Hair loss - A mirror of diabetesHair loss – A mirror of diabetes
Hair is God’s priceless gift and it is as important as the other parts of the body. It is reflection of our identity. A healthy adult scalp contains an average of 80,000-120,000 hair. Usually, hairs on human scalp grows at a rate of 0.4 mm/day or 1 cm (less than half an inch) per month and normal cycle of hair growth lasts for 2 to 6 years.

Diabetes is a long term disease that affects virtually all organs of the body. Earlier, many organs except hair were considered as a mirror to diabetes complications. Now, molecular studies of hair have opened new outlooks in the diagnosis of diabetes and its complications. Diabetes can slow down your hair growth. You may face comparatively more hair fall if you are diabetic. It is not just your head, but your arms, legs and other body parts can also suffer from severe hair loss. In diabetes, the rate of hair regrowth also gets slower.

If a person is suffering from severe hair loss, it may be an alarming signal for possibility of diabetes development. You must consider visiting your doctor if you are facing unusual hair loss. Only a few diabetologists recognize this as a first sign of diabetes.

A French study was conducted to establish the link between hair loss and diabetes. A total of 6,00,000 people with diffuse hair loss were enrolled. Results from the study revealed that all the enrolled people with diffuse hair loss were diabetic, although they were unaware of the fact that they were diabetic. Therefore, people with complain of hair loss should have their serum glucose level checked. Sometimes, even unexplained hair loss can help in diagnosis of silent diabetes.

Speak with your doctor if you are having any bothersome diabetes symptoms, including hair loss. It becomes even more important to visit your doctor if you are losing hair loss from arms and legs as it could be an indicator of poor blood flow. If your hair loss is related to diabetes, you can control it by managing your blood sugar level, adjusting your diet and lifestyle. Once your diabetes is under control, you will notice a reduction in hair loss.


  • 1. Journal of Pakistan Association of Dermatologists 2009; 19: 31-33

The article has been contributed by :

Dr. Vishal Srivastav, MD (Medicine), DNB, Consultant Physician & Endocrinologist, Gorakhpur

Email: [email protected] 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the Doctors are their independent professional judgment and we do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of their views. This should not be considered as a substitute for Physician’s advice. Please consult your treating Physician for more details.