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Diabetes is a condition that is characterised by the body’s inability to produce enough insulin. This causes high levels of sugars in the blood, as a low level of insulin means that sugars are not transported from the bloodstream to the cells that need it. 

How does diabetes cause hair loss?

The sugar that accumulates in the blood as a result of diabetes can damage blood vessels.  These damaged blood vessels can no longer bring oxygen to hair follicles, which then causes the hair growth cycle to be interrupted and stop. 

Insulin is a hormone that carries sugar out of your blood vessels and away to cells that need it. These cells break the sugar down into energy, which then allows the cells to carry out their normal functions. In the case of hair follicles, this means creating hair. 

If insulin is absent, the sugar cannot be carried to the hair follicles and therefore hair cannot grow. Once it enters the natural resting phase of the hair life cycle and sheds, it, therefore, does not grow back – creating the appearance of hair loss. 

Will hair loss from diabetes grow back?

As with a lot of other diabetes-related conditions, you may find that once your blood sugar levels under control, the hair will grow back. However, you may find that the hair grows back at a slower rate. 

If you don’t find that your hair grows back once your blood sugars are under control, other medications can be prescribed. There are several hair loss medications that can be used to treat hair loss as a result of diabetes. 

How do you prevent hair loss from diabetes?

The easiest way to prevent hair loss from diabetes is to ensure that your blood sugar levels are under control. 

Other ways to prevent hair loss from diabetes are to exercise and avoid stressful situations. Exercise reduces the level of sugars that are present in the bloodstream, and also improves the delivery of oxygen to your body’s cells, including the hair follicles. Stress, both emotional and physical, is well known to cause hair loss, due to the fluctuations in hormone levels that stress causes. These hormone fluctuations greatly affect the ability of the hair to grow, ultimately causing hair loss. 

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