diabetes, hair loss can be a distressing side effect. Some hair loss in everyone is normal - "old" hair falls out and new growth comes in to takes its place. But sometimes thinning or even bald patches become noticeable. Here are some possible causes of hair loss people with diabetes.
Oral medications used to manage diabetes may cause some thinning or loss of hair as a side effect. Each of us responds to medication differently. Some people will not experience any side effects at all. However, if you notice that a greater-than-normal thinning or loss of hair after starting your diabetes medication, talk to your doctor about it.
The diabetes medication may not necessarily be the cause (hair loss could be a symptom of another condition, or another medication could be contributing), but if it is, your doctor may be able to put you on a different brand or may have other suggestions for you.
Both physical and mental stress can be caused by diabetes. Chronically elevated blood sugar can result in longer healing times and poor circulation, both of which can affect the rate of re-growth of hair.
This can end up being very difficult for people with diabetes. The stress on their body from the diabetes leads to unusual or noticeable hair loss; which leads to additional stress from worrying about thinning hair.
Assuming the doctor has ruled out other causes for the hair loss, the best thing a diabetic can do is to carefully manage their blood glucose levels. That means following a healthy and appropriate diet, getting regular exercise, and (if prescribed) taking your medication. If needed, try to lose weight -- even a 10 to 15 lb weight loss is beneficial -- or at least maintain your current weight. Once the stress is lessened, hair will often stop falling out at higher-than-normal rates, and might even begin growing back and/or looking healthier.
Keep in mind that hair re-growth is a very slow process. It can take months after making a change in medication and/or lifestyle before any hair growth is noticeable. New growth is often thin or fine in texture, and may not grow in evenly. It can take months or even years for hair to return to "normal".
If you have already been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, hair loss may be one of the symptoms which can be managed or improved by keeping the disease under control. In some cases, hair loss may not be preventable, at least not completely. Genetics also plays a role in thinning hair. Various hair and scalp treatments are also available to help with hair loss. Always discuss with your doctor first, to ensure that any new treatment or supplements you wish to try won't compromise the effectiveness of your diabetes medication.