Does Insulin Resistance Cause Hair Loss? Exploring Evidence and Management Approaches

Amisha Jain
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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does insulin resistance cause hair loss

Insulin resistance is a condition that affects many people worldwide.

In a cross-sectional survey of 6,000 young American adults aged 18–44, 40% had Insulin resistance and a higher prevalence of hypertension and obesity.

We know that Insulin resistance leads to increased thirst and frequent urination but does Insulin resistance cause hair loss too?

This article will explore the potential link between insulin resistance and hair loss.

We will also discuss strategies to manage and potentially reverse insulin resistance.

And lastly, learn how Insulin resistance is different from Diabetes.

The exact mechanism by which Insulin resistance may cause hair loss is not yet fully understood. 

However, there are some theories based on current research.

A 2014 study aimed to study Insulin resistance in patients with Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), a type of hair loss that causes men and women with certain genes to lose their hair. 

The study found that Insulin resistance can lead to miniaturization of hair follicles, thereby causing hair loss.

Another population-based study aimed to find more precise information about the presence of AGA and its connection with Insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance-associated parameters were found to be significantly higher in women with extensive hair loss compared to those with normal or minimal hair loss.

Tips for managing Insulin resistance

It is possible to manage Insulin resistance and, in some cases, reverse it.

Discussed below are some lifestyle tips that can help you in this journey.

Adopt a healthy diet

Eating a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve Insulin sensitivity.

Generally, eating food with a low to medium glycemic index while limiting foods with a high glycemic index can help you reverse/manage your Insulin resistance.

Fact:
The Glycemic Index (GI) system ranks carbohydrate-containing foods based on how much they raise your blood sugar levels.
The Glycemic Index Foundation classifies the GI of food as follows:

  • Low GI: 55 or less
  • Medium GI: 56-69
  • High GI: 70 or greater
  • Exercise regularly

    Physical activity has been shown to significantly decrease Insulin resistance in both the short and long run. 

    It can help lower blood sugar levels and improve Insulin sensitivity. 

    Engaging in moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, aerobics, etc., is recommended for a minimum of 30 minutes daily.

    Maintain a healthy weight

    Obesity or being overweight can increase the risk of Insulin resistance. 

    Losing weight to an optimum level can help.

    Warning:
    Consult an expert to know your ideal weight and how to achieve it.

    However, there is currently no conclusive evidence to support the superiority of any particular diet over others. 

    It is best to consult your healthcare provider to assess the most suitable option for you.

    Manage stress

    Meditation to manage stressSource: yuriyseleznev
    Meditation to manage stress

    Stress can cause the release of hormones that can increase blood sugar levels and reduce Insulin sensitivity. 

    Relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can help manage stress.

    Take prescribed medications

    No medicines are specifically approved for treating Insulin resistance. 

    However, Diabetes medicines, like Metformin and TZDs, are Insulin sensitizers that help lower blood glucose levels by reducing Insulin resistance.

    Monitor blood sugar levels

    Keeping track of your blood sugar levels on a regular basis is important.

    It can be beneficial in recognizing patterns and modifying your diet and medication accordingly.

    Insulin Resistance vs Diabetes

    Diabetic patient consulting a doctorSource: pixelshot
    Diabetic patient consulting a doctor

    A lot of people confuse Insulin resistance with Diabetes, but the two are not the same.

    The two are related but different. 

    Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells become resistant to Insulin, a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels. 

    As a result, the body must produce more Insulin to maintain blood sugar levels, which can eventually lead to increased Insulin levels in the blood.

    Diabetes, on the other hand, is when the body does not make enough insulin or uses it poorly, causing blood sugar levels to rise.

    Insulin resistance is a risk factor and can cause type 2 diabetes if untreated, but not everyone with Insulin resistance develops type 2 Diabetes. 

    However, it is important to manage Insulin resistance through lifestyle changes and medications to prevent Diabetes and other health complications if needed.

    Recommended Article:
    If you are experiencing hair loss, read Best Hair Loss Treatments – A Complete Guide to better understand the available treatment options.

    Takeaway

    Although the exact relationship between Insulin resistance and hair loss is not well understood, research has shown that Insulin resistance can affect hair follicles and cause hair fall

    In addition, Insulin resistance is a risk factor for type diabetes two and other health complications.

    Managing stress, including low to moderate GI food in your diet, and regular exercise can all help manage this condition.

    It is recommended to consult your doctor for the best advice.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is hair loss from Insulin resistance reversible?

    Hair loss from Insulin resistance is reversible by managing the underlying condition. Healthy eating, exercise, and stress management can improve Insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing hair loss. However, individual results may vary. Consult a healthcare professional for a tailor-made treatment plan that suits your needs.

    Does Insulin resistance cause body hair?

    Insulin resistance can cause excessive body hair growth in some individuals. This is due to the male hormone androgens, which can cause excessive hair growth in people. The exact relationship between Insulin resistance and body hair growth is not well understood and may vary for every individual.

    How do you reverse Insulin resistance?

    Insulin resistance can be managed and reversed with lifestyle changes, like regular exercise, a healthy diet, weight loss, and stress management. Additionally, medications such as metformin and Insulin sensitizers help improve Insulin sensitivity. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for an appropriate treatment plan.

    Citations:
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