Does Diabetes Cause Hair Loss?
08 / 27 / 20

Does Diabetes Cause Hair Loss?

Hair loss is a natural part of the hair's growth cycle. When a strand of hair reaches the last stage of the growth cycle, it falls out, and a new one typically grows in its place. When the growth cycle is interrupted, a new hair may not appear, causing noticeable hair loss for men and women. Many factors can cause an interruption in the growth cycle, including medical conditions such as diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a medical condition characterized by high blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar. Blood glucose is your body's primary source of energy and created from the food you eat. A hormone known as insulin helps to move the glucose from the bloodstream to the cells. The cells are then able to store or use the energy as needed. Insulin is produced in the pancreas, and if you have diabetes, your body doesn't produce insulin or doesn't use it effectively.

Nearly 10 percent of the population, over 30 million people, have diabetes in the United States. It affects about 25 percent of adults over age 65, and left untreated can lead to heart disease, eye problems, dental issues, and other serious medical issues.

When glucose fails to reach the cells and remains in the bloodstream, it creates health issues and deprives healthy cells of the energy and nutrients they need. Excess blood glucose can cause organ damage throughout the body, and damage your blood vessels, which are essential for carrying the oxygen necessary for healthy cells.

How Diabetes Affects Your Hair

Your hair grows in three distinct stages, the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases, known as the hair growth cycle. Diabetes can interfere with the hair's natural growth cycle and cause other conditions that may contribute to thinning hair and hair loss.

The anagen phase is an active growth period that can last from three to five years. The catagen, or transitional phase, typically lasts about two weeks, and during this phase, the hair follicle shrinks, and the hair strand stops growing. The final stage is the telogen or resting phase and lasts about 100 days. During the telogen stage, the hair temporarily remains in place while a new hair begins to grow and then sheds.

The lack of oxygen in the system caused by damaged blood vessels can interrupt the growth cycle and harm your hair follicles by keeping them from getting the nutrients needed for healthy hair. Damaged hair follicles can cause hair to be weaker and grow slower than usual, or stop producing hair altogether.

A lack of the hormone insulin causes diabetes, and any persistent hormone imbalance can impact the hair's growth cycle. Additionally, diabetes can put a person under a great deal of emotional and physical stress, causing further hormone fluctuations that can affect hair growth.

Diabetes is an autoimmune illness, a condition that causes the immune system to attack healthy cells. People with one autoimmune disease are more likely to be affected by other autoimmune disorders, including a condition known as alopecia areata. The autoimmune disorder alopecia areata causes the immune system to attack healthy hair follicles. Left untreated, the condition can lead to patches of hair loss on the head and other areas of the body.

Contact HRC - Hair Restoration of California

Diabetes is a medical condition that can lead to thinning hair and hair loss in several ways for men and women. While there is no cure for diabetes, diet, and exercise can frequently lower blood sugar levels. When diet and exercise aren't enough, the condition can usually be controlled with prescription medications and insulin, along with regular screenings.

At HRC - Hair Restoration of California, our compassionate staff understands the causes of hair loss and how it affects you. If you are noticing thinning hair or hair loss, our experts can help you find the solution you need to keep your hair and scalp healthy. To learn more about the proven solutions we offer, contact us today, and schedule your FREE consultation.