Diabetes and Hair Loss

blood sugar level diabetes hair loss

Diabetes and Hair loss- is there a link? Hair loss can affect anyone including those suffering from diabetes (type 1 or 2). Whether you acquired diabetes through autoimmune causes (Type 1 Diabetes) or through diet and lifestyle (Type 2 Diabetes) you can suffer hair loss from the stress your body is put under from sustained high sugar levels.

There has been a known correlation between Type 1 Diabetes (or any autoimmune condition) and alopecia (hair loss) for a while, (1). Similarly, if you have acquired type 2 diabetes later on in your life through diet and lifestyle factors, then high sugar levels can also predispose you to hair loss (2). But why does high sugar levels affect hair negatively?

The potential link between diabetes and hair loss

We know that high sugar levels put stress on the body’s blood supply of nutrients and oxygen to your organs. Your skin and hair, are likewise an organ, so naturally they would also be affected by very high sugar levels . Consequently, hair follicles can go through a process of thinning and can eventually fall out if your sugar levels are too high. Often patients notice their hair becomes very thin just before they get diagnosed with diabetes.

Additionally, if you have diabetes type 1 (an autoimmune disease) you also are predisposed to alopecia areata. This is also an autoimmune disease whereby your body starts to attack the hair on your head.

In a female, other conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can also contribute to high sugar levels and this also worsens hair loss.  Together with the high levels of Testosterone in PCOS, you may notice a degree of hair loss.

If you have just been diagnosed with diabetes, it can cause you to feel stressed. This is normal and manageable but it can also contribute to hair loss too.

So, what can you do to control your diabetes and potentially any hair loss?

doughnut sugar diabetes hair loss

First things first- you must see your GP and get diagnosed with diabetes appropriately.

Following this you will be advised on methods to reduce your sugar levels like changing your diet and lifestyle. Importantly, try to eat less foods containing high amounts of sugar (like doughnuts).

If you are diabetes type 1 you may also be advised to start Insulin. This helps to regulate your sugar level accurately so your body gets the right amount it needs and not too much.

If you are diabetes type 2, you should aim to change your diet and lifestyle to reduce your sugar levels. If your sugar levels are too high or remain too high despite making these changes you may start some medication. One of the medications is called metformin.

Metformin

Metformin can be used to reduce your sugar levels. However, as with all medications there can be side effects. One of the side effects of Metformin can include hair loss. This occurs because Metformin can reduce your stomach’s absorption of Vitamin B12 and can, in the long run, cause anaemia (3). This could result in hair loss for some patients (4).

What should you do if your sugar levels are under control and you are still losing hair?

If your sugar levels are under control but you are still noticing hair loss months after being treated for diabetes then you are likely suffering from a pattern-type hair loss (female or male). You ought to see a hair loss specialist or your GP to find out more as you will require treatment to prevent hair loss.

There are plenty of treatment options available to you. Minoxidil and Finasteride are 2 great treatment options that can help strengthen your hair and prevent any further hair loss.

If you would like hair back in areas that have none then a hair transplant could also be an option for you too. Our hair loss Doctors at The Treatment Rooms London are happy to explore your diagnosis and take you through all the treatments available to you.

Celebrities with diabetes

If you have just been diagnosed with diabetes and are feeling lonely- don’t be! There are many others in your position and there are lots of helpful websites including the following:

  1. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/
  2. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/
  3. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetes/

Also there are some well known celebrities who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes (5):

Those with type 2 diabetes have taken great strides to improving their sugar levels and some no longer need medication!

If you have any questions or would like to find out more then book in for a free consultation with one of our hair loss surgeons – simply click here to contact us now.

References

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24383154

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4144211/

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4880159/

(4) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323410.php?sr

(5) https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/ss/slideshow-celebrities-with-diabetes

(6) https://www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk/alopecia-areata

(7) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetes/

(8) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/type-1-diabetes/

(9) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/type-2-diabetes/

(10) https://www.diabetes.org.uk/

(11) https://www.diabetes.co.uk/

 

 

 

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5 Considerations Before Choosing Hair Transplant Surgery

Dr Fernando Hair Restoration Surgeon British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery

There has been a lot of talk recently on hair transplant surgery (1-5) , with notable figures revealing they have taken steps to preserve their hair:

At The Treatment Rooms we are seeing an increasing number of males and females asking how a hair transplant can preserve or give back a hair style they want. We wanted to share our thoughts and give you 5 considerations to think about before choosing to undergo hair transplant surgery.

  1. Understand your hair loss
  2. Explore different treatments for hair loss
  3. Consider HOW a Hair Transplant would benefit you
  4. Choose your Surgeon
  5. Understand future pipelined treatments

1) Understand Your Hair Loss

Everyone’s hair loss is different. Whether you’re a male or female with a receding hairline, generalised thinning or small patches of hair loss, your hair loss is specific to you, it affects you personally- your mood, your self-esteem and your confidence. Part of suffering from hair loss is not only the physical aspect of shedding but also the impact it has on your wellbeing. Choosing how you want to address your hair loss will depend on what type of hair style you want to achieve and how much time you are willing to dedicate to treatment. More is written about this on our previous blog-  when to tackle baldness?

2) Explore Different Treatments For Hair Loss

There are so many different hair loss treatments out there. The ones that are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are Minoxidil and Finasteride (6,7,8). Some clinics may provide PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections to promote and preserve hair growth but this has not yet been clinically proven.

The novelty of undergoing advanced robotic hair restoration can be enticing but be mindful- advanced technology does not equate to better results. In Hair Transplant Surgery an important part of a procedure is the surgeon having tactile feedback from a patient’s scalp and hair follicle- this is lost when the treatment is performed by a machine.

3) Consider HOW a Hair Transplant Would Benefit You

A Hair Transplant takes existing hairs at the back and the sides of the head and moves them to an area that is balding. If you have lost a substantial amount of hair, transplanting sparse hair may not give you the coverage or density you wish for. Being aware of what can be achieved and being realistic with your expectations will be a big part of your hair loss consultation. Make sure your surgeon goes through both in thorough detail!

At The Treatment Rooms London we make it clear- you have to invest care, time and effort into your hair.

Hair growth following a transplant also takes time! Do not expect a quick fix, it often takes 9-12 months to grow but can in some cases be much less.

4) Choose Your Surgeon

A Hair Transplant Surgeon in the UK should be practising under the licence of CQC, GMC and indemnification- if not- they are practising illegally. More regulation is expected in the UK landscape but for now all patients are reminded to check the clinic and surgeon they visit are registered.

Surgeons can also be affiliated with the BAHRS (British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery) or ISHRS (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery). The Treatment Rooms’ very own Dr Fernando is a full member of BAHRS and upholds their stringent guidelines when practising hair transplant surgery.

Looking at the results a surgeon has produced, undergoing a consultation and asking them all the questions required to put your mind at ease is crucial before undergoing treatment. Bottomline- vet your surgeon!

For more information about having Hair Restoration Surgery at The Treatment Rooms click here. 

5) Understand Future Pipeline Treatments

A lot research is going into treatments for hair loss. There is a lot of talk around future stem cell treatments and skin & hair being grown in labs that can be used for hair transplant surgery. These treatments still need to undergo vigorous testing in the lab and pass clinical trials before they become widely available. So don’t wait. If you care about your hair and want to preserve it, don’t wait for a pipeline treatment, it will prolong your existing hair loss.  See a hair loss doctor and find out what treatments are available to you now.

If you would like to find out more, book a free consultation with one of our Hair Transplant Surgeons  or simply start a WhatsApp conversation by clicking the Whatsapp Icon.

References

(1) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/what-makes-a-good-candidate-for-a-hair-transplant/

(2) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/bald-ambition-had-hair-transplant-28/

(3) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/hair-transplant-treatment-best/

(4) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/hair-transplant-faq-ten-common-questions-hair-loss-procedures/

(5) https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/for-hair-loss-youth-turn-to-transplants/articleshow/64454682.cms

(6) Patient.co.uk on Finasteride 

(7) Patient.co.uk on Minoxidil (for Males) and (for Females)

(8) https://www.treatmentroomslondon.com/treatment/medical-hair-loss-treatments/

 

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