When a woman consumes alcohol during pregnancy, it causes long term damage to the fetus in her womb. The medical conditions that arise due to this alcoholism problem are called FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders). The fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is one of the best known types of the FASD disorder.
FAS results in the growth retardation of the fetus both in the prenatal and postnatal stages. It also results in certain facial irregularities and abnormalities in the structure and function of the central nervous system. Added to this, the alcohol can affect and interfere with both the growth hormone and the insulin levels and result in abnormal body growth and declined activity.
Since the hormonal systems of both the mother and fetus are interconnected to ensure normal fetal development, consuming alcohol during this time can interfere with the development directly as the alcohol crosses the placenta and also enters the bloodstream of the fetus. In addition, the interactions and functioning of the hormones of both the mother and the fetus gets indirectly affected enhancing the complications further.
There is no known cure for FAS but if the children who have contracted this disease are diagnosed early, there is possibility of improving their physically or mentally challenged state to a better growth level. For example, they can be put in special classes or agencies that work with such special children and help them to overcome their challenges to some extent.
The most unfortunate and surprising fact is that this syndrome can be completely avoided if only the pregnant women refrain from drinking during their pregnancy period.
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