Sometimes it's the little things...

By BobbieNJ1000 Latest Reply 2012-03-31 11:29:26 -0500
Started 2012-03-22 10:22:37 -0500

This just gets better and better: my hair is falling out at an alarming rate. My endo does not care.

Oy! I really want a low A1c and BGs in my target range almost all the time. I don't want hypos or highs. I don't want neuropathy, kidney damage, or any one of the many serious complications that are possible.

But mostly, right now, I just want my hair to stop falling out.

Maybe it's because I've always had great hair. Or maybe it's because it's a visible, tangible sign of a disease that's otherwise so invisible (until someone sees me checking my blood sugar or injecting) I can pretend to most of the world that it's no big deal even though the daily effort sometimes feels extraordinary.

93 replies

BobbieNJ1000 2012-03-31 11:29:26 -0500 Report

Thanks to everyone for all the thoughtful replies. In the face of so much advice I spoke with my primary about it - she knows all the meds I'm already on! - and she said Biotin seemed the most likely thing to help, but recommended keeping it to 1000mcg - basically said it couldn't hurt. With the cyclical nature of hair growth it will be hard to know if improvement is related to anything I do. Right now I'm also waiting to be a few more months out from when my BG was at its highest, and hoping to see some improvement then as well. And I'll talk to my hairdresser when I seem him next month!

MrsCDogg 2012-03-29 14:12:00 -0500 Report

I went through a period of time when my hair fell out at an alarming rate too. I've always had great hair too and I was really worried about it. It still will break off at the scalp from time to time. It's mostly around my hair line right above my forehead. Not sure why but it has stopped coming out in big handfulls. I still don't have as much hair as I used to tho.

Jan8 2012-03-26 18:13:12 -0500 Report

If your hair is falling out in patches it is a derm problem. If it's falling out by thinning it may be due to a thyroid issue but then your endo would care then. It may have nothing to do with diabetes but the doc should know that one. If the endo doesnt care,he/she means it's not in their field . try a dermatologist .They can tell you what kind of problem it is. also i don't know what your meds are but sometimes it has to do with medication.

BobbieNJ1000 2012-03-26 23:04:22 -0500 Report

My thyroid numbers are good - no change needed there - and I'm not on any diabetes meds other than insulin. I think he just doesn't consider it a very significant part of having D, as I do. Most of what I've been told indicates that it should grow back if I can keep the BG under control - which is quite a challenge during this honeymoon period. Never seem to know what my pancreas will want to do next.

Jan8 2012-03-27 07:06:39 -0500 Report

My honeymoon lasted 1 year.Some people as long as 20yrs. I know what you mean about you never know what the heck the pancreas is going to do next. So, if we really don't know the only thing we can do is just keep testing BGs and not worry because we are doing the best we can. happy to know that the hair can grow back. I have never heard of that.

cavie2 2012-03-26 06:51:47 -0500 Report

Now this is interesting folks since I put in all these posts on what I use, today I have received 2 Google emails. One from Beauty Club Deals and the other from Anti Aging Store both were identical offering me 25% off their Gro Hair Packs. My profile is private and only for "friends" So google is paying attention and sending adverts and emails my way.

John Crowley
John Crowley 2012-03-29 14:53:17 -0500 Report

I can give you 100% assurance that there is no way any advertiser was able to extract your email address from your profile here on Diabetic Connect. We have extensive security measures to make sure information you have marked as private in your profile stays private. Additionally, we do not sell, rent, or share our email lists with any other companies.

It is a strange coincidence and I don't blame you for being suspicious. However, I can tell you that I have posted nothing about hair loss and have received numerous hair-growth spam emails.

But this does raise an important privacy note that we hope all members do realize. The information that is posted here in the discussions (as well as in all the other public parts of the site) is searchable by Google and other search engines. That doesn't mean that the search engines can connect any of the info here with any of your personal information. Your profile is private and only accessible to actual members who have logged in. And you control how much personal information appears on your profile page as well. So just be aware that these discussion boards are more public than information on your profile.

I would be happy to answer any more questions anyone might have on this topic.

cavie2 2012-03-30 00:43:10 -0500 Report

Thanks for that assurance J. Someone gave us a web address to look up and if you type your user name it came up with all your postings from any of the Alliance health sites you have posted on. That is when I immediately went in and closed off my profile to anyone who is not on my friends list. I now do not reply to people and use their name I just type their initial, always better to be safe than sorry.

Teresa Rose
Teresa Rose 2012-03-26 09:42:52 -0500 Report

That is interesting ! I will have to check my email. Maybe they have sent me a coupon also !!!

jayabee52 2012-03-26 12:05:35 -0500 Report

yes these discussions are monitored by Google and could be read in a Google search results. I really never thought about it crossing over to google ads, however. It makes sense they'd do that, though.

Caroltoo 2012-03-26 12:10:59 -0500 Report

How would they have access to our email addresses? I know these discussions show up on my facebook page which is why I changed my profile picture to one harder to identify.

jayabee52 2012-03-26 12:17:35 -0500 Report

I am not a tech person, so I wouldn't know about for certain how they got those, but as I understand it there's a lot of "metadata" connected to our our postings that we don't see but is there anyway. That may in some cases include email addresses (we use them to log in, don't we?)

Caroltoo 2012-03-26 12:40:34 -0500 Report

Oh, they are in the system without doubt, but I don't believe that gives them the right to sell the rights to them without offering us all an opt out clause. It may be in the fine print of the site agreement somewhere, but it's a subject that is not addressed openly. Now that I think about it, my junk mail has quadrupled since I joined the site. So, they may.

jayabee52 2012-03-26 12:43:14 -0500 Report

I don't think Alliance is selling the rights, I believe it to be Google who is the main culprit here.

Caroltoo 2012-03-26 13:12:34 -0500 Report

Could be. I said it in the context of credit card companies selling their subscriber lists to advertisers. Big business for google. Bet that's part of the compensation agreement that keeps the site running. Still need to offer an opt out. This is private data.

jayabee52 2012-03-26 13:46:06 -0500 Report

perhaps contact Alliance at the feedback link below and ask about an opt out and if it is offered.

EDIT 3/29/12 John just repled to Cavie2 above which clarifies (in my mind) what is going on and not going on.

wholegrains 2012-03-26 02:33:58 -0500 Report

going through the same thing! I used to have very long hair. and I seem to be going balled. and it's not hereditary. my dad has a good head of hair, and my grand father on my mom's side had plenty of hair. not sure what's going on with me.

Somoca 2012-03-25 16:37:44 -0500 Report

I tried the DOO GRO and it left me scratching my scalp all day, everyday. Then someone suggested Biotin. Now that works for me. The only problem with the Biotin is that it makes hair grow in places, I forgot I had. 2/3 days without shaving and I look like ZZ TOP illegitimate sister. But I like the thick hair and strong nails and clear skin I have.

cavie2 2012-03-25 21:13:32 -0500 Report

That is a sign that it is working I read that when the scalp itches the hair is growing but I only experience that at night when my head is on the pillow. Wow now that is news to me I never knew ZZ TOP had an illigitimate sister is this why you don't have a profile photo of yourself

cavie2 2012-03-25 09:32:09 -0500 Report

There have been so many discussions on this subject in the past year and I have replied in most of them that I had serious hair loss in the second half of 2010 just after I was dx with diabetes 2. I was on Pioglitazone 40mgs per day and my hair was falling out at an alarming rate. I checked it out on the internet only to find that this is a side effect of taking this drug. I was on it up till 4th Feb 2011 when I was taken off it and put on insulin. Prior to this happening I decided to look into products that would hopefully help and decided to go with Doo Gro: Shampoo, conditioner, anti breakage growth lotion, hair vitalizer, stimulating growth oil and hair repair conditioner. I started on these products on the 13th Dec 2010 and saw NO results in the first month then my hair started sprouting at the temples to start with then the whole hair line. I used to use all these products daily for the first 9 months and now only use them 2-3 times weekly and it is now 15 months down the line and the hair growth is beyond what I could have dreamed of. I don't have shares in this product nor do I get paid for recommending it. But when your hair starts falling out it can have a devastating effect on your self esteem and confidence regardless of whether you are male or female. I would not like anyone else to go through what I went through. By all means check with your Doctor as it could be the result of many different things and research it on the internet, do your homework. The growth I experienced was not due to me coming off Pioglitazone as the hair growth started around 3 weeks before I came off the drug and around 6 weeks after I started these products.

Teresa Rose
Teresa Rose 2012-03-25 09:46:44 -0500 Report

I may try the products you are speaking of. I know it may look like I have a lot of hair, but my started falling out too before I discovered that I had diabetes. It's much thinner than is use to be for sure. I am thankful that you have tried those products and that they have worked for you. It definitely makes a difference in my confidence , my hair being thinner.

Young1s 2012-03-25 13:35:30 -0500 Report

Depending on where you live, if you have hair and wig supply stores in your area, you can definitely find Doo Gro there.

dietcherry 2012-03-25 12:10:59 -0500 Report

Teresa I started using this product on cavies recommendation last year; IT WORKS!! Pick it up at Walmart-thats the best price going—about $5.

I saturate all my hair with it cuz after bleaching, I need the extra moisture. The new hair started sprouting almost immediately for me, and my hair has NEVER grown this fast! Holy smokes!

I have baby baby fine hair but a load of it; I had hair to my behind as a teen and Im thinking I could actually get it that long again thanks to Doo Gro!!

One more thing: I also have hypothyroidism and this stopped my hair growth in its tracks until starting on Synthroid 6 months ago. I know the introduction of the medicine has kick-started growth again too :)

dietcherry 2012-03-25 18:18:46 -0500 Report

Yes! And I should have been more specific in my post: I use the Mega Thick Growth Oil only but as cavie pointed out, there are many other products in the line.

Teresa Rose
Teresa Rose 2012-03-26 09:41:25 -0500 Report

Thank you dietcherry ! I will probably try that. I wasn't sure which one was right for me. Probably several of them.

cavie2 2012-03-25 10:09:27 -0500 Report

In the US you can buy it in Walmart but research it on the internet Teresa Rose What works for one person may not work for another. Numerous things can cause this, Stress being one, hormones, thyroid, medication etc., sometimes the hair is just in a resting period and often forgets to start being active again it just needs a jolt to start it back up again. Just start off with the growth oil and only use a tiny amount down the middle of your hair to the nape of your neck then down each side from front hairline down to nape. Massage it into the scalp and leave it on overnight, your hair will be oily so remember (just a little) wrap your head in a scarf or put an old towel on your pillow it works on the hairline first and that could take several months before it starts elsewhere. My head used to itch and seemigly that is a sign that it is starting to grow again. But it takes patience. We all want NOW and not in 12 months time unfortunately everything has a fruition period some will see results quicker than others.

Teresa Rose
Teresa Rose 2012-03-25 17:26:25 -0500 Report

My hair had thinned and I was having skin problems a few years back. I had many different health issues that have since been resolved. My skin is so much better now & I'm sure these products will be the final thing that will help to also restore my hair so that it's fuller. My nails were also really thin during the times when I was having the issues with my health but now my nails are healthy. I'm confident that the Doo Gro products will work. Thanks Everyone !!!

cavie2 2012-03-26 05:50:32 -0500 Report

People need to know that hair is always in 3 stages: 1) growing, 2) At the end of the cycle and dying (older hair falling out, this happens on a daily basis) 3) Resting or Dormant and often it forgets to wake up and start growing again. All these products just help to kick start it into growing again making the natural process of hair loss for older hair less apparent. Organic coconut oil, solid or melted can be massaged into the scalp and is extremely good for hair loss as well. Another homemade product called "Black castor oil" is really good as well. Ingredients:
Castor oil, black tea (hot), cayenne red pepper, biotin, infuse all the ingredients (takes around 5 hours) when it is cooled it can be stored in an empty water bottle. Rub it all over the scalp and hair and massage it in (massaging the scalp is so beneficial regardless of the product you use) then cover your hair in cling film and then a scarf, do this every night then later on you can taper the use to just once or twice weekly. Once on the scalp you should feel a tingling sensation but this depends on how much cayenne red pepper you use. In fact many kinds of oil massaged into the scalp helps hair loss and the regrowth of strong hair. ie: almond oil, coconut oil, baby oil, olive oil. Keep your hair well conditioned and use heat products on your hair to protect it if blow drying your hair as the heat can damage your hair really badly. I believe "doo gro products" and "Black Castor Oil" were originally for African Americans who have coarser hair and many use relaxers and braiding and lose a lot of hair from the hairline and sides because of this. Use oils sparingly unless you want to look as if you have dipped your head in a frying pan. Some people use the product Regaine but you need to know that if you stop using this product after a while your hair will eventually go back to being what it was before you used it. Happy hunting folks (won't be long before everyone on DC has long, strong, thick hair and look like Cave Men) Well how do you think I got my user name hahaha. DON'T FORGET TO USE A WIDE TOOTHED COMB, IT HELPS TO STOP HAIR BREAKAGE REGARDLESS OF WHETHER HAIR IS WET OR DRY. The link below is for the doogro site. Hope it's accessible in the US.

Young1s 2012-03-26 07:22:24 -0500 Report

You're correct Cavie. The Doo Gro and Castor Oil lines (although I've never seen Black Castor Oil before) were originally intended for that reason but it's cool that everyone is able to use it. Not all hair care products can be used on all hair types.

cavie2 2012-03-26 08:20:21 -0500 Report

It's Jamaican Black Castor Oil and a video on youtube came with a warning saying that if you suffer from dermatitis on your scalp the tingling you feel could very well be irritating the dermatitis and make it worse so if anyone suffers from that condition I would not recommend using it or any other product you don't feel comfortable with. These products are designed to stimulate the scalp and root of the hair this generates heat on your scalp and can cause itching because the temperature of your scalp is raised. I use the excess left on my finger tips to run lightly over my eyebrows. This loss was not caused by over plucking as I don't pluck my eyebrows my eyelashes were also affected but I don't use anything on them because they are toooo close to my eyes and I have no idea how badly that could affect my eyes and I am not risking my sight for some extra hair.

Teresa Rose
Teresa Rose 2012-03-26 09:27:18 -0500 Report

My eyebrows and lashes thinned also Cavie. I always put hair color on my eyebrows to darken them some. I look really funny when I have dark hair color on my hair & eyebrows. Look like I belong in a scary movie !!!

Somoca 2012-03-25 16:41:40 -0500 Report

Mine fell out under stress with Grad school. So I shaved it off and finished Grad school. I hope that I won't have to do that again since I am in Post Grad school. (feeling my hair as I type this).*~* Oh, Oh.

Type1Lou 2012-03-23 18:22:44 -0500 Report

Have your thyroid levels been checked? Thyroid problems are not uncommon among us diabetics and I believe an imbalance could result in hair loss. I've been on thyroid meds since the late-1980's.

BobbieNJ1000 2012-03-23 22:38:35 -0500 Report

Yes, I'm on thyroid replacement too, but my levels are good - had them checked last month and the hair loss had already started.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-03-25 22:03:16 -0500 Report

Just a note my sister has thyroid issues and was on meds. Still losing hair Aran alarming date, had a second opinion and her thyroid was off by 3 digits, apparently this is big no matter what. They adjusted her meds, and now she is on biotin over 1000 mg per day and her hair is growing back. I take biotin 1000 mg per day, have hypothyroid, ut my numbers are good get it checked every 3 mos. Try Kelp for thyroid as a supplements, Good luck!

Young1s 2012-03-23 14:52:23 -0500 Report

I've been noticing the hair in the middle of my head is thinning more, since the last discussion we had about hair loss and diabetes. But I was still going under the assumption that it was because I wear my hair in a ponytail a lot. But maybe it's time for me to face the fact that this is just another one of diabetes cruel side-effects.

Caroltoo 2012-03-23 15:02:01 -0500 Report

It can be lots of things, Pat. If any of your hormones are out of balance, it can affect your hair growth. If your alcohol consumption affected your digestion, you could be nutritionally impaired and it effects your hair. Since you have turned that situation around so beautifully, with vitamins (like the B12 the doctor gave you), that would be a reversible cause. If you are one of us doing the ALA/Biotin for BG control and neuropathy prevention/management, the Biotin is a very important vitamin for your hair.

I've recently started taking a product called Neuro-Vascular Support from the Whittaker clinic that has Benfotiamine, B6, B12, ALA, and some proprietary herbs. This, combined with ADR, an adrenal cortex supplement, have recently prompted new growth along my hairline. I am encouraged.

High BGs can damage the capillaries (smallest of our blood vessels) and that is what causes the cell damage. That's why I'm taking the N-V Support capsule and try to stimulate some repair to the capillary system.

Young1s 2012-03-23 15:34:51 -0500 Report

Thanks for the info Carol. I've heard you all mention the ALA/Biotin combo before but I must admit to not paying enough attention to the responses. I was under the assumption that it was primarily for dealing with symptoms of neuropathy and I'm not having issues with that as of yet. The N-V Support capsule sounds promising for you but is it one of those products that can cause more damage if you stop taking it after a while? That would be my only hesitancy towards it.

BTW: I'm taking B1 (Thiamin) not B12. What exactly is B12 again?

Caroltoo 2012-03-23 16:22:57 -0500 Report

The entire B-complex of vitamins contribute to the health of your hair and cardio-vascular system. B-12 gives you energy (it's why your mother may have told you calf liver really was good for you and in it's organic form which is much less chemically polluted, it still is.) If you take it in pill form, get one of the tablets that are labelled "sublingual". It's a pleasent tasting tablet that you hold under your tongue for faster absorption into the blood stream.

B1 in its synthetic form is called Benfotiamine and some studies recently showed this form is more active in reducing BGs than the natural B1 that you are taking. The study is the only reason I switched from B1 (natural source) to Benfotiamine. Normally, I don't use anything that is created in the lab, when there is a naturally grown one available.

B3 is Niacin, which helps lower your cholesterol count. Doc recommended 1,000 mg of the non-flush version of Niacin. Niacin causes the capilaries to expand which allows more blood flow and cause a hot flash in your feet, legs, and sometimes in your face. Taking the NO-Flush version avoids this uncomfortable side-effect.

B6 is the Biotin we have been talking about that is usually recommended for hair that is sparse or brittle.

Caroltoo 2012-03-25 15:32:15 -0500 Report

The Neuro-Vascular formulation that I take has 100 mg of B6, 500mcg of B12, 600 mg of alpha lipoic acid, 600 mg of Benfotiamine. In addition I take a B complex and a multivitamin, so the N-V formula is not the only source. I also take Niacin (B3) and Biotin (B7) in separate supplements. My gluten intolerance prohits full utiliztion of the vitamins that I take.

Young1s 2012-03-25 17:41:49 -0500 Report

Wow. Okay thanks again, Carol. I'm glad you've found the the right mix for you because I'm sure that wasn't easy.

Lizardfan 2012-03-23 13:50:47 -0500 Report

Sometimes I have hair thinning whenever my thyroid levels are out of range. Usually an adjustment on my meds will take care of it. Another thing. when I notice it starting to thin I take a GNC women's hair and nails vitamin every other day for a few months. Works really well for me.

BobbieNJ1000 2012-03-23 23:26:26 -0500 Report

I'd never heard of that supplement. Thanks for mentioning it. Thyroid levels are checked regularly and have been good and stable.

draco59 2012-03-22 10:47:19 -0500 Report

I didn’t realize hair loss can be related to diabetes???? Well you learn something new every day.
I thought it was just age and really no family history of baldness. Besides, I have hair growing in more places than I really want, but not on my head.
Well I did a quick Google and found this article:

I’m going to do more looking this weekend, and post what I find.
Hope this helps

Caroltoo 2012-03-22 11:23:04 -0500 Report

So essentially this is an issue caused by poor circulation, so anything that consistently expands the capillaries should help. Wonder if anyone has ever studied whether or not treatments using B vitamins to improve circulatory function improve hair growth/regrowth?

This is actually why I am doing B supplementation right now. Doc suggested Niacin for heart function, I added in B1 (Benfotiamine), B6, and B12 in a Neurovascular Support formula and am waiting to see the results. So far, the baby hairs on the scalp line of my forehead are looking promising. Only time will tell if they are here to stay.

draco59 2012-03-22 11:44:57 -0500 Report

That great Carol, please keep us posted, I had naturlly curly hair as a teenage, my mom wish I could give to her… :)

Caroltoo 2012-03-22 12:05:15 -0500 Report

I will. If you do online research this weekend, I wonder if you may find something on this connection? Let me know if you do. There are so many theories out there in webland right now, well and on the drugstore shelves.

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