Diabetes has many ill effects on a person’s body. People with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are at a much higher risk than the rest of the general population for damage to the eyes, kidney, nerves, heart and blood vessels. Another less known consequence of diabetes is hair loss.
There are many reasons that explain the inter-relation of diabetes and hair loss.
1. Diabetes negatively affects the body’s circulatory system. This means that less amount of nutrients and oxygen reach the upper and the lower extremities of the body i.e. the feet and the scalp areas. If diabetes is causing poor blood circulation to the scalp, the hair follicles will die resulting in hair loss. Furthermore, this poor circulation may result in the prevention of further hair growth. So not only is diabetes causing the loss of your current hair, it is also preventing the growth of new hair.
2. It brings about hormonal imbalance in a patient’s body. These hormonal changes may be manifested through hair loss. This also explains the reasons behind hair loss in pregnancy and menopause.
3. Diabetes is associated with high levels of stress. And stress has long been reputed to be the main culprit behind hair loss. So if modern day hurry and worry plague you, hair fall is certain.
4. Drugs that are used treat diabetes may also lead to hair loss. If you feel that particular regimens are causing distressful hair loss, then consult your doctor to get your prescription modified.
5. Diabetes may weaken the immune system, making it susceptible to other diseases. This weakened immunity may lead to scalp conditions like ringworm or other fungal diseases which in turn may cause hair fall.
6. Autoimmune diseases such as skin rashes and thyroid dysfunctions can be part and parcel of suffering from diabetes and these diseases are known to cause massive hair loss.
7. Diabetes may lead to high levels of oxidative stress. The unstable free radicals generated in the body due to diabetes may also lead to considerable hair loss.
Another important factor is that the healing and rejuvenation time in diabetics is comparatively slower than in normal individuals. This leads to significant hair reduction, as diabetics cannot maintain the average cycle of re-growth.
Inputs by Dr. Apoorva Shah, Founder, Richfeel Trichology