Hair Loss and Diabetes

Woman with diabetes
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Diabetes can go undiagnosed for a long period of time. A sudden loss of hair is a common symptom of diabetes and is often one of the first signs that prompts diabetes sufferers to seek medical attention.
Diabetes and severe hair loss are intrinsically linked for several reasons. Fortunately, diabetes-based hair loss can be minimized and even prevented, provided patients are aware of the causes and the necessary steps to take to diminish this frightening and demoralizing side effect of diabetes.
Stress and Anxiety:
Severe stress and anxiety have been medically proven to cause hair loss at an alarmingly rapid rate. Naturally, those who have been diagnosed with diabetes are likely to experience increased psychological stress, which can in turn result in hair loss.
Poor Blood Circulation:
The healthy circulation of blood is essential for maintaining healthy hair production. As diabetes causes poor blood circulation, the essential vitamins, minerals, and oxygen required for stimulating hair re-growth are lacking. Consequently, when old hair dies and falls out, new hair is not produced, resulting in thinning hair and even bald patches appearing.
Additionally, when the scalp is deprived of the vitamins and oxygen healthy blood circulation provides, hair follicles die and fall out at a much faster rate.
Skin Conditions:
Diabetics can often suffer from skin conditions. As the glucose in the body attaches itself to the protein, it significantly affects the function and structure of the protein, making people with diabetes more susceptible to itchy and dry skin from fungal or bacterial infections. If a skin disorder affects the scalp, it can disrupt the normal hair growth process and may result in hair loss.
It is believed that the medication diabetics are prescribed can lead to diffused hair growth. Although each individual reacts differently to different types of medication, a side effect regularly reported is a sudden increase in hair loss.
An Autoimmune Problem:
Diabetes, particularly type 1 diabetes, can often lead to alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune conditions attack healthy cells, disrupting the growth of hair cells and causing several bald patches to appear on the scalp.
Fortunately, diabetes and hair loss are usually temporary, but there are several steps diabetics should take to reduce the chances of experiencing extreme thinning of the hair and even bald patches from occurring.
1) As diabetes and hair loss are closely associated with poor blood circulation, taking plenty of regular exercise will increase blood circulation, particularly in the head, which will encourage the healthy growth of hair.
2) Hair loss tends to start at the onset of diabetes and progressively become more severe. Seeking medical advice early will help sufferers control and even prevent the problem from worsening.
3) As stress and anxiety are intrinsically linked to hair loss and diabetes, regularly performing relaxation techniques, such as yoga and meditation, may help relieve stress and the unwanted side effects that go with it.
4) Keeping well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, as much as eight glasses a day, will encourage hair regrowth and lessen the likelihood of severe hair loss occurring.