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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Health    Pregnancy    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Also called: FASD

Alcohol can harm your baby at any stage during a pregnancy. That includes the earliest stages before you even know you are pregnant. Drinking alcohol can cause a group of conditions called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Effects can include physical and behavioral problems such as trouble with

  • Learning and remembering
  • Understanding and following directions
  • Controlling emotions
  • Communicating and socializing
  • Daily life skills, such as feeding and bathing

Fetal alcohol syndrome is the most serious type of FASD. People with fetal alcohol syndrome have facial abnormalities, including wide-set and narrow eyes, growth problems and nervous system abnormalities.

FASDs last a lifetime. There is no cure for FASDs. Treatments can help. These include medicines to help with some symptoms and behavior therapy. No one treatment is right for every child.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

The following features are indicative of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders:
  • abnormal facial features
  • small head size
  • shorter-than-average height
  • low body weight
  • poor coordination
  • hyperactive behavior
  • difficulty with attention
  • poor memory
  • learning disabilities
  • vision problems
  • hearing problems
  • intellectual disability
  • poor reasoning and judgment skills
  • problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones
  • difficulty in school
It is possible that Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.
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Common Causes of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

The following are the most common causes of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders:
  • prenatal alcohol exposure

Risk Factors for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders:
  • smoking
  • poor diet
  • older mother
  • amount and frequency of alcohol consumption

Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid alcohol consumption during pregnancy

Occurrence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • At birth

Common Gender

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders:
  • Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Diagnoses: To diagnose the fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Diagnosis: To diagnose the neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure

Doctor for Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders:
  • Pediatric neurologist
  • Pediatric neuropsychologist
  • Physician
  • Psychologist
  • Social worker

Complications of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders if untreated

Yes, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders is left untreated:
  • brain damage
  • impairments in behavioral and cognitive functioning

Procedures for Treatment of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

The following procedures are used to treat Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders:
  • Behavior and education therapies: Helpful in treating children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

Self-care for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders:
  • Don't drink alcohol if you're trying to get pregnant: Helps in preventing fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Avoid alcohol during pregnancy: Protects fetal alcohol syndrome

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders:
  • Do yoga and exercise: Lowers stress
  • Get involved in creative art therapy: Improves concentration and helps in developing social skills

Patient Support for Treatment of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

The following actions may help Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders patients:
  • Join support groups: Helps in overcoming your misuse of alcohol or other substances
  • Family support: Beneficial in coping with this syndrome

Time for Treatment of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

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