Why diabetes can cause hair loss in women

Why diabetes can cause hair loss in women

There is a definite connection between diabetes and hair loss. Some women are not even aware they have the condition and hair loss can be one of the first signs.

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Why diabetes can cause hair loss in women

The data does exceed the worst omens, because it shows that 13.8% of spaniards over 18 years of age have type 2 diabetes, which equates to more than 5.3 million of our fellow citizens. Of them, nearly 3 million were already diagnosed but 2.3 million, or 43% of the total, were unaware that suffering from the disease.

Study data di@bet.es

The cycle of hair growth and diabetes

The hair usually goes through three phases. During the active growth phase, which lasts two years or longer, the hair grows at a rate of 1 to 2 cm per month. It then goes into a resting phase, which lasts approximately 100 days. After this phase, some of the hair at rest is dropped.

The diabetes can disrupt this process, slowing down the growth of your hair.

Having diabetes can also make you lose more hair than normal.

This hair loss is not just in your head, you can also lose hair on the arms, legs, and other parts of the body. When the hair grows back, it does so at a slower rate than normal.

The women with diabetes are more likely to have a condition called alopecia areata. With alopecia, the immune system attacks the hair follicles, what causes hair loss on the head and other parts of the body.

Diabetes itself can lead to hair loss as it can influence, as a side effect, the stress caused by living with a chronic illness, or the medication you take to treat your diabetes.

Cómo puede influir la diabetes en la pérdida del cabello

Understand the role of insulin in the hair loss

Unfortunately, the reason of hair loss related to diabetes are complicated and varied. This can make it quite difficult to identify what could be causing YOUR problems.

The sugars in the food you eat go into the blood stream and the insulin moves those sugars from the bloodstream into the cells, where it is stored or used as energy.

People with diabetes or not produce this insulin vital, or your body isn’t used properly, or both.

The result is that the sugar can build up in the blood and cause many problems.

The sugar can damage the body’s organs, like the kidneys, nerves and eyes.

Type 1 Diabetes

This is the type of diabetes where the immune system destroys cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. The result is that the body can no longer regulate levels of sugar in the blood properly.

Type 2 Diabetes

This type of diabetes is when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to adequately control the amount of sugar in the blood. 90% of diabetics have type 2 diabetes.

It is the type of diabetes that many people have without knowing it.

The good news is that the disease can improve, and even reverse, getting more exercise, losing weight, and eating in a healthy way.

How can you influence the diabetes in hair loss?

➡️ Hormones.- The process of regeneration of hair follicles can be adversely affected by the levels of hormones fluctuating.

Diabetes causes a hormonal imbalance. These hormonal changes can manifest themselves through hair loss. This also explains the reason behind the loss of hair during pregnancy and menopause .

➡️ Circulation problems.–One way in which diabetes can cause hair loss is the result of the effects of the high level of sugar in the blood in the circulatory system.

The high level of sugar in the blood can chemically react with red blood cells, creating a product known as glycosylated hemoglobin.

Hemoglobin is an important protein in the red blood cells and this modified version makes the red blood cells to become deformed. These red blood cells are deformed are not as flexible and can get stuck when they try to enter the capillaries, which leads to circulation problems. If this occurs in the capillaries that supply blood to the hair follicles, these follicles may die, leading to hair loss.

por que se cae el cabello en la menopausia

➡️ Infections.-High levels of sugar in the blood affect the body’s immune system, which leaves people with diabetes more prone to infections. The infection can interrupt the growth cycle of the hair healthy.

➡️ Autoimmune system.– Diabetes can also have an indirect effect on hair loss as a result of autoimmune disorders. Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune system attacks accidentally the healthy tissue because it mistakenly identifies the tissue as foreign. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing hair loss and baldness. People with an autoimmune disorder (such as diabetes) are more likely to have other problems with your immune system

➡️ Emotional stress.- Diabetes is a condition constant and can be stressful to treat it, in particular at the beginning. Emotional stress can trigger hair loss.

➡️ Medication.– Certain medications can cause hair loss in some people. I recommend to consult the leaflets that accompany medicines.

➡️ Thyroid disease.- It is a fairly common in people with diabetes that can be treated with ease.

If diabetes is the SOLE cause of your thinning hair, the good news is that it’s probably a temporary problem.

Once that is corrected the disease your hormones function properly, your hair growth cycle should begin to normalise. In all cases, the continuous consultation with the doctor specialist will help you to reduce the risks and make sure that there are other factors that can influence hair loss.


Talk with your doctor if you have bothersome symptoms of diabetes, including loss of hair. The loss of hair on arms and legs is particularly important to report because it might be a sign of poor blood flow.

If the hair loss is related to the control of diabetes, you may need to adjust your diet, lifestyle or medications to better control your level of sugar in the blood. Once your diabetes is under control, you should notice a reduction in hair loss. You will lose less hair and will grow back more than you lost.

This article is an original content Blog Dermatology Visual Blog of the Instituto de Dermatologia Integral of Madrid

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