Does Diabetes Cause Hair Loss?

Diabetes can be a major factor in hair loss for a lot of people. The hair loss will normally begin at the onset of diabetes and gradually gets worse as the disease progresses. It is normal to shed some hair each day, but when the shedding rate exceeds the rate of re-growth, that is when you will start to notice thinning hair or bald patches.

Hair has a growth cycle. A normal hair growth cycle will last for 2 to 6 years. The growth stage of the cycle is known as the anagen stage. Each hair on your head grows at a rate of approximately one half inch per month. Ninety percent of all the hair on your head is in the growth stage at one time. The other ten percent of your hair is in what is known as the telogen or resting phase. The resting phase will last for two to three months and then that hair is shed. New hair will start to grow from the same hair follicle to replace the shed hair. This cycle repeats itself over and over, year after year.

Being a diabetic increases your chance of hair loss. Diabetics are more prone to get skin infections and other fungal infections that can affect the scalp. Stress from the disease can also cause hair loss. Certain medicines that you may be taking for diabetes or other conditions can also cause your hair to fall out.

Getting your diabetes under control should be the first step that you take. Hair loss may stop after your blood sugar is under control and your body is able to function normally. Some hair loss may require medical treatment. If your hair loss is caused by a fungal infection, medication would be needed to get rid of the infection. Other hair loss medications may be beneficial in helping to regrow the hair that is lost. Talk to your doctor about the best option for you.

If your hair loss appears to be more permanent, you may want to consider surgical intervention such as a hair transplant. This consists of taking hair from the back of the head and moving it to the areas of baldness. A candidate for hair transplant surgery is someone who has a fringe of hair along the sides and back of the head. This hair is used as donor hair and can be placed wherever needed.

Diabetes can cause a lot of symptoms. Unfortunately, hair loss is one of them. It is vital that you maintain good blood sugar levels, follow your diabetic diet and start exercising. Lose those excess pounds and follow up with your doctor frequently. You may be able to halt the hair loss in it’s tracks.