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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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by Wood D

(Alcohol in Pregnancy; Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy; FAS)

 

Symptoms

Birth and developmental defects depend on when the fetus was exposed to alcohol and how much alcohol was consumed.
Babies with FAS may have the following physical symptoms:
  • Low birth weight
  • Small size and delayed growth
  • Small head
  • Small eyes
  • Short, flat nose
  • Flat cheeks
  • Small jaws
  • Unusually shaped ears
  • Thin upper lip
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Sight and hearing problems
  • Heart defects
  • Small, abnormally formed brain
  • Vision problems
  • Ear infections
As the infant grows, other symptoms may develop, including:
Children do not outgrow these effects. Teens and adults often experience social and emotional problems. They may develop secondary conditions, which include:
  • Problems at school
  • Inability to hold a job
  • Trouble living independently
  • Mental health problems
  • Alcohol or drug dependence
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Difficulty controlling anger
  • Legal problems
 

Prevention

Efforts to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome are important.
 

RESOURCES

National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
http://www.nofas.org

Pregnancy.org
http://www.pregnancy.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Alcoholics Anonymous of Canada
http://www.aacanada.com

Women's Health Matters
http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca

 

References


Chaudhuri JD. Alcohol and the developing fetus—a review. Med Sci Monit . 2000;6:1031-1041.


Drinking and your pregnancy. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/DrinkingPregnancy%5FHTML/pregnancy.htm . Published 2006. Accessed July 26, 2013.


Fetal alcohol syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated December 12, 2012. Accessed July 26, 2013.


Nayak RB, Murthy P. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Indian Pediatr. 2008;45(12):977-983.


Prenatal exposure to alcohol [review]. Alcohol Res Health . 2000;24:32-41.


Thackray H, Tifft C. Fetal alcohol syndrome. Pediatr Rev . 2001;22:47-55.


Treatment and support. National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome website. Available at: http://www.nofas.org/treatments-support/ .

 

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