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Relationship between diabetes and alopecia

1 December 2020


 Relationship between diabetes and alopecia  | Clínica de Freitas

In our establishment it is common to receive consultations related to the causes of hair loss, and diabetes is increasingly included among the causes of alopecia. So much so, that sudden and massive hair loss is usually an indicator of diabetes if it occurs along with other symptoms. What is the relationship between diabetes and alopecia?


Relationship between diabetes and hair loss

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs due to a hormonal imbalance related to insulin, which causes blood glucose to be irregularly metabolized by the body. This failure in metabolism can cause unwanted effects on different structures or organs of the body.

The hormonal imbalance that diabetes generates affects the main systems of the human body, such as the circulatory and nervous systems, which are closely linked to hair growth. This is why we affirm that diabetes and alopecia are related.


Connections between diabetes and alopecia

Diabetes causes poor blood circulation. Next, the hair follicle, being deprived of sufficient blood supply, will be unable to generate a new hair strand after the existing hair has fallen out.

On the other hand, as the follicles are not stimulated by the bloodstream, the hair dies and falls out earlier. If we add to this that normal hair growth slows down, we will have as a consequence less quantity and an impoverished image of our hair.

Another aspect to take into account is that these patients are more susceptible to skin diseases and infections, due to the fact that the immune system is compromised by diabetes. Among the diseases of the scalp are bacterial and fungal infections that interrupt the hair generation process.


How do sugar levels affect our scalp?

When blood sugar levels are excessively high or low, our body adapts to this situation by saving resources to direct them to vital organs. In this balance, the body prioritizes other functions before hair growth and stops providing nutrients and care to the hair follicles. This can slow hair growth for the duration of this irregularity in sugar levels.


Can diabetes medications cause alopecia?

Medications prescribed for diabetic patients can be a trigger for alopecia. Although it is true that these tend to stop normal hair growth, it should also be noted that this effect usually only manifests itself for some time, until the body gets used to the medicine. However, patients should always be aware of this possible side effect.


To take into account ...

We already know the relationship between diabetes and alopecia, however, it is important to add one more piece of information.

We want to emphasize that alopecia caused by diabetes is temporary. Once the disease is stabilized, it is to be expected that the hair growth cycles will readjust as well.

However, we always recommend going to a professional doctor before any change you notice in your body. Before making any decision, it is important to know the causes of such change and determine the best way to address it.

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