Hair loss

By jladytiger1979 Latest Reply 2017-04-19 03:39:06 -0500
Started 2011-07-24 18:34:14 -0500

Had anyone experienced heavy hair loss?? I've read on other sites people thought it was diabetes or metformin (even though it is not a documented side effect) or PCOS or the metformin causing a b 12 deficiency… My endocrinologist recommended that I take Biotin. I'm up to 3000 mg daily plus I take 2000 mg sublingual daily. Had a thyroid check up when initially diagnosed with diabetes. I it was normal and so was my b 12. I take it because it gives me more energy. I haven't had my thyroid checked since then but my hair loss has gotten a lot worse eover the last 6 months. All over scalp loss, no spots. I use 1500 mg metformin daily. No loss of body hair. I was diagnosed with PCOS but use borth control pills in addition to the metformin to control it. I've taken the same bcps for 17 years and have never experienced anything life this. I'm starting to get upset because its a handful daily & my hair is extremely thin. I've always had thick blonde hair. My A1C is 5.4. My average daily sugar is 99. What's going on????

34 replies

Rebecca0428 2015-06-21 21:25:08 -0500 Report

Metformin is the evil for hair loss, i had beautiful full long hair, was put on metformin and within months my hair came out by the handfulls. I could fill a gallon ziplock in less than a weeks. I told my doctor no more, she wasn't happy, but my hair has come back full force.

Wiz1058 2016-06-01 14:01:39 -0500 Report

I went through a sugar spike and was put on insulin pen and xr 1000mg of metformin and after I got sugar under control I was given Glimepiride and stopped insulin pen. But I've noticed my hair coming out at alarming amounts. So after coming on here and seeing others having same problem I'm going to stop it. I was on 500mg for a year or so don't think it was coming out so bad. Wonder if the Glimepiride causes hair to come out. Started a vitamin regime but I've got to find something to stop this.

Sopies Grandma
Sopies Grandma 2015-02-09 17:40:13 -0600 Report

Gosh, I sure hope my hair doesn't fall out, that would be the last straw. LOL wow having the big D sure does come with a lot of issues..
it's all just too much…its so sad that its actually funny…LOLOL

Nonna2Three 2011-08-18 15:23:14 -0500 Report

Well, the thyroid test was negative. I reduced my Metformin from 1000mg/day to 500mg/day this past Monday and I will stay on that dose for another 10 days or so then no Metformin for a while - make that for as long as i can keep my numbers in control. I'll post back in 6 - 8 weeks. That should allow enough time for the Metformin that has built up in my system to work itself out.

Joanie E
Joanie E 2017-04-19 03:08:32 -0500 Report

Hi! I am new on here and I have been told that Metformin can make you lose your hair. I also read it on the internet. I went to my doctor and I told him I think stress and Metformin was making me lose my hair. He doesn't believe that it can make you lose your hair but I do! I have gone to a dermatologist but we haven't very far with it yet. I had to stop going for a good while and now I have more hair loss happening almost all over. I am very worried about it. I am about to get on something else but I do not know what to do. I was taking Byetta for a long time but it got too expensive to buy and the insurance will not accept it as one of their choices of drugs. They will not like it but I have to get off Metformin. Byetta helped my appetite greatly and I had better blood sugar numbers. When something works well the insurance out there never wants to work with you getting on it. I could get a little queasy on it for a few minutes but it was worth it. Honestly I have to tell you that if one does eat right you can get off the meds but you have to do the right things and exercise helps a lot. A few years ago I lost 50 pounds that I had packed on because of diabetes and stress. I took Byetta and exercised and ate right and was a 5.2. That is like a normal person. I also did the same thing when I was doing without the meds. I checked my blood at least 5-6 times a day as well. Hope that you have great luck with your plans.

Diaschm 2011-08-18 11:22:11 -0500 Report

My sister-inlaw had hair loss real bad. She went to a dermotogist who specialized in skin conditions. It was from stress and the doctor was able to help her. I do not know what she was given, I just know that she has her own hair back. She can not dye it for a long time but she was able to get rid of the wig. Good luck! Diaschm

Joanie E
Joanie E 2017-04-19 03:11:48 -0500 Report

Hi! If you could find out what the dermatologist did for your sister i would love to know. I am new as of tonight and I need help so much. Thank you for posting that.

grandmaducky 2011-08-18 10:32:23 -0500 Report

i do take thyroid meds when i first started taking them my hair loss stop but since i have been put on metformin it is back going to talk to doc to get it lowered my bg are lower so i will see if it will help with hair loss but i do feel metformin is causing it . ihate the thought of losing more ugh but will live with it could be worse better hair then limbs

Nonna2Three 2011-08-18 09:13:51 -0500 Report

In my comment below I stated "I do plan to discuss it with my doctor when I see him again in November, unless the hair loss reaches a panic point for me."

Well, it wasn't really a panic point, but a point of annoyance. I just got really tired of fighting hair in my food. I could be standing at the counter peeling carrots and watch a hair or two fall on the counter right there in front of me - move those to the paper towel with the carrot peelings and boom, there drops another - move it and think I am okay but as soon as I start moving carrots from the bowl of water to the pot on the stove boom, another hair drops on the stove.

And, as if that was frustrating enough, we both, hubby and I have pulled a hair out of our plate. Thankfully we both know whose hair it is and we both know that it is clean, but we neither one find it very appetizing to pull hair out of our food.

So my options were A) get a turban and robe and before any trip to the kitchen go wrap my head in a turban and change tops or B) talk to my doctor about coming off Metformin. I opted for B.

My doctor agreed to me coming off the Metformin (I am down from 1000mg/day to 500mg/day for 10 days and then down to zero), but he also had blood drawn to check thyroid levels. I don't have the results of the blood-work yet, but I feel pretty sure the blood-work will be negative since I truly do suspect the Metformin.

I will update again when I have the test result and then again in a few months (after the Metformin has had a reasonable amount of time to get out of my system) and report back on whether the hair loss has improved.

jladytiger1979 2011-08-18 09:42:05 -0500 Report

Thanks Nonna!! Let me know how it goes! In desperate. I can't even keep a hair band tight enough to stay in my hair anymore its so thin :-(
I too have the hair in the food issue. Its on my clothes, oddly I have a constant layer on my dashboard in my car, I have a carpet of hair around my chair at my desk at work. I've been in panic mode but I HAVE to stay on metformin because of pcos not just diabetes. Ugh!!

berrykins0 2011-08-02 17:25:35 -0500 Report

thyriod problems can cause hair loss. thats the only that i know that ca cause hair loss.

jladytiger1979 2011-08-02 19:16:12 -0500 Report

But that normally causes several areas of hair loss not just on the head & I've tested neg on my blood work for thyroid issues.

Karrojava 2015-02-09 10:38:00 -0600 Report

I agree I had thyroid issues and it caused eyebrows to come out but metformin is causing male pattern baldness I think

RennieMarie 2011-07-26 12:46:27 -0500 Report

I have also always had extremely thick hair all my life until about three months ago. My BG has been really high and that is what my dr. said is the cause of it? I also take metformin 1000 twice a day. It's getting to the point where it's annoying to do anything with my hair cause it's always coming out and I leave trails everywhere. I have had alot of it growing back in so now I have a ring around my hairline of what looks like little chicken fuzz. I guess it's better than nothing at all but it is very upsetting to me.

Joanie E
Joanie E 2017-04-19 03:22:40 -0500 Report

I have taken 500 a day and my prescription said to take to take 2 tablets twice a day. I am wondering if I'm crazy but I took it as take 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. That is a lot to me. Did I misunderstand what I am supposed to take? I am losing hair faster and faster. I am dropping hair often too , especially this month. I probably was and didn't notice it as much. I feel stupid after reading a lot tonight. It made me wonder if I was taking too much. When I told my doctor I was taking 1 to 2 a day he told me I am taking it wrong?!?!?!?! Well I have a bald spot and am finally getting that fuzzy stuff too and it is coming in WHITE as can be. I am seeing it getting thinner now all over one way or another.

Nonna2Three 2011-07-27 15:59:41 -0500 Report

I have to lean towards the Metformin because my BG has been well controlled for a while now. I started out on Insulin at dx and was off insulin by day 40 and my 3 mo. follow up was in May and my A1c had dropped from 12.46 in January to 5.78. And my daily tests are all below 200, in fact, most are below 150. So I can't consider high BG the blame for mine.
Also, since this is a problem that I have only had this year (2011) and I was diagnosed in Jan. and put on Metformin at that time - I just have to cast a suspicious eye at the Metformin.

jladytiger1979 2011-07-26 12:53:24 -0500 Report

I noticed this morning little bits of hair about 4" long in my scalp. Not breakage but baby fine new hair but my hair is still wicked thin. My dr just said take biotin & now that that's not working wants to retest thyroid rev refer me to a dermatologist. My sugar gas been well under control for a while but has gotten worse as that get better. I may have to ask her if I can lower it some. Problem is PCOS. Not trying to have kids but I guess it helps the insulin resistance it causes…you can come wig shopping with me

Nonna2Three 2011-07-25 17:02:29 -0500 Report

I have been experiencing hair loss such as you describe for the last few months. I take Metformin - 500mg twice daily. I have also searched the internet for an answer and found a lot of what you find. But based on the number of times I encountered the discussion of a relation between Metformin and hair loss I am pretty much convinced it is related. I have always had extremely thick hair, so the loss, while an unbelievably great amount has not yet reached a point to cause me to stop my Metformin, especially since I believe the Metformin is a primary player in my numbers being as good as they are. I do plan to discuss it with my doctor when I see him again in November, unless the hair loss reaches a panic point for me.

Joanie E
Joanie E 2017-04-19 03:30:54 -0500 Report

I just know that Metformin is the culprit. Stress is part of it but I never had this thinning of hair when I was not on it or even when I took , on my own, 1 pill a day. He wasn't happy knowing I was doing one a day.
Let me warn you that in time you may get to the point where you are like others and myself where you are too thin and I am almost getting ready to buy a wig if much more goes on the top of my head. It is spreading all directions. Just watch it closely. Once it started it went slowly I guess but it has picked up. I didn't even know I had a bald spot on my head and found out in a terrible way. The little fuzzy white hair isn't trying to grow but in a creeping mode, lol. Good luck to you !!!

jladytiger1979 2011-07-25 17:22:58 -0500 Report

My dr didn't think there was a correlation because I had light hair loss due to PCOS/ age/ diabetes. I take 2000 mg metformin er. And it has made a difference in my bs but my hair has been the only good physical attribute I've really ever had. Now its handfuls and of can see right to my scalp in the parts or just lift the sides of my hair. Also my hair was always straight…the texture has changed to curly!!! I really don't want this to be irreversible!! I mean a womans hair is a big part of her. I take all the recommended stuff from those sites already & nada…just gets worse…a handful of hair in the shower every day!! What are we to do??!!!

Joanie E
Joanie E 2017-04-19 03:37:15 -0500 Report

I know just what you mean! I can move my hair over a bit and see a big part~~~loss of hair and doing it anywhere on my head now. No the stuff they say to use and advertise do nothing much. One I used took out more hair as far as I was concerned. Never used it past the first time. Look at just The hair growth item does work but it take time and I don't have that kind of time. I feel badly for all of us.

Karrojava 2015-02-09 10:34:37 -0600 Report

I am on metformin and after we increased it from 500 to 1000 a day is when my hair started coming out. I am using nioxin for hair and dermatologist said to try rogaine but I say let's find out what is causing this. My hair texture has changed too I am finding curling hair when mine has always been straight. It started falling out bad after being on higher dose of metformin. There has to be something with metformin although pharmacy tried to say there was not, my doctor says I need metformin not to go off. My thyroid dose is high so we are lowering that but I really think it is metformin,

Nonna2Three 2011-07-25 21:11:03 -0500 Report

When I talk to my doctor I will ask what the other options are in stead of Metformin, but if I have to choose between thick abundant hair or good BG control I will have to accept my hair loss. I guess if it gets bad enough I will have to consider a wig option. But I hope it doesn't come to that. It's just that I've seen the devastation Diabetes can do to people and I have lost an uncle and a good friend - both to medical issues complicated by uncontrolled Diabetes. So, yeah, as much as I would hate for it to get to that point I will definitely go with health over vanity.

And then, on the upside - if I end up going to a wig I might just get two and have some fun with it! :D

jladytiger1979 2011-07-26 07:25:02 -0500 Report

I also know the effects. I just wonder if it is because of the high dose I'm on. Heck out could be so many other things!! Just makes me crazy…another side effect and so obvious. I reckon when I'm bald you & I will go wig shopping!! :-P

jayabee52 2011-07-24 18:39:59 -0500 Report

I'd been on Met. for the first few years of my Dx. I noted no hair loss, except for my male pattern baldness. LQTM!