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A man with hair loss from diabetes

Does High Blood Sugar Cause Hair Loss?

Diabetes is a disease where the body is unable to produce the hormone known as insulin. This results in the abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and increases the level of glucose in the blood.

With Type 1 diabetes you can’t make insulin at all. Type 2 means you can’t produce enough – or it doesn’t work effectively. Over time too much glucose can create all sorts of health problems. Does high blood sugar cause hair loss? Read on…

Diabetes and Hair Loss

Diabetes can cause hair thinning and loss as hair growth is impaired. And new hair may be stopped from growing due to several different factors. Hormone fluctuations and stress from diabetes can also affect hair growth.

Damage to blood vessels results in blood flow restriction – and as blood vessels carry nutrients and oxygen to organs and tissues throughout your body hair follicles can feel the effects. Your hair growth cycle may become distressed and hair can appear dry and brittle.

Anyone with diabetes may develop autoimmune diseases that can cause significant hair loss. These include:

  • Hyperthyroid disease – specific medications can be taken to prevent further hair loss.
  • Anaemia – iron deficiency can be treated with an iron supplement or eating an iron-rich diet with foods such as dark leafy greens, nuts, and beans.
  • Alopecia Areata – an application of Anthralin can be applied to rebalance the skins immune system.

Does insulin cause hair loss? There’s little evidence that prescription insulin use contributes to hair loss – insulin resistance is a greater risk.

Blood Sugar Management

As blood sugar levels can affect body health including hair loss it’s important to improve those levels. How do you prevent hair loss from diabetes? See below:

  • Monitoring blood sugar levels regularly can ensure you know just what your level is and be prepared to correct it.
  • Taking prescribed medications as directed.
  • Eating a balanced diet with healthy foods – gluten-free diets are recommended for women with autoimmune thyroid disease.
  • Exercising regularly to naturally reduce blood sugar levels – increasing the delivery of oxygen to hair follicles.
  • De-stressing – taking charge of your health by calming stress can be done with the help of yoga and meditation – aim for 10 minutes every morning.

Treatment Options

Hair loss treatments that you can buy over the counter include:

  • Vitamin supplements – vitamin B complex may help with hair growth but not with hair loss relating to high blood sugars
  • Rogaine – applied in foam or liquid form this vasodilator medication is put onto the scalp twice daily and can lead to re-growth. It needs to be used consistently for this to be maintained.


Other treatments consist of:

Corticosteroid injections that help decrease autoimmune attacks and slow down hair fall.

Platelet Rich Plasma treatments where blood is taken and plasma extracted and used to stimulate the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles.

Stylists at Cochrane & Co hair salon specialise in hair replacement systems – a perfect solution for people suffering from hair loss. These bespoke hair care treatments are carried out by professionals who understand the need to create the ultimate look and boost confidence.

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