The Taipei Times reports that a local issue with reluctance to seek help treating a pre-diabetic condition is causing unnecessary hair loss.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is chronic condition that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the body cannot use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar, high levels of which can can lead to serious damage to the the body’s systems, in particular the nerves and blood vessels.
Type 1 Diabetes is characterised by insufficient insulin production and requires daily injections. The cause is not yet understood by science. Symptoms include excessive urine production, thirst, constant hunger. Sufferers can experience some or all of these symptoms and they can occur suddenly.
Type 2 Diabetes is the version where the body cannot use the insulin being produced naturally and is by far the more common. Symptoms are similar to those in Type 1 but are less severe, consequently the damaging effects of the condition are often the first sign.
Make no mistake, diabetes is on the rise. Modern lifestyles and diets have seen, according to the World Health Organisation, the total number of people in the world with diabetes go from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. The growth is most noticeable in middle and low income countries. Globally, this means that nearly 10% of all adults are sufferers… so even though the growth in global population will account for some of that increase it still means a doubling of the incidence in pure percentage terms.
Diabetes And Hair Loss
Hung Chien-teh, Department Director at the Shutien Clinic in Taipei, Taiwan, has spoken out about the dangers of diabetes in his country. Where a problem with misleading rumours about insulin injections have deterred many in need from seeking treatment, consequently Taiwan is one of those countries where the illness is having a disproportionate effect.
He has chosen to use a subject close to Taiwanese hearts to get them to take the matter more seriously, hair loss. He points out that the pre-diabetic state involves “impaired glucose tolerance”, which affects the body’s ability to assimilate glucose. This has a direct affect on protein production which is vital for the growth of fingernails and hair. He offers the example of a 62 year old professor who had not sought treatment for a diabetic condition he had been aware of for some time. Eventually the professor began to lose his hair as his haemoglobin levels reached dangerous levels. Following treatment his haemoglobin levels fell to normal levels and hair began to regrow on his scalp – A clear sign that his hair loss was triggered by the illness as it is virtually unheard of for significant regrowth to occur in cases of hereditary hair loss, regardless of treatment.
HIS Hair Clinic
We applaud the efforts of Hung Chien-teh to encourage his countrymen and women to take diabetes seriously. The negative rumours around insulin injections are not confined to Taiwan, the Asst. Under Secretary of Public Health Policy in the UAE was forced to make a public announcement confirming, despite rumours to the contrary, that there was no lizard saliva contained in insulin.
We can all take a lesson here though, checking the condition of your hair and nails regularly is a good idea. If you are concerned get along to your doctor for a check up.
If you are ready to do something about your own hair loss situation then book a free consultation with one of our friendly team of experts. Simply complete the contact form at the side of this page or click here to find your nearest clinic.