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Hair loss can be a frustrating and mystifying condition, not least of all because it seems to have multiple causes and contributing factors, but not one single culprit. Diabetes, an endocrine problem in which the body does not effectively process blood sugar, is a similar condition in that its effects are widespread, and its symptoms aren’t always obviously traced back to the disease itself. But is there a link between these two?
Diabetes and Blood Vessel Damage
Diabetes, whether it is Type 1 or Type 2, is a very complicated condition in which the body stops producing insulin entirely or fails to use it properly. Insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar. When that blood sugar concentration gets too high, it can start to damage numerous areas of the body, including the eyes, kidneys, heart, nerves and blood vessels.
So how does this all relate to hair loss? If you can remember back to your junior high science classes, you’ll recall that blood vessels carry oxygen-rich blood and the nutrients your body needs for healthy functioning. They affect every part of your body and help your organs and tissues stay healthy or repair themselves if they are injured in some way.
Just like the rest of your body, your hair follicles need nutrients and oxygen for normal development. Without them, the follicles will stop producing hair as quickly, or they may even die. This hair loss isn’t only on your head, however; hair growth can be disrupted or stopped anywhere hair grows on your body, since all those follicles need properly working blood vessels to deliver nutrients to them, regardless of where on the body they happen to be located.
Alopecia areata is most often associated with Type 1 diabetes. Patches of hair are lost not just on the head, but all over the body due to an autoimmune disorder. The condition may not be permanent, and hair typically grows back once the underlying disorder is treated.
Diabetes also affects hormone production and regulation. Among these hormones are androgens, which are responsible for hair growth and hair follicle health. When androgen isn’t properly distributed or produced, hair follicles can go dormant, which in turn causes the hair shafts to fall out.
As always, any new or increased amount of hair loss should be discussed with your doctor. The good news is that if your hair loss is related to your diabetes, a hair loss specialist can restore your hair. At Embassy Studios, we always strive to give you the flexibility to pick the right solution for you. We give our customers customized hair replacement options both surgical and non-surgical. To schedule a free consultation call us at (847) 675-0330.
Photo Credit: TesaPhotography Via Pixabay