ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fetal alcohol syndrome – Pictures, Facts, Symptoms, Treatment

Updated on November 4, 2013

FAS or Fetal alcohol syndrome is a condition that is caused due to alcohol consumption at the time of pregnancy. The syndrome can result in a variety of abnormalities such as varied physical defects, mental retardation, learning disabilities, disturbances of sight, and behavioral problems.

The number and severity of deficits associated with fetal alcohol syndrome can vary from one affected child to another. It is also important to note that such abnormalities cannot be undone in any way.

There are no safe amounts of alcohol that can be taken during pregnancy. Expectant women who engage in intake of alcohol are placing the infant at increased vulnerability to developing fetal alcohol syndrome.

It is important for parents of babies with fetal alcohol syndrome to seek immediate medical care. Early diagnosis may aid in decreasing the risk to some related problems like drug abuse and learning difficulties.

Symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome

There is no single distinguishing congenital anomalous feature associated with fetal alcohol syndrome. It refers to a group of abnormalities, and is the most severe condition as compared to the varied other disorders that arise due to prenatal alcohol exposure.The cluster of disorders is collectively known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or FASDs.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is one of the major causes of mental retardation. It is however possible to prevent it. The intensity of mental deficits may differ among affected children, wherein one child may elicit a higher degree of mental anomalies as opposed to some other affected infant.

A few common symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome are listed below:

  • Slow physical development before and after birth
  • Presence of distinctive facial features such as small eyes; a visibly thin upper lip; a short and upturned nose; and occurrence of silky smooth skin between the nose and the upper lip.
  • Achievement of developmental milestones such as crawling, walking, talking, etc., may be delayed.
  • Hearing defects and vision troubles
  • Possible deformation of the fingers, limbs, and joints
  • The head circumference is generally smaller than usual. Doctors may diagnose microcephaly or small brain size
  • Behavioral disorders such as absence of a continuous attention span, hyperactivity, anxiety, unregulated impulses, and excessive nervousness or fidgetiness
  • Poor coordination
  • Heart defects
  • Learning deficits and difficulties
  • Mental retardation

It is important to remember that normal and healthy children may also have facial characteristics that are similar to those linked to fetal alcohol syndrome. Parents must therefore consult specialists who have the technical expertise to distinguish between normal and abnormal facial features.

Doctors may use varying terminologies to describe a few symptoms of FAS. Alcohol related birth abnormalities refer to physical deformities that occur due to exposure of the fetus to alcohol, while alcohol related neuro-developmental disorders are mental or behavioral deficits that occur due to exposure of fetus to alcohol.

Causes of fetal alcohol syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome is caused due to intake of alcohol during pregnancy. The risk to development of FAS in the unborn child keeps on increasing with an increase in the level of alcohol consumption. Such risk is present during all stages of pregnancy.

It may be noted that the central nervous system, facial features, heart, bones, and other vital organs develop during the first trimester of pregnancy. Hence, alcohol consumption during this period can result in defects of the above listed body systems. Many women are rarely aware of their pregnant status during the first few weeks of the 1st trimester. Therefore women who are trying to get pregnant must abstain from alcohol, a lot in advance. Also, women who believe that they are pregnant must immediately stop drinking.

Doctors are not aware about the quantity of alcohol that needs to be consumed during pregnancy for the baby to develop fetal alcohol syndrome. It is however widely known that more instances of alcohol intake during pregnancy increases the likelihood of the baby getting affected by fetal alcohol syndrome.

Treatment of fetal alcohol syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome has no known cure. Treatment focuses on alleviating and managing the many symptoms, as well as preventing the development of complications.

A few treatment options for varied defects associated with fetal alcohol syndrome are as follows:

  • Physical therapy can help reduce the severity of problems arising from the presence of physical deformities and defects
  • Heart problems as well as physical malformations can be rectified through varied surgical procedures.
  • Counseling, behavioral therapies, and psychotherapy can help overcome the social, behavioral, and emotional shortcomings in patients.
  • Children affected by fetal alcohol syndrome are prone to alcohol and drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, etc. It can be prevented by offering them a strong social and family support system. This will also help the children succeed in academics.

The only way to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome is by abstaining from intake of alcohol during pregnancy. Sexually active women have a greater chance of becoming pregnant without planning. Hence they have to be extra vigilant.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Pictures

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      3 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you for speaking up to help increase awareness of this preventable medical condition that has permanent side effects. Saying no to fetal alcohol syndrome is crucial to a baby's well being and growth/development.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)