does diabetes cause hair loss?
By Tamim Hamid Posted on 11/02/2016

Does Diabetes Cause Hair Loss? Treatment and Management

You all have heard about diabetes, right? It is a disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Diabetes is a chronic health condition that occurs when the body is unable to properly regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels. But do you know that diabetes also contributes to hair loss? While it doesn't directly cause hair loss in the same way, it causes symptoms like increased thirst or frequent urination. It still plays a role that leads to hair loss.

Yes, genes are often a factor, but suddenly losing large quantities of hair could indicate that something's not quite right. Sometimes an underlying medical condition is to blame, including diabetes. In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, let’s take a look at the connection between diabetes and hair loss – and how laser hair therapy can help if you’re one of the millions of individuals diagnosed with diabetes every year.

How Diabetes Affects the Body and Hair Growth Cycle?

When a person has diabetes, their body has difficulty in making enough insulin, using insulin effectively, or both. Insulin is a helper hormone that moves sugar from the food you eat in your bloodstream into your body's cells. These cells can then use the sugar for energy or store it.

If there's not enough insulin or it doesn't work well, then sugar can build up in your bloodstream. This extra blood sugar can cause harm to other parts of your body, like kidneys and eyes. It can also damage nerves and blood vessels.

Blood vessels are responsible for carrying oxygen all around your body to keep your organs and tissues healthy. If these blood vessels are damaged then they might fail to deliver enough oxygen to help your hair follicles which are roots of your hair. As a result, your hair's usual growth cycle can be disturbed, and you might notice changes in your hair.

Here let's dive deep into how diabetes affects your body and hair growth:

1) Diabetes affects blood flow.

Diabetes affects blood circulation, and not in a good way. Extremities like your feet and hands are not the only things affected: blood flow is compromised in the scalp area as well.

So what happens next? Blood carries nutrients. Hair cells need nutrients to divide and replicate, and eventually, these cells form hair follicle tissue. If you’re healthy, hair follicle tissue thickens into cuticles, which grow into healthy, terminal hair. But if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, hair follicles thin out, and eventually, hair follicles are miniaturized. Your existing hair weakens and sheds, while a lack of nutrients on the scalp prevents new hair growth.

While some diabetics can regrow their hair without any assistance, numerous individuals often need help; and since laser hair therapy is a natural solution to diabetes hair loss with no side effects, it’s always the best way to go.

2) Diabetes causes easy bruising.

You may have heard that applying ice on a bruise will make it heal quicker. A colder temperature promotes blood flow to that area and accelerates healing. Anyone with poor blood circulation, including due to diabetes, will be a lot more susceptible to bruising. This can cause skin problems, including the scalp.

Having thick, lavish hair entails having a healthy scalp. One just can’t happen without the other. In fact, scalp conditions can often lead to thinning hair and ultimately hair loss. Fortunately, scientifically engineered laser hair therapy devices, such as the Theradome LH80 PRO, are proven to promote quick wound healing, reduce scalp inflammation, minimize dandruff and oiliness, and prep the scalp for ample hair growth.

3) Diabetes weakens the immune system.

Any type of disease or illness weakens the immune system. In this case, your body needs to work much harder to fight off any type of infection – including infections attacking your scalp. Anyone with an enfeebled immune system will be more prone to fungal disease, including ringworm, which can result in patchy hair loss and overall hair thinning.

On top of this, the healing process for diabetic hair loss takes much more time than for healthy individuals. This means that anagen hair (which belongs to the growth phase) becomes energy deprived and can never really blossom. In other words, your scalp suffers from a compromised hair growth cycle.

Keep in mind that regardless of your health, you can strengthen your hair follicles with the Theradome. And don’t forget that laser hair growth therapy is clinically proven to shift hair in the anagen phase, which prevents hair loss.

4) Diabetes induces hormonal changes.

Diabetic hair loss is also caused by several hormonal imbalances in the case of women. Ever heard of the term telogen effluvium? It specifically includes hair loss due to drastic hormonal changes. This means that healthy hair in the growth phase gets pushed prematurely into the resting phase, causing an abundance of shedding.

Treatment and Management of Diabetes for Hair Loss

Diabetes induced hair loss treatment and management involve a combination of strategies that aims at controlling high blood sugar levels, promoting overall health, and stimulate hair growth. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Properly managing blood sugar levels is essential. You must follow proper recommendations for insulin or medication and monitor your blood sugar regularly.
  • Adopt a balanced diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Limit refined sugars and carbohydrates.
  • Engage in regular physical activity, as it can help improve insulin sensitivity and overall health.
  • Manage your stress by practicing stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or mindfulness which can impact hair health.
  • Keep your scalp clean and well-moisturized. Use mild, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners.
  • Consume food rich in nutrients that promote hair health, such as zinc, biotin, vitamins A and C, and omega-3 fatty acids.

There are also certain medications that can help treating hair loss and help hair regrow. If alopecia areata is causing hair loss, steroid medications can be used to reduce inflammation. Topical drugs such as minoxidil (Rogaine) are also prescribed by dermatologists or skin care specialists.

Is Hair Loss from Diabetes Reversible?

Hair loss related to diabetes can be multifactorial. While diabetes itself might not directly cause hair loss, the conditions associated with it—such as hormonal imbalances, stress, and poor circulation—can contribute to it. Reversing hair loss due to diabetes involves managing the underlying factors:

  • Maintaining stable blood glucose levels can help prevent complications that might contribute to hair loss.
  • A balanced diet, proper stress management, and regular exercise can reduce hair loss and positively impact overall health.
  • Some medications or treatments may assist in managing diabetes-related hair loss.
  • Some people find benefits from using specific shampoos, conditioners, or topical treatments that claim to stimulate hair growth.

Protect your health (and your hair!)

If you think that you might have diabetes, and are experiencing symptoms such as hair loss, bruises, and wounds due to poor circulation, book an appointment with your physician immediately. Diabetes, if left untreated, can cause severe, irreparable damage to your body – and we’re not just talking about your hair. If not addressed properly, diabetes can damage your heart, eyes, kidneys, blood vessels, and nerves.

First, consult your doctor and decide on a treatment course; for instance, did you know that Type 2 diabetes could be treated with simple lifestyle changes? Once you’ve addressed the root of the problem, you can focus on re-growing your hair in the comfort of your home with the FDA-cleared Theradome LH80 PRO.

Your path to luscious, fuller hair begins with Theradome's laser helmet. Act decisively and grab the opportunity for hair rejuvenation. Don't wait – seize the chance for a better tomorrow!


Can Hair Loss be a Symptom of Diabetes?

Yes, hair loss can potentially be a symptom of diabetes. Hair loss is a complex issue and can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, medical conditions, medications, and lifestyle factors.

Although hair loss is not a common or well established symptom, it is still considered as one for diabetes.

How to Stop Hair Loss From Diabetes?

Managing hair loss due to diabetes involves controlling blood sugar levels, maintaining a balanced diet rich in nutrients, staying hydrated, managing stress, and exercising regularly. Also, avoid smoking, and only use gentle hair care products.

Will Hair Loss from Diabetes Grow Back?

Hair loss from diabetes may grow back if you have well-managed blood sugar levels, a healthy lifestyle, and appropriate treatments. But it might take longer than you might think. Results vary and regrowth is a gradual process.


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Tamim Hamid

Tamim Hamid

Inventor and CEO of Theradome

Sayyid Tamim Hamid, Ph.D, is the inventor of the world’s first FDA-cleared, wearable phototherapy device to prevent hair loss and thicken and regrow hair. Tamim, a former biomedical engineer at NASA and the inventor of Theradome, brings with him more than 38 years of expertise in product development, laser technology, and biomedical science. Tamim used his laser knowledge, fine-tuned at NASA, and combined it with his driving passion for helping others pursue a lifelong mission in hair loss and restoration. He is now one of the world’s leading experts.