What is Diabetes Mellitus?
Diabetes Mellitus is a group of metabolic disease in which a person has high blood sugar levels because the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.
symptoms of diabetes:-
a. Feeling extremely hungry, even if you are eating regularly (Polyphagia).
b. Losing weight, in spite of eating sufficient.
c. Being very thirsty (polydepsia).
d. Frequent urination (polyuria and nocturia).
e. Feeling tired all the time.
f. Getting irritated easily.
g. Being troubled with blurry vision.
How diabetes and hair loss are related?
Our body has a certain metabolic cycle, hair growth cycle is one of them. An individual hair grows for several years and then enters the resting phase before being shed. It is found that this hair re-grows very quickly.
However, diabetes affects the normal metabolic cycles of the body including hair growth cycle. If this cycle gets disrupted, the shed hair may take longer time to re-grow or it may not re-grow at all.
Other ways how diabetes affects hair growth
Diabetes weakens immune system. As a result, body becomes susceptible to many infections including scalp infections which may cause hair loss.
It also adversely affects the circulatory system thus causing a problem all over the body including the scalp. Hair follicles don’t get enough nutrients because of lack of circulation and thus growth of new hair is inhibited.
As diabetes is a hormonal disease, it can disrupt other hormones levels in the body. Hair loss in women is often caused by hormonal imbalances (not necessarily related to diabetes).
Skin rashes & thyroid condition are often seen with diabetes & also affect the hair growth cycle.
Why does diabetes cause hair loss?
1) Circulation and hormones- The poor circulation of diabetes not only affects organ of the body, but can also affects scalp and the hair follicles. This slows the growth of hair. If hair growth get slower, the old hair will fall out before formation of new hair.
2) Medication and stress- The medication taken by diabetic can disrupt the hair growth cycle. The medication causes dehydration thus responsible for hair fall. The mental stress of managing diabetes can contribute to hair loss and slowing of hair growth. Stress can also cause poor eating habits which affects the growth in the body.
3) Infection & illness- Diabetics are more prone to infections including skin. Infection of hair follicles can cause hair to fall out and less hair to grow in that area. Diabetes also affects the immune system and diabetics are more prone to frequent illness. Fungal diseases are also common in diabetics and can be found on the scalp too.
Diabetes and diffuse hair loss
Untreated, severe diabetes can cause/aggravate diffuse hair loss.
Symptoms of diffuse hair loss-
a) Thinning out of hair and their progressive weakening
b) Slow rate of growth of hair and frequent fall out of hair.
c) Intensity of hair loss can vary from mild to abundant. Some women may complain about losing their hair in bunches.