Diabetes is a curse of the modern society and stress,
sedentary lifestyle and fast food have a major part to play in its occurrence.
Diabetes may lead to high levels of oxidative stress. High blood sugar does
cause hair loss as diabetes is directly linked to the growth and repair of the
The best method of diagnosing whether the hair loss is due to diabetes is through elimination and differential diagnosis. Hair fall can be hereditary, due to lack of nutrition, as a side effect of medicine etc. The process of elimination will enable us to know for certain whether the cause behind hair loss is diabetes.
Blood sugar level: The blood of a diabetic person does not have a balanced sugar level, so the blood does not reach the hair follicles or the roots of the hair. Therefore, the pores of the hair are severely under-nourished. It does not receive the nutrients it requires which are brought by the natural blood flow. The roots get weaker and hair stops growing. It cannot develop and renew itself, and this is the case in hyperglycemia.
Another important factor is that the healing and rejuvenation time in diabetics is comparatively slower than in normal individuals. This leads to significant hair reduction, as diabetics cannot maintain the average cycle of hair regrowth.
Hair loss during diabetes is sometimes attributed to telogen effluvium. All hair has a growth phase, called anagen, and a resting phase, called telogen. In normal people, at any given time, 5-15% of the hair on the scalp is in telogen phase. Telogen effluvium is a condition triggered when a physiologic stress or hormonal change like diabetes causes a large number of hair to enter telogen at one time leading to diffused hair shedding.
Circulation Problems: High blood sugar can chemically react with red blood cells, creating a product known as glycosylated hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an important protein in red blood cells and this modified version causes red blood cells to be misshapen. These misshapen red blood cells are not as flexible and can get stuck when trying to enter small blood vessels (called capillaries), leading to circulation problems. If this occurs in the capillaries that supply blood to the hair follicles, these follicles may die, leading to hair loss. So it all boils down to poor circulation.