Hair loss can be a diabetes complication. It is one of several issues that may arise due to the impact of diabetes on the skin, including bruising, skin ulcers, and itching. Keep in mind that shedding some hair on a daily basis is normal—have you ever unclogged your shower drain or looked at your hairbrush? So if you've recently noticed hair loss, it may not be time to panic just yet. Here are some facts.
What causes diabetic hair loss?
There are a number of factors that could make hair loss more likely for people with diabetes. High blood sugar levels and poor circulation could both lead to hair loss, and some diabetes medications have been known to cause it as well.
Additionally, just like type 2 diabetes, hair loss can be associated with lifestyle factors, like poor nutrition and stress. Having diabetes and these risk factors (or a history of them) may increase your chances of losing more hair than normal.
What can I do about it?
The good news is that hair loss is not a life-threatening diabetes complication, unlike kidney issues and heart problems. However, losing your hair can be very stressful emotionally and may feel like just another way diabetes is making a negative impact on your life.
If your hair loss is associated with a medication you're on or with chronically high blood sugar, it's possible to make some changes and get your hair back. You need to be patient with this, however. Even if you change your medication and get your blood sugar under tight control today, it could be months before you see any changes in your hair.
Separately, some people's genetics will eventually cause them to lose their hair whether they have diabetes or not, and there's not much to be done about that.
Talk to your doctor
If your hair loss is distressing you, talk to your doctor about it. Together, you can determine what the causes of it may be and what you can do to combat them. There are treatments available, and the fix may be as simple as getting your diabetes under better control.