Diabetes is a lifelong condition in which the body’s blood sugar levels are too high. Worldwide, 371 million people have diabetes, and that figure is expected to grow to 552 million by 2030. There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2 – with different causes, symptoms, and treatment methods, but one symptom both types share is hair loss.
When there is a thickening of blood vessel walls the blood vessels narrow. This can occur in blood vessels all over your body, including your skin. Narrow blood vessels mean less oxygen, which causes symptoms like hair loss and shiny and thickened skin. Hair loss is not limited to the head. With circulatory impairment, you can often see hair loss on your legs, eyebrows, your arms and even your eyelashes.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Abnormal functioning of the immune system causes it to produce white blood cells that attack the body’s own tissues. Because hair loss occurs in many autoimmune disorders, it is thought that when white blood cells attack growing cells in the hair follicles, the follicle cells become small and hair production slows.
High blood sugar levels can also damage small blood vessels in the body over time. Especially in untreated type 2 diabetes, the scalp’s blood vessels may get damaged, meaning less oxygen and nutrients reach the hair follicles. This can result in hair thinning and halt new hair production, so strands may not grow back once they fall out.
So what can you do? Here are five simple tips to keep your hair healthy with diabetes.
Keeping your hair nourished goes beyond good hair products. It’s more about what you eat! Eating healthy foods like a bunch of veggies, fruits, and healthy grains is key for awesome-looking hair. With a proper diet, your hair will grow stronger and healthier, resulting in locks that are more resistant to other factors that can trigger hair loss.
Less Is More
Don’t over-style it! Styling our hair is important, but remember, a simple, less harmful style on your hair is best. People with diabetes tend to have thinner hair because of the disease, so it is important to not continuously put your hair under harsh conditions that can debilitate the hair follicle even more. This includes cutting off on styling, shampooing less often, and coloring. For healthier-looking hair and for preventing hair loss, styling your locks, should be done on special occasions!
If you were to ask someone with diabetes or a family member of someone with diabetes, they will tell you that sometimes it can be stressful. Hair loss can make things even more stressful. If we experience stressful situations due to work, health, or just life, it is normal to lose more hair than usual. However, when stress is combined with other factors it makes hair loss more prominent. Stress causes