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Can I Use Hair Loss Treatments if I have Diabetes?

hairlossANSWERS - You Ask, our Experts AnswerName: Varsha Sharma

Question: I am a 33 year old diabetic, who has had diabetes for the last six years. I was initially on insulin but after four years I switched to oral hypoglycaemics.

Diabetes and Hair LossRecently my blood glucose levels were high and my endocrino has had to try several permutations of drugs. Now my blood sugar is settled, with recent Hb A1 C well below 6. I am on 500mg metformin, voglibose and vildagliptin, which I am taking twice a day, that makes 1000mg metformin/day along with LANTUS insulin shot, 8 units at night time.

I am a post grad student. My daily routine does not allow me time for exercise. I was having severe hair loss at the time of my diabetes diagnosis, which has continued and now my hair is very thin.

Kindly guide me as to how can I regrow my hair. Will it ever regrow?

Answer: Hair loss is known to affect diabetics, and thinning hair can also be a warning sign of diabetes in those who have not yet been diagnosed.

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). This places the body under immense physical stress and can have adverse effects on diabetics’ hair growth cycles.

Hair loss conditions such as diffuse hair loss and telogen effluvium can both be caused as a result, but they usually clear up once the diabetes is being properly managed. If your hair loss is caused solely by diabetes it may be temporary and could grow back once your condition is under control, however, as you were diagnosed six years ago, this is unlikely to be the case. The first step is finding out exactly what is causing your hair to thin and whether it is related to your diabetes or if it is due to another condition which causes thinning hair, such as female pattern hair loss.

In order to get a proper assessment of your stage of shedding and the likelihood of regrowth, we suggest you visit a hair loss professional for a consultation. They will explain the causes of your hair loss condition to you, along with their recommendations for the most effective ways to treat it.

Using clinically proven hair loss treatments such as minoxidil or Propecia (men only) to treat hair loss in diabetics should not cause any issues in relation to your diabetes medication. But, as you mention you have had recent health concerns, we would recommend you consult your GP before starting any hair loss treatment programme. As with all drugs, individuals can all react differently and your doctor should be able to confirm whether they feel the recommended hair loss treatments are a viable option for you, taking into account your full medical profile and lifestyle.

It is also worth noting that diabetes causes a number of circulatory issues, including a lack of blood flow to the scalp which has a direct impact on scalp health and hair growth. For this reason, you may want to consider trying FDA-cleared Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) devices, such as the HairMax Laser Comb, which help to boost circulation by stimulating the scalp using and have been shown to improve the condition of new hair growing through by improving the health of the hair follicles.

Another way to help improve the quality of the hair that is growing through, is to take dietary supplements which provide essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients your diet may be lacking. It is important, however, to ensure that these do not have a sugar coating.

The Belgravia CentreThe 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.

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