People who have been newly diagnosed with diabetes sometimes find that hair loss seems to happen around the same time. Excessive hair shedding from all over the scalp can even signal an underlying, undiagnosed medical issue such as diabetes. However, once the health condition is being properly managed, then hair usually starts to regrow.
But good management of diabetes can be easier said than done, and many people not only struggle with their medication but they also find it difficult to change their lifestyle and implement some of the things that their doctors tell them will help them better control their blood sugar levels. Now, somewhat ironically, techniques based on the likes of Candy Crush may benefit people with diabetes.
Gaming raises interest
For people who fall into this group, a new study from America suggests that one way to get people more interested in – and better at – diabetes control is to bring an online gaming aspect to proceedings. A team of doctors based primarily in Boston recruited 456 patients with poorly-controlled diabetes and randomly split them into two groups.
Both were given regular information about civics, such as citizenship (something of a red-herring) and also about diabetes management. The first group’s diabetes management information was provided via an online or phone-based educational game, whereas the latter were given their diabetes information in a booklet.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the researchers discovered that those in the former group got a better grip on their blood sugar management than those in the other group. Further incentive to do well was provided with the promise of $100 gift certificates for those who achieved the best scores.
The results support emerging theory that online and phone-based technologies, especially when coupled with gaming, may provide clever new ways to improve health. The doctors in the Boston study do note, however, that the results were not necessarily representative of the general population and that nearly all of the participants were male.
Diabetes rates triple
Over the past 20 years, Type 2 diabetes has tripled in the UK and it follows that diabetes-related hair loss would likely have seen a similar spike. The disease places the body under immense physical stress, especially in the initial stages of diagnosis when a patient has to embark upon a steep learning curve to try and keep their blood sugar levels under control.
The two main hair loss conditions that can arise as a result of diabetes are Telogen Effluvium and also diffuse hair loss, the latter actually describing cases of Chronic Telogen Effluvium. Although in each instance the shedding can seem intense and sudden, it is actually triggered around three months prior to the hair fall becoming noticeable.
While many people would agree that a diabetes diagnosis is probably worse than finding out that you have problems with thinning hair, watching your hair fall out can undoubtedly add to a patient’s woes. Temporary hair thinning caused by telogen effluvium or chronic TE may sound like a small issue but it can result in significant hair fall of up t0 50 per cent, which can be understandably shocking and upsetting for those affected. Knowing this – and also the variety of complex medical problems that diabetes can cause – doctors around the world have recently been warning people about everything from lack of sleep to the dangers of too many fizzy drinks when it comes to possible causes of Type 2 diabetes.
Hair loss treatment options
At Belgravia, treatment for Telogen Effluvium – as well as diffuse hair loss treatment – can be effective and makes use of topically-applied high strength minoxidil from the formulations available at the clinic’s in-house pharmacies. This medication can be used in conjunction with complementary hair growth boosters, including the FDA-cleared low level laser therapy device the HairMax LaserComb, which is slowly combed through the hair in order to stimulate follicles.
Another popular addition to Belgravia’s hair loss treatment courses is the one-a-day, premium food supplement for healthy hair growth, Hair Vitalics, has been designed by Belgravia’s experts to provide highly-targeted support from key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts. These exclusive supplements, which are free from sugar, salt, lactose and gluten, and suitable for vegetarians, have been formulated in for Men and for Women options, for maximum benefit.
Whilst the hair loss conditions linked to illnesses, such as diabetes, and certain medications, affect the whole scalp, if the shedding is more intense at the top of the head and/or hairline, it is possible that androgenetic alopecia – often better known as male and female pattern baldness – is also at play. Genetic hairloss only affects the vertex and hairline areas but can present simultaneously alongside these temporary conditions.
Although androgenetic alopecia is permanent and – as yet – no cure has been developed, it can generally be successfully managed with a targeted treatment regimen. Even in cases where the genetic predisposition to these hereditary forms of hair loss were dormant, the temporary shedding can sometimes initiate their onset, as well as potentially exacerbating existing hair thinning.
For these reasons – and simply for peace of mind – if there are any concerns over unusual levels of hair fall, a consultation with a hair loss specialist can be beneficial in order to obtain a confirmed diagnosis and – where necessary – recommended hair loss solutions tailored to their findings.
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.