Diabetes can lead to hair loss and baldness, but the condition can be treated through insulin injections or medication, an endocrinologist said, urging people with the disease to seek medical treatment as early as possible.
Shutien Clinic metabolism department director Hung Chien-teh (洪建德) cited an example in which a 62-year-old male professor had diabetes for many years, but did not proactively seek treatment.
He began to suffer serious hair loss, until he started receiving insulin injections and taking medication orally about seven years ago, because his hemoglobin levels had increased to a dangerous level, Hung said.
Following treatment, his hemoglobin level fell to within normal parameters, and hair began to regrow on his scalp, Hung said.
Misleading rumors about insulin injections have caused many Taiwanese with diabetes to refuse proper treatment, so the proportion of Taiwanese with the disease who end up on dialysis or with complications is high, Hung said.
“Impaired glucose tolerance — a pre-diabetic state — causes hair loss, and the condition significantly worsens if the patient’s high hemoglobin levels persist,” he said.
When blood sugar levels continue to increase, the body suffers a reduced capacity to assimilate glucose, affecting protein production, and also the growth of fingernails and hair, he said.
Studies have shown that receiving insulin injections not only helps patients with diabetes control blood sugar levels, but also prevents hair loss and baldness, so patients should seek treatment straight away if they think they have the disease, Hung said.
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