Does Diabetes Cause Hair Loss?

Many people, especially in the United States, suffer from Diabetes and one question that is frequently asked is does Diabetes cause hair loss 2018? The answer is yes but it can also be no. It all depends on the type of diabetes you have and if it is under control with medications.

What is Diabetes?

When a person is diagnosed with diabetes it means that their body does not produce insulin correctly. Either it does not produce insulin correctly or the body does not know how to use it correctly. Sometimes those diagnosed with diabetes could have an issue with both the production and the use of insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone. It is used to move the sugar from your stored foods that you have eaten into the bloodstream. It moves the sugar to your cells to be used as energy or stored.

When a person does not have insulin or it isn’t being used effectively this is when it can lead to problems. Sugar can build up in your blood. When you have excess sugar in your blood it can damage organs throughout the body including your eyes, nerves, and even kidneys. Not only does it damage organs it can damage the blood vessels as well. This is not good because blood vessels carry the oxygen around the body to nourish your organs as well as tissues. If you have damaged blood vessels this means your body may not be able to deliver enough of the needed oxygen to your hair follicles. The lack of oxygen to the follicles could result in abnormal hair growth patterns.

Hair Growth Cycle & Diabetes

When a normal person has a natural hair growth cycle it usually occurs through three phases. During the active growing phase of your hair which will last for two years of more, your hair will grow at a rate of one to two centimeters per month. Then your hair will go into a resting phase which will last about one hundred days. Once the resting phase is over, some of the resting hair falls out. This is for a person who is not diagnosed or does not show symptoms of diabetes.

When a person is diagnosed with diabetes this cycle can be interrupted. Diabetes can slow down your hair growth. Not only does diabetes slow down hair growth, it can also cause a person to lose more hair than usual. This is not only the hair located on your head either. This can be arm hair, leg hair, and other body parts as well. If you are diagnosed with diabetes you will notice when your hair does regrow it does grow at a slower rate than a normal person.

People who are diagnosed with diabetes are likely to have a condition called alopecia areata. With this diagnosis your immune system has started to attack the hair follicles. This leads to patches of hair loss on the head as well as any other part of the body that contains hair.

Diabetes alone can lead to hair loss; however, you may also lose hair due to stress from living with this chronic illness. Not only is it the diabetes it can be the medications used to treat and control your diabetes that could cause hair loss issues.