Does diabetes cause hair loss

Does diabetes cause hair loss?

Hair loss is an inevitable aspect of the hair’s lifespan. Hair will fall out when it reaches the end of its cycle. To replace it, new hair will usually sprout from the same hair follicle.

However, new hair may fail to sprout at times. This hair loss can be evident if there are big patches of the head where new hairs do not emerge. Stress, hormones, excessive blood sugar levels, and underlying health issues such as diabetes can all impair hair growth.

In this post, we’ll look at whether diabetes causes hair loss or how diabetes can impact your hair, and how to deal with hair loss.

Does diabetes cause hair loss?

Some patients with diabetes experience hair thinning and loss. Diabetes decreases hair development, causing you to lose hair more frequently than usual. Hair loss affects more than just your head.

Hair can fall out on your arms, legs, and other parts of your body. When hair regrows, it does so at a slower rate than usual.

In other words, diabetes can affect the hair growth cycle in the following ways:

  • preventing hair growth
  • hair growing at a rate more than necessary
  • preventing fresh hair growth

This means when you consider the net effect, you can see that diabetes causes hair loss.

How does diabetes cause hair loss?

A person with diabetes may lose hair for a variety of reasons, but the most prevalent ones are listed here.

Stress and hormones

Diabetes can put a person’s body under a lot of physical and mental strain. This can lead to some sort of hormonal imbalance. Such hormonal imbalances as a result of diabetes-related stress may influence hair growth.

Areata alopecia

Alopecia areata is a disorder that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy hair follicles. Alopecia areata is more common in patients with type 1 diabetes than in people without the disease.

Alopecia areata is a condition that causes patchy hair loss on the head, arms, and other body parts where hair normally grows.

High sugar levels

Uncontrolled or uncontrolled diabetes can lead to dangerously high blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels that are consistently high can cause harm to the body’s tissues, organs, and blood vessels. Blood vessel damage can reduce blood flow, resulting in cells receiving less oxygen and nutrients than they require. This shortage can disrupt the normal growth cycle of hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.

As such, diabetes can cause hair loss through this mechanism.


Hair loss is a side effect of diabetes. Hair loss can also be a side effect of stress, such as living with a chronic illness or using diabetes medications. Thyroid disorder is common in persons with diabetes, and it can cause hair loss.

Is diabetes-related hair loss reversible?

Hair loss can be reversed in rare situations. There are several therapies available, some of which are different for men and women.

Even when hair loss treatments are helpful, the majority of them are merely temporary solutions that function for as long as a person uses them.

Diabetes-related hair loss can be slowed or stopped in some persons. Maintaining good blood sugar control and minimizing stress are the most effective ways to do this.

Blood sugar levels can be managed by:

  • taking blood sugar readings on a regular basis
  • taking all medications as directed by their doctor
  • eating a balanced and healthy food and
  • exercising on a regular basis

The following are some strategies for reducing and managing stress:

  • having counseling or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • practicing mindfulness
  • employing relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, and deep-breathing exercises

Loss of hair treatments

Topical medicines, biotin, and lifestyle modifications are all alternatives for treating hair loss. However, the majority of these treatments have short-term results.


Certain drugs have been shown to aid with hair loss and restore hair. The American Academy of Dermatology has a list of medications that can help with various types of hair loss. The drug prescribed will be based on your age and the potential for side effects.

Rogaine (minoxidil)

Rogaine (minoxidil) stimulates hair growth and is beneficial to the scalp, beard, and eyebrows. This could also be a good alternative for kids.

Corticosteroid creams and injections

Corticosteroid creams and injections are mainly used by adults rather than youngsters. Both toddlers and adults can use creams to treat their patches. Adults seem to respond better to injections, while children respond better to lotions.


Anthralin is a topical medicine that is frequently used in conjunction with Minoxidil. This can irritate the skin.

Changes in Lifestyle

Although exercise will neither prevent or reverse hair loss, it will aid in the body’s blood circulation. Regular exercise can improve blood flow to various regions of the body, including hair follicles and the upper and lower extremities. It can also aid in the management of blood sugar levels.

Diabetes control also includes eating a well-balanced, healthy diet. Blood sugar levels can be controlled by eating a diet rich in high-fiber foods, vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins.


Biotin is a form of vitamin B that can be found in a variety of foods. Biotin levels in the body are decreased in patients with diabetes. According to a 2014 study, there is evidence that biotin may help some people decrease hair loss.

Biotin-rich foods include the following:

  • nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and peanuts
  • whole eggs
  • liver
  • kidneys
  • salmon
  • avocado
  • cauliflower
  • yeast
  • sweet potato

Food rich in nutrients

Eating food rich in nutrients such as vitamin D, zinc, iron, etc can help with hair loss.

Vitamin D

Alopecia areata patients have been found to have inadequate vitamin D levels in some investigations. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin since it is mostly derived from sunlight.

It can be more difficult to get enough vitamin D during the cold months. Because vitamin D is only present in a few foods, supplementation may be necessary if blood levels or insufficiency are low.

Salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, fish liver oils, fortified milk and milk alternatives, egg yolks, fortified cereals, and orange juice are all high in vitamin D.


Hair loss has been linked to iron deficiency through mechanisms of action that are unknown. According to several studies, those with low iron levels also experience hair loss. People with severe iron shortages should see a doctor about getting iron supplementation.

Vegans may require dietary coaching to maximize iron absorption and consumption and avoid deficiency. Animal proteins, shellfish, legumes, nuts, seeds, leafy greens like spinach, and whole grains are all high in iron.


Although zinc deficiency is uncommon, it can result in hair loss in extreme cases. In several trials, persons with zinc deficiency were able to reverse their hair loss after being treated.

Zinc deficiency can be caused by a variety of factors, including malabsorption problems, hereditary abnormalities, and the use of certain drugs.

Red meat, poultry, shellfish such as oysters, crab, lobster, whole grains, dairy products, and fortified cereals are all high in zinc.

Plant-based foods do not absorb zinc as well as animal goods. Zinc levels may need to be checked in people who eat a vegan or vegetarian diet. You should not take zinc supplements without consulting a doctor. A copper deficit can result from too much zinc supplementation.


Diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect a person’s body in a variety of ways. Diabetes can cause hair thinning or loss in certain persons.

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels, emotional and physical stress and hormone imbalances are the main causes of hair loss in diabetics.

Controlling blood sugar levels with drugs and lifestyle changes may help to reverse or reduce the effects of hair loss. Some drugs are also available to help with hair loss, though their effects may be temporary.


Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for and a writer for Wapomu

Dr. Ehoneah Obed is a registered pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has experience working in a Tertiary hospital as well as various community pharmacies. He is also a software engineer interested in healthcare technologies.

His love for helping others motivates him to create content on an array of topics mostly relating to the health of people and also software engineering content.

He is knowledgeable in digital marketing, content marketing, and a host of other skills that make him versatile enough to uplift any team he joins.

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