Diabetes & Hair Loss: Causes & Treatment Options
As people with diabetes, were often warned about the effects diabetes could potentially have on our eyes, fingers, and toes, but what about our hair?
Diabetes and hair loss is a common yet rarely discussed issue. Perhaps because its quickly dismissed as vanity, or because its embarrassing to publicly talk about balding areas of your scalp, whether youre a man or a woman.
Hair thinning and hair loss can come with a degree of shame because hair contributes to our feelings of beauty, femininity, and masculinity.
This article will explain the common causes and treatments for diabetes and hair loss.
What Is The Best Vitamin For Hair Loss
The 5 Best Vitamins for Hair Loss Prevention, Based on Research
What Causes Hair Loss In Women
When most people hear the words hair loss, they think of balding men. However, hair loss can also be a significant problem for women. Female hair loss can occur for several reasons, from a genetic sensitivity to certain androgenic hormones to reactive factors.
Weve listed the most common causes of female hair loss below, as well as the specific ways in which each cause can affect your hairline.
You May Like: Can Abilify Cause Hair Loss
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hirsutism
A change in the normal distribution and texture of hair growth should raise suspicion of hirsutism. The areas affected include the face , chest, upper abdomen and back. The hair is often coarser and darker than normal. It is often accompanied by greasy skin, acne and oily hair and potentially, male pattern baldness.
A Dermatologists Diagnosis Is Best Before Treating Hair Loss
If you think you have FPHL, its important to see a dermatologist for a diagnosis. Women develop hair loss for many reasons. Other common causes of hair loss in women can look a lot like FPHL. Each of these causes requires different treatment. Without the right treatment, hair loss often continues.
You can find a dermatologist in your area by going to Find a Dermatologist.
Also Check: How To Prevent Hair Loss While On Birth Control
How Common Is Female Hair Loss
Just like male hair loss, female hair loss becomes more common with age. Studies show that only 12% of women between the ages of 20 and 29 show some degree of hair loss, from loss around the hairline or temples to diffuse, overall thinning.
On the other hand, women aged 80 and up have a more than 60% chance of experiencing some degree of hormonal hair loss. Because hormonal hair loss is partly caused by a genetic sensitivity to DHT, your risk of hair loss could be higher if your mother, siblings or other female relatives have hair loss.
If youre concerned about hair loss, its important to take action quickly. Because hair loss is gradual and affected by DHT, acting quickly allows you to minimize hair loss and maintain as much of your hair as possible.
How Can A Dermatologist Help With Hair Loss
If youre facing prolonged and unexplained hair loss, set an appointment with your dermatologist as soon as possible. Your dermatologist will perform a detailed assessment of your medical history as well as perform a physical examination. Youll need a blood test to assess your hormones, thyroid, and any deficiencies in some cases. From there, there are several strategies your dermatologist can use to help restore hair growth.
Also Check: Which Antidepressant Does Not Cause Hair Loss
Answer: Hair Loss Recommendation
I would advise you seek out a hair loss specialist who can order basic labs , as well as examine your scalp and evaluate your history in order to determine all the contributing factors for your hair loss. Once a diagnosis is made, various treatment options can be discussed. There is typically multiple factors involved in female hair loss, and usually a multi-treatment approach is best. Good luck!!
Do Women Experience More Hair Loss Due To Covid
Generally, women pay more attention to their appearance than men and they are more sensitive to their looks. Therefore, when experienced with a COVID-19 related hair loss, they exhibit stronger symptoms of depression and anxiety which trap them in a vicious circle of stress and hair loss.
Utkan Kzltaç, MD
Chief Physician and Dermatologist Hair Transplant Surgeon of UnitedCare, a dermatology clinic helping patients become the best version of themselves.
Also Check: Can Steroids Cause Hair Loss
Are There Any Side
Some cosmetic treatments may require repeated courses to remain effective, while hair removal can potentially cause skin irritation and scarring.
If hirsutism is a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome, there is a huge array of oral contraceptive pill medications available, and different types will suit different patients. Furthermore, the contraceptive pill or cyproterone can increase the risk of thrombosis so may not be suitable in some patients. Spironolactone can cause low blood pressure and affect the levels of potassium in the blood. In addition, spironolactone, cyproterone and finasteride should not be taken if pregnancy is being considered as they can harm the developing baby. Hence, it is recommended that all women of reproductive age on these medications use adequate contraception. A discussion with your specialist will be needed to agree the best course of treatment and advise on specific side effects.
What Causes Hair Loss
Many instances of hair loss are linked to genetics. If you have a family history of hair loss or balding, you may be more likely to experience these issues with age. Hair loss can also occur due to changes in hormones, particularly during pregnancy and menopause, and because of any thyroid issues. Stress may play a factor in hair loss as well.
Medical conditions and medications have been linked to certain types of hair loss. Alopecia areata, for example, is a common condition that causes hair loss in patches. Infections can have a similar effect. If youre taking medications for conditions like depression, heart disease, and high blood pressure, hair loss could be a side effect. So, its important to talk to your doctor about any concerns. Hair loss is a common side effect for cancer drugs like chemotherapy, as well as cancer treatments like radiation to the head region.
Recommended Reading: How To Stop My Hair From Falling Out And Thinning
Do You Address This Vexing Issue Affecting Upwards Of 60% Of Your Female Patients
After all, there is a clinical component to conspicuous hair lossat least some of these women may be experiencing which is also a common symptom in the majority of women with polycystic ovary syndrome .¹
Given the distress faced by many women who face this dramatic unanticipated female pattern hair loss, a multidisciplinary expert task force was appointed by the Androgen Excess PCOS Society to determine the current state of knowledge concerning the relationship of female hair thinning to hyperandrogenism.²
However, many affected women have normal circulating androgen levels. Enrico Carmina, MD, professor of endocrinology at the University of Palermo, Italy, and lead author of this expert panel, said: Female hair loss may present in different ways but the most common form presents very differently from male hair loss and is characterized by hair loss starting along the central scalp line.”
A comprehensive report on the findings drawn from peer-reviewed studies evaluating alopecia in women published through December 2017, was used as the basis for evidence-based guidance,²available in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
These clinical recommendations were developed to provide clinicians with the most current thinking about the probable causes of female pattern hair loss as well as the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of significant hair thinning in women.²
Can I Go To An Endocrinologist For Hair Loss
As male hormones can be said to be the root cause of hair loss, you should consider seeing an endocrinologist or hormone specialist for treatment. … Regardless of whether you are male or female, a hormone balancing doctor can help and may prescribe an approved treatment such as Rogaine or Propecia.
Read Also: Does Diabetes Cause Hair Loss
What Hair Loss Doctors Should I See
Endocrinologist focus on the endocrine organs which are responsible for hormone secretion. The endocrine organs consist of the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, testes, and pancreas. An endocrinologist is able to first diagnosis the problem and then also provide treatment to restore hormone balance. Endocrinologist mainly treats:
- Over and underproduction of hormones
- Cancer of the endocrine glands
When it comes to hair loss, these are great doctors to see if you believe you have an underlying issue as to why you are losing hair. In general, we would suggest seeing them just to rule out there is not an underlying issue.
Dermatologist focus on the skin and appendages . They study the structure, function, and diseases. They can perform medical examinations as well as surgery. This would include laser surgery, skin cancer surgery, photodynamic therapy and cosmetic procedures such as botox, soft tissue fillers, sclerotherapy, and liposuction. Within this field of study, there is dermatopathologist who look at the skin, usually a biopsy of skin, under a microscope. Immunodermatologist focus on the diagnosis and management of skin disease driven by an altered immune system.
A dermatologist is great to see regarding hair loss if we know there is no underlying issue with our endocrine system.
Lifestyle Changes Can Help
Sometimes certain life events, habits, and circumstances could be behind your hair loss. The goal would be to pinpoint these issues and find a way to resolve them. When this happens, there should be a natural response by the hair follicles. Some of these changes include:
- Review your hairstyles. Tight styles and products can cause traction alopecia or CCCA.
- Look at the products youre using in your hair, such as relaxers. These can cause long-term damage and slow down new growth.
- Stress can cause hair loss over time. Look for ways to reduce stress or remove stressful situations.
- Hair loss can be diet-related. Some diets lack the vitamins and minerals needed for consistent hair growth. Try to add iron and zinc to your diet. Generally, a complete diet with leafy greens, vegetables, and whole grains can improve overall health and support other hair loss treatments.
Your dermatologist can provide much-needed counseling in these areas, along with medication and in-office treatments.
Hair replacement surgery is a viable option to treat hair loss. It is often the last resort for patients with scarring alopecia, where there is severe, permanent damage to the follicles. However, those with pattern baldness can also benefit from surgery.
You May Like: What Causes Hair Thinning And Hair Loss
What Are The Types Of Hair Loss
- Androgenetic Alopecia: It is a medical term of hereditary male or female pattern baldness.
- Telogen Effluvium: It is a type of noticeable hair loss after an emotional shock and stress happening when many hair follicles go into telogen phase .
- Anagen Effluvium: It occurs after chemotherapy or radiation therapy exposure during the anagen or growth phase of hair follicles.
- Alopecia Areata: It is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks hair follicles after a stressful event.
- Scarring Alopecias : It is a skin disease in which Inflammation on the skin causes permanent loss of hair. Before a hair replacement surgery, this condition should be fixed. Otherwise the operation will definetely fail.
- Alopecia Universalis: In this type of hair loss, all hair son the body fall out. Hair follicles do not die and can regrow.
- Tinea capitis: It is a ringworm caused fungal infection resulting in a patchy bald spots on the head. Brittle and broken hairs, itchy,red and ring-like bald spots are some of the symptoms of Tinea Capitis.
High Blood Sugar Levels
Uncontrolled or untreated diabetes can result in a persons blood sugar levels becoming too high. Persistently high blood sugar levels can lead to damage in various tissues, organs, and blood vessels within the body.
Damage to blood vessels can restrict blood flow, resulting in certain cells getting less oxygen and nutrients than they need. This deficiency can negatively impact the normal growth cycle of hair follicles, which can lead to hair loss.
Recommended Reading: Does Propecia Stop Hair Loss
Dermatologists Can Get To Root Of Problem Provide Treatment
Losing hair, especially over time, is normal. But when it happens suddenly or without clear explanation, it may be quite distressing. In some cases, it may be due to an illness or underlying condition. Dermatologists are experts in the skin and its structures including hair. Often they can get to the root of the problem and recommend the best hair loss treatment approach.
There are a number of things you can do to slow or stop hair loss, says Daniel Zelac, MD, a dermatologist at Scripps Clinic. But before deciding what to do, its important to identify the type of hair loss you are experiencing.
When to consider hair loss treatment
It is normal for individuals to lose 50 to 300 hairs each day, often without noticing. New hair usually replaces lost hair, but even this can result in a loss of overall hair length and a sense of fullness. When hair loss increases suddenly, it can be alarming, especially if it appears to be happening rapidly.
Some types of hair loss are linked specifically to correctable causes while others are not, Dr. Zelac says. Your dermatologist can determine if your hair loss is caused by things like thyroid gland issues, stress, scalp infections, genetics or simply aging.
When hair loss is temporary, often no treatment is needed and the hair may regrow on its own. Other times, treatment may be needed to slow the rate of the hair loss. In particular cases, hair loss treatment may allow the thinned hair to be regrown.
Aging and hair loss
Hormonal Hair Loss: Gradual Thinning Of Hair
A 2020 study in Experimental Dermatology showed that androgenic hair loss in men leads to a receding hairline and often progresses to baldness. In women, androgenic alopecia begins with a gradual widening of the part line, followed by increased thinning starting at the top of the head.
âA patient may begin to notice a thinner ponytail or may say âI see more of my scalp,ââ St. Surin-Lord says.
According to the American Skin Association, alopecia areata is the most common type of non-hormonal hair loss. It can affect children as well as adults. According to Harvard Health Publishing, alopecia areata occurs suddenly and the hair falls out in round or oval patches as opposed to hormonal hair loss that tends to be more gradual.
Also Check: Is Hair Loss A Side Effect Of Menopause