There is an established relation between diabetes and hair loss. Even though hair fall is a natural process, it is balanced with replacement by new hair and as such does not qualify for ‘hair loss problem’. However, in patients suffering from diabetes, the story of hair loss is altogether different.
How does diabetes affect your hair and lead to a hair loss situation?
Diabetes being associated with high levels of blood sugar, because of the hormonal imbalance, results in problems with the proper blood circulation (peripheral ascular problems). And as such many parts of the body are deprived of a good blood circulation. A poor blood circulation to the scalp and hair follicles resulting in lesser oxygen and nutrient supply to hair follicles affects the natural growth process of hair, causing thinning of hair strands and hair loss or alopecia. Poor blood circulation further delays the process of healing in case of injuries, sores and infections like fungal and bacterial infections of skin. Any such infection in a hair rich area will result in hair fall at a rate faster than the healing and replacement process of the body. Fungal (ringworm) and bacterial infections can cause hair loss in patchhes in women suffering from diabetes.
Hair loss is one of the major alarm signals of diabetes and should be taken very seriously. People with a family history of diabetes witnessing a hair loss or hair thinning need to be even more alert and should promptly report the same to their doctor.
Stress related hair loss in diabetes
Stress (both psychological and physiological) and anxiety because of the high blood sugar levels and emotional manifestations of diabetes leads to hair thinning and hair loss. Consult your doctor for timely treatment to arrest hair fall, in case of prolonged hair fall symptoms-coupled with diabetes like symptoms and persistence of the same. Many times, it is the medication for diabetes which can have possible side effects including hair loss.
Diabetes and related causes vis-à-vis hair loss in women. Autoimmune diseases associated with diabetes also become a contributing factor in hair loss. Skin problems, fungal infections, and pernicious anaemia, thyroid malfunctioning and hormonal changes are all manifestations of diabetes and may cause loss of hair in women. Stress related to diabetes as well and hormonal changes in pregnancy and menopause are all leading causes of hair loss in women. The crux is that the hair loss in women can be a vital sign of an advancing stage of diabetes or a case of diabetes going undiagnosed and untreated.
How to prevent hair loss?
Foremost step in arresting hair loss and skin deterioration linked with diabetes is to manage and control your diabetes by medication, exercise, and weight and diet management!
- You can begin with going for foods and fruits (after consulting with your dietician) that do not contain high amounts of glucose.
- Take iron supplements which should be free of glucose. Iron improves the blood circulation.
- Include vegetables like beans rich in iron in your diet.
- Keep yourself hydrated. Drink eight Diabetes can interfere with glasses of water daily in addition to other normal cycle of hair growth liquids.
- Get rid of your stress by indulging in Yoga or some other ways of stress management. This in turn will help you control your hair loss as well as diabetes.
- Be religious with your medication for diabetes which is a long term or a chronic health condition and adopt a healthy lifestyle which will take care of both diabetes as well as the hair loss.
- Review the medication for diabetes to rule out the same as a cause for your hair loss. They can be substituted by your doctor with ones not having such side effects.
- Hair loss due to fungal infections arising from complications due to diabetes has to be managed by medical treatment for fungal infection.
- Avoid vitamin or other nutritional supplements containing sugar, high energy carbohydrates and fat since the same will aggravate diabetes by raising the blood sugar levels and as a result do more harm to hair instead of helping with hair fall.
- You must regularly exercise since it aids in improving the blood circulation in all parts of the body including head and the hair follicles.