Metformin is one of the most widely used oral prescription medications for managing high blood glucose levels in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes. Metformin is also used for the treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
Metformin works by reducing the amount of glucose the liver produces and releases into the bloodstream. It also increases the body’s muscle cell sensitivity to insulin.
While there is very little scientific evidence that metformin directly causes hair loss, medication-induced hair loss is a common, but reversible occurrence.
Does long term use of metformin induce hair loss?
Metformin is one of the most well-tolerated medications used by millions of people around the world. Its common side effects may include gastrointestinal disturbances such as stomach pain, bloating, constipation, and gas, and even heartburn, muscle pain, and headache.
In the present, there is no substantial evidence that conclusively proves the direct link between metformin and hair loss. A 2013 study suggests that prolonged usage of metformin may reduce vitamin B-12 and folate levels in the body, which in turn may be responsible for temporary hair loss.
However, the nearest link between metformin and hair loss is in the medical condition itself— high blood sugar levels and the stress it may cause on the body are potent risk factors for developing hair loss.
Hair loss is exhibited through a progressive array of symptoms: thinning, breaking, and falling out hair. These things can be caused by a combination of hormone imbalance, high blood glucose affecting hair growth, and stress levels brought about by diabetes itself, not the medication, that manifests physically in falling out hair.
Hair Loss Treatment
There are several natural remedies for temporary hair loss that may help slow down the process. Avoiding any artificial hair processing such as hot hair treatments, coloring, rebond, straightening, may help preserve hair. Tight ponytails and braids may also contribute to hair fall-out, so it is best to avoid any force tugging at the roots of the hair.
The best treatment for hair loss would ultimately be proper nutrition of vitamins and minerals that promote overall better health, and effective stress management. However, if the hair loss is caused by an underlying condition, a physician should be consulted to address the root cause of hair loss.
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Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.