extremely hungry, even if you're eating regularly
  • Losing weight, in spite of the fact that you're eating everything in sight
  • Being very thirsty, although you're drinking lots of water
  • Having to urinate frequently because of all the water you're drinking
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Getting irritated easily
  • Being troubled with blurry vision
If you have only one of these symptoms, it probably isn't anything to worry about. But if you're struggling with two or more, even if hair loss is not a problem, you could have diabetes and not know it. See your doctor right away for a thorough check-up.

Diabetes can cause major, irreversible damage to your body if it's left untreated. If you have this disease, it's important to be diagnosed as soon as possible.


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