Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Methods

By: Juliet Cohen

Fetal Alcohol syndrom is an invisible avalanche crashing down and overwhelming public resources. Patients with fetal alcohol syndrome typically have multiple handicaps and require special medical, educational, familial and community assistance. A baby born with FAS may be seriously handicapped and require a lifetime of special care. In the United States, about 1,200 children are born each year with fetal alcohol syndrome. It is the leading cause of mental retardation in this country. When a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy, she risks giving birth to a child who will pay the price- in mental and physical deficiencies- for his or her entire life. It is a pattern of mental and physical defects which develops in some unborn babies when the mother drinks too much alcohol during pregnancy. People with FAS might have problems with learning, memory, attention span, communication, vision, hearing, or a combination of these. These problems often lead to difficulties in school and problems getting along with others.

Fetal alcohol syndrome includes a characteristic group of defects including small head and brain, facial abnormalities, and defects of other organs. Alcohol is capable of causing birth defects. Causing a child to suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome is really nothing short of child abuse and it lasts for life. Babies born with FAS tend to weigh less and be shorter than normal. This capability classifies it medically as a teratogen. Alcohol is now recognized as the leading teratogen to which the fetus is likely to be exposed. The syndrome is found in all racial and socio-economic groups. If you suspect that your child has FAS, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis reduces the risk of problems in life associated with FAS, including troubles at school, with substance abuse and with the law. There is no cure for FAS; however, with early identification and diagnosis, children with FAS can receive services that can help increase their potential.

Causes of Fetal alcohol syndrome

The common causes of Fetal alcohol syndrome include the following:

Use of alcohol during the pregnancy.

Many drugs.

Heart defects such as ventricular septal defect or atrial septal defect.

Women older than 30 years and/or those with a long history of alcohol consumption.

Symptoms of of Fetal alcohol syndrome

Some sign and symptoms related to of Fetal alcohol syndrome are as follows:

Poor socialization skills, such as difficulty building and maintaining friendships and relating to groups.

Poor coordination/fine motor skills.

Small head circumference.

Failure to thrive.

Growth, motor, and mental retardation.

Mental retardation and delayed development.

Slow physical growth before and after birth.

Incomplete development of genitalia.

Facial abnormalities, skeletal limb abnormalities, tremors (in the newborn infant), agitation and crying (in the newborn infant).

Treatment of Fetal alcohol syndrome

Here is list of the methods for treating Fetal alcohol syndrome:

Babies and children with alcohol-related damage often need developmental follow-up and, possibly, long-term treatment and care.

Pregnant alcoholic women should be involved in alcohol abuse rehabilitation programs and monitored closely throughout pregnancy.

If you're an alcoholic, don't get pregnant until you get help. Use birth control methods until you're able to control your drinking.

Heart abnormalities may require surgery.

A child with FAS may need help with social skills and memory.

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