Diabetes and Hair Loss: Why It Happens and What to Do
A lesser-known side effect of diabetes is an increased risk of hair loss. This is usually owed to the impact of diabetes on the body, but can also be caused by certain medications.
Hair loss can begin with the onset of diabetes and, for some individuals, is an early diabetes warning sign. Anyone with unusual hair shedding should talk to a doctor.
Potential Causes of Hair Loss
There are several reasons why diabetes may cause thinning hair.
Poor circulation. Any damage to the small blood vessels limits oxygen and nutrients reaching the extremities, including feet, hands, and the scalp. Undernourished hair follicles (roots) may weaken and loose their grip on hair strands, and if the situation persists, will not be able to generate new shafts.
Hormone imbalance. Diabetes can cause fluctuations and glitches in our body’s hormone production. An imbalance in hormones affects the growth cycle of hair. This is why some women experience hair loss while pregnant or during menopause.
Compromised immune system. If the immune system is weakened by stress or illness, the scalp is more susceptible to disease. Many scalp conditions such as fungal and bacterial infections can lead to patches of hair loss.
Slow cell rejuvenation/telogen effluvium. Diabetes can slow the body’s cell regeneration time, disrupting the growth cycle of hair.
At any give time, most of our hair is in a growth phase called anagen, while up to 15 percent of our hair is in a resting phase called telogen. Illness, stress or hormonal fluctuations can cause a larger percentage of the hair to enter telogen (the resting Continue reading