Metformin, also known as metformin hydrochloride. Is a medication that is frequently recommended to patients who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or hyperglycemia. It does this by decreasing the amount of sugar that is generated by your liver and by increasing the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin. In some cases, it is also employed in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). but is this drug responsible for hair loss?
The substance is considered an essential medicine and is included on the list maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO). Metformin works to bring sugar levels in the blood under control and also makes the body more sensitive to the effects of insulin. Oral administration is required, and it can be obtained in the form of a liquid, a tablet, or an extended-release tablet. (also known as a long-acting tablet).
Does Metformin Cause Hair Loss?
There is no credible evidence in the scientific literature to support the hypothesis that metformin causes hair loss. There have been sporadic reports over the past few years of persons using the medication who have had hair loss as a side effect.
In one account, a person diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who was taking metformin and sitagliptin. Reported experiencing an unusually large amount of hair loss on their scalp and eyebrows.
In this particular instance, hair loss could have been caused by a medicine. Although there is not sufficient data to establish this hypothesis. According to research published in 2013, taking metformin for an extended period of time may result in lower levels of vitamin B-12 and folate in the body. In addition, a case-control study that was conducted in 2015 indicated a connection between people who had alopecia and high blood sugar levels.
If you have hyperglycemia and aren’t getting enough vitamin B-12 in your diet. Your hair loss could be caused by either of those problems rather than by the metformin itself. Even though you’re taking it to treat hyperglycemia.
Other Related Causes for Hair Loss
Metformin does have a number of unpleasant side effects, however severe hair loss and baldness are not among them. While using metformin, there are a few things that may contribute to your hair thinning, breaking, or falling out. Although metformin may not be the cause of your hair loss. There are a few factors that may contribute to your hair loss. If you are taking the medication and seeing that you are losing your hair. There are a few other things that could be contributing to this and these includes:
The medical history of a person’s family might have a significant bearing on the state of their hair. If there is a history of alopecia and pattern baldness in your family. You have a greater chance of developing it yourself.
Medications and Supplements
It is possible for prescription medications and steroids used to treat disorders such as cancer, depression, heart disease, blood pressure concerns, and arthritis to cause hair loss. In the event that you are taking any other medication in addition to metformin. It is imperative that you discuss the possibility of drug interactions with your primary care physician.
Hormonal shifts can cause significant hair loss, and can occur during pregnancy, delivery, menopause, and conditions related to the thyroid. Stopping the usage of birth control tablets can lead to hormonal imbalance and hair loss, among other side effects.
The stress that your body is experiencing as a result of your medical condition. (diabetes or PCOS, for example) may be a contributing factor in the temporary loss of hair that you are experiencing. Going through a traumatic experience, such as the passing of a loved one or the dissolution of a marriage. Can lead to a general thinning of hair as well as significant hair loss. The loss of hair that results from stress is typically very temporary.
Metformin is not the only factor that could be causing your hair loss if you also have other medical issues. It can also cause hair loss. Some conditions, such as thyroid disease, autoimmune diseases that assault hair follicles like alopecia areata. And fungal infections like ringworm are all potential culprits. The hair-pulling disorder known as trichotillomania, as well as diseases such as lichen planus and some types of lupus. Can also lead to an excessive loss of hair and eventual baldness.
Metformin and Vitamin B-12
Talk to your physician about the possible connection between taking metformin and low levels of vitamin B-12 if you are having hair loss while using metformin. Even while your body does not require a large amount of vitamin B-12, not getting enough of it can lead to a number of major health problems, including the following:
- Hair loss
- A general lack of vitality
- A diminished desire to eat
- The loss of weight
Metformin may increase the risk of experiencing side effects that are associated with a lack of vitamin B-12. If you are on metformin, losing your hair, and are concerned that you may have a vitamin B-12 deficiency, talk to your doctor about adding foods that contain vitamin B-12 to your diet, such as beef, fish, eggs, and milk. He or she may recommend that you take a supplement. In addition, your physician may suggest that you take a vitamin B-12 supplement.
How to Treat Metformin Hair Loss?
Get A Complete Blood Test
Hair loss can be caused by an iron shortage as well as hormonal abnormalities. Perform a blood test and seek the opinion of your physician in order to discover the precise cause of the problem or inadequacies.
Eat a balanced diet and supplement your diet
It is essential to have a diet that is both well-balanced and rich in nutrients in order to keep your hair in good health. A lack of proper nutrition can lead to a variety of health problems, including hair loss and a reduction in hair thickness. Make sure that a large portion of your diet consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts. Make an appointment with your primary care physician and inquire about the possibility of taking multivitamin supplements in order to fulfil the specific nutritional needs of your body.
Consult a Trichologist
You can also seek the advice and assistance of a trichologist, a specialist in hair health, for direction and a solution.
Change Your Hairstyle
It might be upsetting to experience hair loss. When you style your hair, try to avoid doing anything that could tug at the roots. Get in touch with a skilled hairstylist who can help you create a look for your hair that gives the impression that it has more volume. If you are thinking about using metformin for your health, the following are some factors you need to bear in mind before making that decision.
Things to Know Before Using Metformin
Before beginning treatment with metformin, there are a few things you should keep in mind in addition to the potential adverse effects that have already been covered:
Risk Of Lactic Acidosis
Metformin has been linked to an increased risk of a potentially fatal disease known as lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is a medical illness that is defined by a build-up of lactate in the body, which leads to a low pH in the bloodstream. This condition is frequently the result of an underlying chronic medical condition, medicine, or poisoning. Your chances of having lactic acidosis are increased if you drink alcohol often.
If you have any allergies, you should let your doctor know before beginning treatment with metformin. There are some drugs and drug interactions that could potentially trigger allergic responses.
Serious Medical Issues
It is important to discuss your medical history with your primary care physician if you are over the age of 65 or if you suffer from a medical condition such as renal disease, heart disease, cancer, or liver disease. Also, make sure to let them know whether or not you smoke and how often you drink.
Supplements and other prescription medications
Talk to your doctor before using metformin if you are already taking any other prescription medications. Drug interactions can be very uncomfortable. Be sure your doctor knows if you’re taking any vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements, etc.
When to See a Doctor
Consult your physician if you have observed that your hair is thinning, breaking, or falling out. It may indicate an underlying condition. Make an appointment with your doctor immediately if your balding is sudden, your hair is falling out without warning and your hair loss causes anxiety
Loss of hair is a side effect of many medications, which can be stressful for patients who are already dealing with a medical problem that requires treatment. Metformin is not currently thought to be a factor in any cases of hair loss. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), both of which metformin is used to treat, frequently include hair loss as one of the possible symptoms.
Therefore, it is possible that the underlying illness, and not the treatment for it, is the cause of your hair loss. Be careful to keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels, your stress levels, and anything else that could be causing your hair to break or become thinner. Your physician should be able to determine the underlying reason of your hair loss and provide you with some therapy suggestions.