Does diabetes cause hair loss?


I have been reading some articles on this. I think it because of the stress of the disease and diet changes that we go through after diagnosis. But some articles say it is because of the metabolic part of the disease.

I think it is because of the stress and than not being able to eat as much as we used to thereby, loss of nutrients. I do not think that if you were not stressed out about the disease and did not change or restrict your diet when you were diagnosed that (unless you had some other disorder) that diabetes itself does not cause hair loss.

Usually hair loss will occur in someone (diabetic or not) a few months or so AFTER huge stress or extreme diet changes. I would that if diabetes itself caused hair loss that all those undiagnosed diabetics out there would have alot of hair loss which doesn't normally seem to be the case.

What do you guys think?

Losing Hair

Although you really can’t see it in my picture, most of the hair on my head is gone. Most of it I think is just a part of aging. Some just stopped coming out of my head and starting coming out on weird parts of my body. I’ve never really had a traumatic diet, so I never experienced the “hair shock” loss you describe. I have heard about it in others. At one time there was a fad diet called “Kimkins” that was a very low calorie, very low carb diet, a number of people following that diet had hair loss problems. I’ve not really heard anything suggesting that diabetes itself causes hair loss.


I’ve had diabetes nearly 14 years, and I’ve got more hair on my head now than I did 14 years ago. My stylist has to “thin it out” every other time I get a hair cut. I keep it short because if its longer, I look like a shrubbery. But I’ve never gone on any kind of extreme diet either, so maybe it is why I still have my hair.


I’ve had Type 1 now for 37 years out of my 47 years and I have to say I always had a thick head of hair until this passed summer. I got totally stressed out and have lost alot of it. I don’t think it was due to the D though I think it was due to the stress I was under.


Thanks guys!

I used to be a hair dresser many eons ago so this is why I was questioning this. In my experience, I doubt that just having diabetes will cause the hair loss. I believe diet and stress (and genetics if you it runs in your family). It can be hard to prove because if you loss your hair related to diet changes or stress - it doesn’t catch up with you for many months so it is hard to always see the corelation.

Mine has gotten a bit thinner since changing my diet six months ago and because of the stress. I was dismayed when some of the areas are starting to get thinner (I usually just cut my hair when that happens) but I was actually sort of expecting it a bit because of all the stress and changes I went through six months ago. Now, that things are settled I am thinking it will thicken back up again. (I have some tricks up my sleeve too!)

bsc, yes, since I have a background in hair. I have actually read about this many times. When I did hair, people used to ask me about this. Esp. woman who went on crash diets since it takes several months for the nutrition deficient to show up they didn’t realize this is what caused it.

When I did a search on diabetes and hair loss, I got some goofy articles like this one below that suggested that hair loss was a symptom of diabetes and the articles just seemed totally off to me and full of false facts, doesn’t even seem like a real article!

Diabetes is a hormone disease? What?
Yeah, there are hormones involved in screwing up your blood sugar but not causing it…at least, not that I have heard of so far.

I often had wondered after I was diagnosed whether or not high sugar levels could cause hair loss but honestly I can’t see it. Unless high levels of sugar in the blood kills any nutritional supplements in the blood need to grow hair. Bad circulation yes, can be responsible esp. in areas of the scalp that are tense which cut off circulation to the follicules but I am not believeing that high sugar levels will kill off the hair follicules.


I never had hair loss due to diabetes, but I certainly did when my thyroid got out of whack. Back to my regular hair now:)


Hi Hope,

Did you have hypo or hyper thyroid? I was thinking about his myself. But I don’t really have exactly the symptoms of either. I might have some of each but nothing still matches up. I lost weight because I changed my diet because of the D. I think the hypo is usually for people who have very sluggish metabolisms and can’t lose weight - definatley not me I have always been skinny. Gets cold quicker - well, I am skinny and I know I have a lower body temp than most people but now that I have started to build muscle I am less so. But I have always hated the cold. Nothing new.

The symptoms of these two can really be varied. So unless you have a blood test you can never know. Plus those symptoms can apply to other things - Fatigue. Well, hey I have diabetes you know! So I think most of us get tired faster than non-diabetics.

Glad you figured yours out though!


Hypothyroidism is autoimmune, like T1 diabetes, and the two often occur together.

Most who talk about being hypothyroid are female, but I’m male.

When my thyroid was underactive and I wasn’t taking thyroid hormone, I was losing a good amount of hair. It was about the only non-lab-test symptom that I can name.

Now I’m back on synthroid, and I still have some hair left :-).


My endo always asks about my hair - though I think it’s kind of a ‘screener’ question to see if he needs to be worrying about my thyroid.


My hair is actually better since being diagnosed. I don’t think I was getting near enough protein before. My diet is much better now. Removing grain, beans, starchy vegetables & fruit was a huge change, but a positive one.


I am hypo…although I did go through a brief period of hyper first, and from what I hear that this common. Yes, the symptoms can be pretty general, but easy to test for. I went to my doctor because I wasn’t getting a period and that was the fist thing they checked out.


Diabetes does not cause hair loss.

Frustration over diabetes management causes hair loss.



Hey Duck! well, normally it is scalp massages. Now that I have diabetes (and who knows what else might be wrong with me now reading this stuff about the thyroid I am freaking myself out and now i think I need to be tested).

Most people carry alot of tension in their scalps and although they don’t realize it, all this tension cuts off blood and oxygen flow to the hair follicles. If you massage certain area of your scalp and they feel tight and tense, you are probably not getting enough blood flow to those areas and hence hair can thin. Eventually the follicules will die (when you see men with bald shiny spots, these areas are ones that the follicles have died usually). Once the follicles have died, you usually can not regrow hair in those areas (but they are always coming up with new hair miracles so who knows).

So getting blood flowing to the scalp is important and making sure you get the right nutrition. This has normally worked for me in the past but than I didn’t have diabetes than. I don’t know how I am going to make sure I get enough nutrition if I can’t eat more. (same thing with our weight Duck us skinny T2’s can’t gain any)


Hmm, well I don’t have the period problem. But hair tend to be dry no matter what I do and it wasn’t always like that. I don’t do anything to it like color or blow dry either.

I would like to get tested for this. (I don’t think they tested me when I was diagnosed but now I am defiantely going to check) but I have no insurance - is it an expensive test?

So, they said that was what was causing your hair loss for sure?


Hi Tim,

I didn’t know this. Thanks. Do you have a slow metabolism? I read that hypothyroid can often have a slow metabolism. I don’t have that problems so I just trying to compare the too hyper and hypo. I have T2.


Hey Gerri,

Do you think have uncontrolled blood sugar might have something to do with your poor hair before? What hair problems did you have before?


I agree with that Terry. The stress of all this is not good for ones hair!


It is a simple blood test, and I doubt it would be any more expensive than an A1c, but who knows? I feel like they never said for sure, but that was one of the symptoms and went away after I got my thyroid regulated.


Hair Loss due to diabetes? Generally speaking, I am unsure diabetes but it does seem as thought diabetes is at least a part of the cause and effect of hair loss for some of us.

As a much younger person 70+ years ago I then noticed that women had thinning hair when older so there may be no change here at all it is just that many of us are aging so changes occur like loss of muscle tone, thinning hair, takeing more naps and a bit less sleep through the night, etc etc. The younger diabetics may not see the effect of diabetes, thyroid etc etc for quite a few more years. However whether young or older living with diabetes can cause stress!

I also believe what leads to hair loss is not only stress but also includes in some part, larger or smaller, genetics, modern drugs taken for high blood pressure, and cholesterol - and the biggest problem is absolutely the thyroid. This organ is often greatly affected by diabetes. The dose of meds for a lack of a good functioning thyroid are based too low for may of us according to my endocrinologist. He boosted my thyroid meds up quite high and only recently reduced them some once my system was stabilized. My hair is a bit thinner but not falling out when I wash it anymore!

If we have had any surgeries and been medicated for pain, or have difficulty with our liver or kidneys this may be another reason for hair lows.

So, meds, thyroid, genetics, surgeries, pain killers, and stress may be some part of the combo of causes for hair loss. I do not know for sure but the above is what I think plays a huge part in hair loss for some of us, at least from my experiences living with diabetes for 53 years this coming November.


Does hair loss cause memory loss? Because there are currently approximately a bazillion threads regarding D and hair loss on this Forum…