diabetes and hair loss

The Link Between Diabetes and Hair Loss

How Diabetes Can Impact Your Hair Health

Research shows that hair loss is a common symptom of diabetes, despite the two unrelated ailments. Luckily, medications such as Litfulo can help. Litfulo is a once-daily prescription pill that helps treat severe alopecia areata in adults and adolescents who are 12 years and older. Litfulo attaches to specific proteins found in immune cells, interrupting their signaling process. This action reduces the number of immune cells that target and attack the hair follicle. This article will explore the link between diabetes and hair loss, treatment options and more.

Worst Foods for Diabetics

Some of the word foods include:

Processed Foods

Foods like chips, cookies and pastries are high in refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, which can negatively impact blood sugar control.

White Bread and Pasta

Foods made from refined flour can cause significant spikes in blood sugar levels. Consider replacing these foods with whole-grain alternatives.

Fried Foods

Fried foods are high in unhealthy fats and calories, which can contribute to weight gain and insulin resistance.

High-Fat Dairy Products

Full-fat milk, cheese and yogurt can be high in saturated fats, which may increase the risk of heart disease.

Red and Processed Meats

Red and processed meats can be high in saturated fats and sodium, which are detrimental to heart health and can worsen diabetes-related complications.

Our food choices have a great impact on our blood sugar levels. That’s why it’s pivotal that people with diabetes opt for a diet that can help control blood sugar levels.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels. It occurs when the body either does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar) or cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. There are two main types of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. People with type 1 diabetes require lifelong insulin therapy.

Type 2 Diabetes

This is the most common form of diabetes and occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. It is often associated with lifestyle factors such as obesity and lack of physical activity.

According to the CDC, 38.4 million people in the United States had diabetes in 2021, which is 11.6% of the population. In addition, 38.1 million adults aged 18 years or older had diabetes.

Understanding Hair Loss

Hair loss, or alopecia, can affect anywhere from the scalp to the entire body. It can result from heredity, hormonal changes, medical conditions or aging. There are lots of treatment options available for those suffering from hair loss, including:

Topical Treatments

Rogaine is an over-the-counter topical treatment that can promote hair growth in androgenetic alopecia.


Finasteride is a prescription medication for male-pattern baldness that reduces androgen levels. Another option is Litfulo, a once-daily prescription pill that helps treat severe alopecia areata in adults and adolescents who are 12 years and older.

Healthy Hair Care

Gentle hair care practices, such as avoiding excessive heat and harsh chemicals, can help maintain hair health.

Stress Management

Techniques like yoga, meditation and relaxation exercises can help reduce stress and its impact on hair loss.

The Link Between Diabetes and Hair Loss

There are thought to be three main reasons for diabetes-related hair loss, including:

Immune System Disorders

People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing other autoimmune disorders, such as alopecia areata. This occurs when the immune system attacks the hair follicles.


Hyperglycemia, or elevated blood sugar, occurs when sugar remains in the blood and cannot be taken into the cells for energy. This can occur because of a lack of insulin, insulin resistance or a combination of both, which can lead to hair thinning, hair fragility or decreased speed of hair growth.

Hormonal Imbalances

Diabetes is strongly linked to thyroid-related disorders, which can affect the natural hair cycle. Excess cortisol can disrupt the hair follicle, leading to hair growth disorders such as androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata and telogen effluvium.

From Blood Sugar to Bald Spots

Managing diabetes effectively is crucial not only for overall health but also for preventing complications such as hair loss. Understanding the link between diabetes and hair health can help individuals take proactive steps to manage both conditions. Medications like Litfulo can provide relief for those experiencing severe alopecia areata, while lifestyle changes such as a balanced diet, regular exercise and stress management can support overall health and minimize hair loss. By staying informed and working closely with healthcare providers, individuals with diabetes can better manage their condition and maintain healthier hair.

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