Diabetes has been a recognised condition for more than 3,500 years and its link with hair loss is not a new concept. There are two types of diabetes and both can have many adverse effects on your body, including thinning hair and hair loss. Hair growth is one of the many cycles in the complicated systems that are our bodies. If this cycle is disrupted, hair that is shed may not regrow right away, or it may not regrow at all without treatment.
Hair loss as a result of diabetes can be controlled and treated with the FDA-approved and clinically proven treatments for hair loss but to understand how they work we need to understand how hair loss can be caused by diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Insulin is important in utilising the carbohydrates present in the body. Diabetes occurs because the body can’t use glucose (blood sugar) properly, either owing to a lack of the hormone insulin (Type 1 diabetes), or because the insulin available doesn’t work effectively (Type 2 diabetes).
Diabetes puts the body under huge physical stress and the hair growth cycle can take a battering. According to Leonora Doclis, senior hair loss specialist at the Belgravia Centre, diffuse hair loss and telogen effluvium are conditions of hair loss that can be directly caused by diabetes.
“Diabetes mainly causes temporary hair loss,” says Leonora. “The problem should correct itself once the hormones are functioning properly again following diabetic treatment, if diabetes is the sole cause of hair loss.”
However, diabetes can trigger a lot of diseases and hormonal imbalances.
A diabetic’s hormonal balance and hair loss
In a lot of cases, hair loss is a direct result of hormonal imbalances. Because diabetes affects hormone levels it can lead to hair loss in predisposed persons (that is, those who would have probably developed hair loss in time) by crippling the hair follicle regeneration process.
“A lot of people will solely blame their hair loss on diabetes when there could be another reason. Diabetes may have only been the trigger for an ongoing form of hair loss,” says Leonora.
Male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss are hereditary hair loss conditions that are caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a chemical derivative of testosterone. This type of hair loss can be prevented, controlled and reversed with effective hair loss treatments that work to inhibit DHT formation in the scalp and enable the hair follicle to function normally.
A diabetic’s circulatory system and hair loss
Diabetes adversely affects the circulatory system, if only indirectly, and can cause improper blood flow and poor circulation. The hair follicles rely on good blood circulation to deliver enough nutrients to generate healthy hair growth.
Leonora explains, “Without proper circulation to the scalp, it is possible that the hair follicles won’t get the nutrients they need could even die.”
A lot of hair loss products are promoted on their circulatory benefits but only the FDA-approved hair loss treatments have been scientifically proven to generate hair growth through improved circulation to the scalp.
A diabetic’s immune system and hair loss
The immune system is affected when levels of blood sugar levels rise above normal. As a result, people with diabetes are at an increased risk for developing an infection and the body is less capable of fighting it.
“Not all illnesses lead to hair loss but illness and infection can affect your hair growth by disrupting the cycle,” says Leonora. “It depends on one’s individual tendencies, not all diabetics are bald.”
Leonora says hair loss as a result of illness and infection should correct itself once the cause is addressed but established hair loss treatments and hair growth boosters can support the hair during such times and help to minimise the damage caused by hair loss.
If hair loss or thinning hair is causing you concern, a hair loss specialist will be able to diagnose the condition and advise you on the most appropriate treatment. It may also be beneficial to bear in mind that some medications can cause hair loss. You may need to ask your doctor to adjust or change your prescription.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.