a woman checking her blood sugar level using a glucometer

Type 2 Diabetes & Hair Loss

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect your blood sugar level, which can affect your bodily function very severely. In type 2 diabetes, either of the two conditions that your body is not able to produce sufficient insulin or it starts resisting the insulin in your body happens.

It can damage your blood vessels and can cause a sudden decrease in the body's ability to supply oxygen and other nutrients.

One of the several side effects of type 2 diabetes can be alterations in the hair like hair thinning, severe hair loss, hair fragility, or a decrease in the growth of hair.

It is also seen that shedding the hair at a noticeable pace can be the first warning sign of having type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

It has been seen that the signs and other types 2 diabetes symptoms develop slowly. You can have type 2 diabetes for years and you are not aware of it. These signs and symptoms include:

  • Increase in thirstiness
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased in the feel of hunger
  • Frequent weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent occurring infections
  • Numbness in the hands or feet.
  • Areas of darkened skin, usually in your armpits and the neck.

Causes Of Type 2 Diabetes

The main factors that contribute towards type 2 diabetes causes are primarily due to the following two interrelated problems, which are :

  • When your cells in fat, muscle, and the liver become resistant to insulin. Because of the informal behaviour of these cells towards insulin, they are not able to take enough sugar.
  • Your pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin to manage your blood sugar levels properly.

In both of these situations, your inactiveness and being overweight are the major contributing factors.

People Living With Type 2 Diabetes Food List

Your diet can play a major role in preventing or even in managing type 2 diabetes.

So here are some items that included in the type 2 diabetes food list:

  • Fatty fish
  • Leafy greens
  • Avocados
  • Eggs
  • Chia seeds
  • Greek yoghurts
  • Beans
  • Nuts like walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios
  • Broccoli
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Flax seeds
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Strawberries 

Diabetes can cause many symptoms and various health issues including hair loss. However, by controlling the blood sugar level you can reverse the effects of hair loss.

Can Diabetes Cause Hair Loss?

Diabetes can cause your hair to get thin and occurring the loss of hair. In some people we have also seen that type 2 diabetes can have the following effects on your hair growth cycle:

  • Impairing your hair growth
  • It can also cause more hair growth than normal
  • It also stops new hair growth.

Several other factors may cause a person with diabetes to lose hair, but the other most common causes are

  • High Blood Sugar Levels

  • When diabetes is left untreated or becomes uncontrollable can result in high blood sugar levels. Over time this high blood sugar can lead to tissue damage, organs damage, and also harm the blood vessels. When the blood vessels get damaged it can restrict your blood flow resulting in less oxygen and nutrient level than require which in turn can lead to a negative impact on the growth cycle of hair follicles that causes hair loss.

  • Hormones And Stress

  • Diabetes can have a person to go through physical as well as emotional stress. This continuous stress level can cause hormone fluctuations which can affect your hair growth.

  • Alopecia Areata

  • In alopecia areata, your immune system started attacking your healthy hair follicles by mistake. People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have alopecia areata than normal people.

    Alopecia areata can cause hair loss in patchy ways on your arms, head, and other areas of the body.

    Hair Loss Treatment 

    A person can control hair loss due to type 2 diabetes by controlling their blood sugar in several undermentioned ways:

    • By monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly
    • Following all medications as your doctor prescribed.
    • By using hair growth oil.
    • By eating a balanced and healthful diet
    • By exercising regularly
    • Manage your stress by following certain measures like by talking and having support from family and friends.
    • Topical medication like minoxidil for treating hair loss.
    • Biotin can help you in slowing down your hair loss. Foods that have biotin includes:

      • whole eggs
      • liver and kidney
      • nuts, including almonds, walnuts, and peanuts
      • salmon
      • avocado
      • sweet potato
      • cauliflower
      • yeast

    Biotin helps you in treating your hair loss effectively and brings down good health for your hair follicles.

    Take Away

    Diabetes is a chronic condition that can affect your body multidimensionally which also includes hair thinning and hair loss.

    The uncontrolled sugar level in your blood, hormone fluctuations, and physical and emotional stress are some of the primary causes of hair loss in diabetic people.

    Using certain medications and sincere lifestyle interventions, you can help yourself in controlling blood sugar levels which in turn slow down your hair loss. Medication for treating hair loss causes are also available in the market but their effects on your hair loss are short-lived.