Diabetes is on the increase in the adult population. Most diabetics are aware of the problems that diabetes can lead to such as those associated with eyes and feet. However, the effects of diabetes on hair is less known and discussed. Here’s a lowdown on the impact of diabetes on hair growth.
How Diabetes Causes Hair Growth Problems
A high blood sugar leads to damaged blood vessels including those in the scalp. This means less nutrients and blood reaches the hair follicles which results in thinning hair. As a consequence of this loss of blood supply, hair can also lose its luster, making it have a dull and lifeless appearance. Diabetics often have other medical disorders such as thyroid problems which also lead to hair thinning so anyone with this disease should get their blood levels checked on a regular basis.
Diabetes and Other Causes of Hair Loss
Having diabetes can be stressful and lead to a number of psychological problems associated with having to live with the condition. Unfortunately, this stress causes hormone problems which impacts hair growth and causes it to thin. Another problem associated more with type 1 is Alopecia areata. Like type 1 diabetes, Alopecia areata is an immune disorder. The immune system attacks healthy follicles, leading to hair loss. This problem is more prevalent in type 1 diabetics than in those without diabetes.
Some medications such as Metformin can indirectly lead to hair loss. Metformin can result in vitamin B12 deficiency which causes hair loss and thinning.
How Diabetics Can Avoid Hair Loss
One of the main reasons for hair loss in diabetics is the lack of blood supply to the scalp. Diabetics can minimize this problem by sticking to a healthy diet, maintaining stable blood sugar levels, and going for regular checks to ensure their vital signs are within manageable limits.
Regular exercise is another effective way of reducing blood sugar levels. People who are diabetic also need to take care of their mental health so engaging in mindfulness, yoga and other forms of relaxation can help reduce stress which leads to hair thinning. If blood sugar levels remain stable but hair loss continues, it is important to get checked by a doctor as there could be an additional medical issue such as a thyroid disorder. By making a few simple changes to lifestyle issues, someone with diabetes can avoid issues with hair loss.
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