In this article we will cover the connection between diabetes and hair loss, including things that you can do as a diabetic to help protect your hair.
Diabetes is a complicated disease that can have widespread consequences on your health.
Most diabetics are aware of the potential negative effects diabetes can have on your kidneys, heart, feet, eyes, nerves, and vessels. But, most may not be aware that diabetes may also negatively affect your hair.
Below, we will cover the connection between diabetes and hair loss, including things that you can do as a diabetic to help protect your hair, and potential treatment options for those who have already experienced hair loss from diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease dealing with not having enough insulin, or lacking a normal sensitivity to insulin. Since insulin’s job is to gather the glucose in your bloodstream from the food that you eat for use or storage, when insulin is not performing its function correctly, this leads to excessive amounts of glucose (sugar) swirling around in your vessels. Over time, this excess sugar can cause damage to your kidneys, heart, eyes, feet, nerves, and vessels.
This excess sugar can have a negative impact on your hair too, since the growth and health of your hair is controlled and maintained by your hair follicles which need a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients from tiny vessels in your scalp to function properly.
With diabetes, excess blood sugar can damage these small vessels over time, leading to less oxygen and nutrients nourishing your hair follicles.
For some, this kink in the healthy blood supply can lead to slowed or stopped growth, or a decrease in the health of hair long term. Since you naturally shed hair every day, if these losses are not replaced with healthy regrowth, you may see thinning hair, bald spots, or a receding hairline over time.
People with diabetes are also more likely to develop an autoimmune hair loss condition called alopecia areata. Alopecia areata occurs when the immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing them to fall out in clumps. Often, this will lead to patchy hair loss. And, while the lost patches of hair tend to grow back with alopecia areata, hair may be lost again if the condition returns.
When you have diabetes, the best way to help reduce damage to your hair is to make sure the condition is very well maintained.
This includes taking all of your medications as prescribed, keeping your A1C within the limits suggested by your doctor, keeping your blood sugar stable, maintaining or achieving a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet.
Aside from making sure that your diabetes is stable, you can also make sure to treat your hair with care to help prevent additional losses.
Tight hairstyles, damaging treatments, and bleaches can amplify hair loss, so avoiding these things may help keep your hairline stable. Eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods including fruits and vegetables that are appropriate for diabetics may help increase the health of your hair.
Adding on a hair, skin, and nails multivitamin may also be able to help with the healthy growth of hair for those that struggle to get all of their nutrients through diet. However, be sure to always talk with your doctor before adding a new supplement to your regimen.
If you are a diabetic experiencing hair loss, there are a few treatment options for you.
Topical formulations containing Minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine), can help improve the blood flow to your scalp and help some people regrow hair. Minoxidil is appropriate for use in men and women, but you need to continue using the treatment in order to maintain any hair regrowth.
Finasteride or off-label Dutasteride are popular hair loss prescriptions for men who are dealing with hair loss. These medications aim to reduce the levels of DHT in your scalp, which is a known culprit of male pattern hair loss. Finasteride or Dutasteride may help you maintain your current hair or help you regrow some of your lost hair.
These medications are prescription-only, so you will need to talk with a doctor in person or through a telemedicine visit to see if this treatment is appropriate for you. These medications are most commonly used in tablet or capsule form and taken daily, but you may also be able to find compounded topically applied gels, creams, or solutions from compounding pharmacies.
As with Minoxidil, Finasteride or Dutasteride need to be continued to maintain the regrowth.
Here at Strut Health, we carry hair loss prescriptions for both men and women, in oral or topical forms.
We utilize ingredients like minoxidil, finasteride, dutasteride, spironolactone, biotin, and tretinoin to help formulate compounded combination prescriptions tailored to your hair loss needs.
You can have a free online questionnaire and image-based consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today to see if a prescription hair loss treatment is a good fit for you.
If you are a good candidate for treatment of your diabetes-related hair loss, your prescription medication can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping. After you receive your medications, our staff and doctors will be available to help you through your hair loss treatment or answer any questions you may have.