Causes and Ways to Overcome Diabetic Hair Loss
Apart from upgrading the risk of stroke and heart disease, diabetes can also cause hair loss. Why can this happen and how to deal with it? Check out the full discussion in the following review.
Causes of Hair Loss in Diabetic Patients
Keep in mind, hair goes through several phases of growth. The first stage (active growth phase) will last for two years or more which will allow the hair to grow each month at a rate of 1-2 cm.
It then goes into a resting phase which occurs for about 100 days. After that, the hair will experience loss and the growth phase of the hair will repeat.
In diabetics, the growth phase is disrupted because blood vessels are damaged, causing hair growth to be disrupted.
Here are some things that can cause hair loss and impaired hair growth in diabetics, including:
1. Disturbed Blood Circulation
Diabetes can occur due to the body not being able to produce and not use insulin effectively. Insulin itself is a hormone that is useful for absorbing and converting sugar (glucose) from food eaten from the bloodstream into energy. Then the energy is stored and used by body cells.
When the body doesn’t produce insulin or doesn’t use it effectively, it causes sugar to build up in the blood. Excess sugar can damage organs throughout the body, from the eyes, kidneys, nerves, to the blood vessels themselves.
Blood vessels play a role in carrying oxygen throughout the body so that the organs and tissues of the body can work properly. If these blood vessels are damaged due to diabetes, the supply of oxygen to nourish the hair follicles will decrease.
In addition, reduced oxygen supply also affects the normal hair growth cycle. Therefore, hair becomes easy to fall out due to diabetes.
2. Hormones and Stress
Diabetic patients can experience a lot of pressure physically and psychological disorders such as stress due to the disease they are experiencing. If stress lasts a long time, this can cause hormonal changes related to hair growth.
In addition, increased levels of the stress hormone (cortisol) can cause cells to become resistant to insulin. This makes it difficult for blood sugar to be absorbed into energy and accumulates in the blood.
According to studies, diabetic patients are also more prone to hair loss due to excess amounts of the hormone cortisol, which disrupts the hair follicles.
Also Read: 10 Natural Ways to Nourish Hair, Easy to Do
3. Immune System Disorders
Having diabetes can put you at high risk of experiencing immune system disorders such as alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is a condition when the immune system starts to attack healthy hair follicles by mistake. This condition often occurs in patients with type 1 diabetes.
Alopecia areata can cause hair loss severe enough to result in bald spots on the scalp and body parts where hair grows.
Even so, this condition can vary for each diabetic. This depends on a person’s immune system which can affect the number of hair follicles.
How to Overcome Hair Loss Due to Diabetes
Here are some ways you can do to deal with hair loss due to diabetes, including:
1. Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Controlling blood sugar levels to stay balanced is very important. If blood sugar levels are controlled, then blood flow throughout the body including to the hair follicles can be smoother. That way the problem of hair loss can be reduced.
To keep blood sugar levels balanced, you can keep it by managing stress, being active, regularly checking blood sugar levels, and adopting a healthy diet for diabetes.
2. Consume Biotin-Rich Foods
Biotin is a type of B vitamin that can naturally be found in food. Some people with diabetes have low biotin levels. Biotin is believed to help slow hair loss in some healthy people, including diabetes patients.
For that, you can try increasing your consumption of foods that contain biotin such as eggs, liver, nuts (peanuts, walnuts, and almonds), avocados, sweet potatoes, purple cabbage, and salmon.
Also Read: 11 Tips to Strengthen Hair Roots Naturally
Regular exercise can help lower blood sugar and encourage oxygen supply throughout the body, including hair follicles. Some sports that you can try are walking, gymnastics, yoga, lifting weights, and swimming.
Before starting exercise, you should check your blood sugar level before and after to make sure it’s not too low or high, and avoid dehydration.
4. Using Hair Vitamins
Hair loss treatment for diabetes that can be done is to use hair vitamins that contain biotin and use hair loss drugs with minoxidil content on the scalp.
5. Consumption of Diabetes Medication
If the problem of hair loss bothers you, you should immediately visit a doctor to get further treatment. If the loss occurs due to poor diabetes management, your doctor will advise you to adopt a healthy life while prescribing medication to control blood sugar.
Now,that’s a complete explanation of the causes to the various ways you can do to prevent or reduce hair loss due to diabetes.
- Watson, Stephanie. 2022. Does Diabetes Cause Hair Loss?. https://www.healthline.com/health/does-diabetes-cause-hair-loss. (Accessed January 2023)
- Fletcher, Jenna. 2018. Does diabetes cause hair loss?. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323810 (Accessed January 2023)
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