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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - Essay Example

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Alcohol as a substance is toxic to human beings and the toxicity is more defined in fetus. The term Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) refers to abnormalities or irregularities which occur in fetus and later in children as a result of maternal alcohol consumption The term was first used by Kenneth L…
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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Essay
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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Effects of FAS include:
FAS is not a distant experience as my siblings and I have at least been once in our lifetimes been put under medical supervision in FAS related ailments. In my case, it happened when I was 11 years old and I was experiencing bouts of nervous breakdown especially in chilly mornings. Earlier treatment focused on nervous diseases but when the situation worsened, there was a suggestion by a family doctor to test for the FAS syndrome.
As a victim of FAS, many of my school days were lost due to FAS related complications, at the junior school, to cope become so hard since all other kids noticed that I was different from them in someway. Of course this is a very devastating situation to be in. Though this condition is not presently a bother to me, my elder brother has not been very lucky for he has had an unusually high incidences of arrests, he is sometimes into prisons and it feels bad given that he is not to blame for what is happening . Despite his 'innocence", many blame him and he pays for his deeds.
The syndrome is correlated to culture since in essence; culture plays a crucial role in peoples' drinking habits. For instance, culture in most Islamic countries forbid women from taking alcohol, therefore it is expected that incidences of FAS in such cultures is significantly low compared to other cultures in the west where alcohol consumption is culturally tolerated in most parts. Apart from culture, Serdula, M.; Williamson, D.F.; Kendrick, J.S.; Anda, R.F.; & Byers, T. (1991 p. 877) found nutrition and metabolism as the other factors influencing FAS.
Sokol, R.J., et al. (December 10, 2003 p.2996) also linked FAS to genetics by studying the prevalence of FAS in blacks compared to whites. They found that the risk was significantly higher for the former than it was for the latter. This can be explained by the fact that most black women were more unlikely to report accurately on their alcohol consumption habits.
The leading cause of FAS though remains to be prenatal exposure to alcohol especially when the embryo is increasingly exposed to alcohol. Medically FAS can be said to happen if the body organs or system are affected in their development and cell formation.


Prevention
FAS is preventable, it worrying that more and more people are suffering from a disease that is fully preventable. Various preventative measures include:
Self-reporting. This is where by once a woman discovers she is pregnant and is into the habit of alcohol taking. One is supposed to report to a prenatal clinic so as to receive the necessary treatment and help.
Ultra sound screening during pregnancy. This is conducted to test for the syndrome in fetus. Once detected, preventative measures are began so as to avoid further harm to fetus.
Abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy. This is the best way to prevent FAS as it is solely acquired through alcohol consumption. Therefore complete abstinence means zero chances of acquiring the syndrome.
There is still a need for more studies on the subject of FAS. To date, there is no consensus as to what level of alcohol consumption is safe for pregnant mothers. There is a need for a definite answer so as allow ... Read More
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