Did you know that diabetes can lead to a variety of health conditions, including premature hair loss? Don’t panic. If you know how to control your blood sugar level, then it can help reverse the harmful effects of hair fall too.
Hair loss usually becomes noticeable when new hair doesn’t form over large sections of your scalp. Read on to know the link between diabetes and hair loss, and how you can treat and prevent this.
Can Diabetes Cause Hair Loss?
In some cases, diabetes can lead to the thinning of the hair and hair breakage. Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, “High blood sugar disrupts the lymph (Rasa dhatu) and fat tissue (Meda dhatu). A disrupted lymph impairs the nutrient supply to hair, making it susceptible to scalp infections. Fat tissue nourishes the bone tissue. Hair being a by-product of bone tissue, gets affected when fat tissue metabolism is impaired.”
This happens as diabetes affects your hair’s natural growth cycle by:
- Inhibiting new hair growth
- Causing abnormal hair growth
- Hindering hair growth
Some common reasons of hair loss due to diabetes  are:
1. Elevated Blood Sugar
Untreated or uncontrolled diabetes management may lead to high blood sugar levels, which adversely impacts overall health. Uncontrolled blood sugar usually damages many blood vessels, organs, and tissues within your body.
Impaired blood vessels restrict the normal flow of blood, resulting in oxygen and nutrients deprivation. This adversely affects the growth cycle of hair follicles, causing hair fall and loss.
2. Stress And Hormonal Imbalance
Diabetes often causes physical and emotional stress in individuals. Continuous stress may lead to hormonal fluctuations which can affect the normal hair growth process.
3. Alopecia Areata
In this scalp condition, the person’s immune system starts attacking the normal hair follicles due to an altered immune response. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes  are more vulnerable. Hair loss may occur in patches from the arms, head, and other regions where hair normally grows.
What Diabetic Medication Causes Hair Loss?
Metformin hydrochloride, or Metformin, is a medication prescribed to those who suffer from Hyperglycemia or Type 2 diabetes. This drug reduces the proportion of sugar produced in the liver and elevates muscle cell sensitivity to insulin. However, the scientific evidence regarding the link between hair loss and metformin is inconclusive.
A few research studies  report the incidence of hair loss in individuals who are prescribed metformin to control and manage diabetes. In one such case , an individual with type 2 diabetes who took sitagliptin with metformin noticed eyelash and eyebrow hair fall. However, the prescribed drug may be one of the reasons behind this.
How To Treat Hair Loss From Diabetes?
1. Ayurvedic Treatments
The holistic approach of Ayurveda to treat hair fall focuses on pacifying the Pitta dosha through a combination of personalized lifestyle and diet plan, along with herbal medicines. To correct the scalp condition, a combination of yoga, breathing exercises, detoxifying oil massage, meditation, herbal medicines, and healthy diet is suggested.
“Ayurvedic therapies are holistic approaches to correct imbalance of humours, kindling metabolic fire of the tissues, and ensuring proper functioning of all mental and sensory faculties’, says Dr. Zeel, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
The following herbal and natural remedies from Ayurveda can help control hair loss from diabetes:
A. Moringa Oil
Moringa is an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Potassium, and iron. For centuries, ayurvedic physicians have been using its leaves and fruits to improve eyesight, treat arthritis, and promote hair growth. Not only does it improve blood flow in the scalp, but its antioxidants also help fight the free radicals that cause oxidative damage .
How to apply
- Gently massage your scalp and hair with moringa oil.
- Use this at least once a week.
A powerhouse of alpha-hydroxy acids, vitamins C and A, and essential amino acids, hibiscus help in preventing hair fall and boosting hair growth.
How to apply
- Heat 100ml of a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil.
- Add minced leaves and flowers of hibiscus into the oil.
- Heat the mixture in low flame until fumes begin to appear.
- Filter and store in a glass jar.
- Gently massage the oil onto your scalp and hair for a few minutes.
- Leave it for 20 minutes and rinse with a mild, herbal shampoo.
C. Fenugreek And Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri) Oil
Brahmi is a potent local stimulant, which effectively treats and manages scalp psoriasis, nausea, and skin eruptions. Methi or Fenugreek has been popularly used in Ayurveda to naturally manage glucose levels and promote hair growth.
Fenugreek is rich in alkaloids, L-tryptophan, vitamin C, protein, lysine, potassium, iron and fibre. This potent combination prevents hair fall, boosts hair growth, minimizes premature greying, and provides deep conditioning, making your hair soft and strong.
How to apply
- Mix Methi and Brahmi in coconut or almond oil.
- Leave it for 20 minutes and rinse with a mild, herbal shampoo for best results.
D. Curry Leaves And Coconut Oil
Curry leaves are a rich source of beta-carotene, which help prevent baldness, promote hair growth, and repair and strengthen hair roots.
How to apply
- Take around 30-40 curry leaves.
- Heat a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil and add the curry leaves.
- Allow the mixture to cool down for a day.
- Strain it and store in a glass jar.
- Gently massage the oil onto your scalp and hair.
- Leave it for 20 minutes before washing off with a mild, herbal shampoo.
E. Amla Oil
This excellent source of vitamin C has been extensively used in Ayurvedic remedies and treatments for centuries. It also provides essential fatty acids that help in deep conditioning your hair and keeping hair follicles healthy .
How to apply
- Take 200 gms of fresh amla and de-seed it.
- Dry the fruits and add them into 500 ml of coconut oil. Store in a glass jar.
- Place the glass jar in direct sunlight for 15 days till the mixture changes colour.
- Then, strain the liquid and keep it for future use.
- Massage this liquid on your scalp and hair, leave it for 20 minutes and wash off with a mild shampoo.
- If you don’t have fresh amla fruits, you can mix amla powder into coconut oil, or directly use amla oil.
2. Topical Medications
Rogaine, also known as Minoxidil, is a popular OTC medication for hair loss. This can directly be applied over the areas where hair loss has happened. Both men and women can use rogaine after consulting a physician. It is critical to follow instructions to reap maximum benefits and prevent side effects.
3. Other Medications
Propecia, also known as Finasteride, is a prescription drug for managing hair fall in adult men. A single oral tablet is usually prescribed for daily intake. The FDA hasn’t recognized the drug for use by women patients.
Healthcare physicians may prescribe an oral immunosuppressant, like cyclosporine or methotrexate, a steroid tablet, or steroid injections to treat hair loss. However, some of these treatments may cause side effects.
This subclass of vitamin B naturally occurs in various foods. Some diabetic individuals may have lower biotin levels in their body, and biotin intake may prevent hair loss .
Rich natural sources of biotin include:
- Sweet potato
- Nuts including peanuts, walnuts, and almonds
- Whole eggs
Vedix Tip: You may also buy biotin supplements from health stores. However every person has different biotin needs and excessive amounts can cause adverse side effects. Always consult your physician before taking any health supplements.
5. Lifestyle Changes
While an active routine may not reverse hair fall, it can definitely help improve blood flow. Regular exercise promotes blood circulation in different parts of your body, including the lower and upper extremities and the hair follicles. It may also help you to naturally control and manage your blood sugar levels.
Following a healthy and balanced diet plan is integral in diabetes management. Choose a diet rich in lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods.
How Do You Prevent Hair Loss From Diabetes?
1. Control and Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels
Regularly check your blood sugar, and monitor your glucose levels with CGM (continuous glucose monitoring). Take necessary action if you notice any fluctuations.
2. Exercise and stay active
You can naturally control and manage blood glucose levels by exercising for at least 40 minutes daily. Any form of exercise improves the oxygen flow to your cells, including your hair follicles.
Diabetes can cause constant worry and stress, which can cause hair loss. However, taking proactive measures can ensure good health. Mediation and yoga can help you stay calm and peaceful.
Will Hair Loss From Diabetes Grow Back?
Hair fall is reversible in some cases. While many treatment options are available for men and women, benefits are usually short-term, and need active follow-up.
Some individuals with diabetes can control hair loss that has occured due to pre-existing health conditions. Managing stress levels and controlling blood glucose levels can help. Exercising regularly, following a healthy diet, monitoring and seeking cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling can control the condition.
Can Insulin Resistance Cause Hair Thinning?
Insulin resistance is one of the main indicators of prediabetes, which may also lead to sudden or abnormal hair fall. If you lose more than the normal range of 100-150 hair strands per day, it may indicate premature hair loss. This needs immediate attention and treatment.
The Last Word
Diabetes is a chronic and stressful condition which may lead to hair loss or hair thinning. However, adopting a healthy lifestyle, with natural and holistic Ayurvedic treatments, can help you control and manage blood sugar levels. This may help slow down or reverse the ramifications of hair loss.Know Your Dosha Now