Fetal Alcohol Syndrome In Adults

Back view of young man with empty wine bottle coming back home to his wife and daughter

It is considered risky to drink any amount of alcohol during pregnancy. Babies simply cannot process alcohol in the same ways as adults, and drinking interferes with necessary oxygen flow and nutrient intake. In addition, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). 

FAS refers to a chronic condition often diagnosed in childhood. FAS can severely affect one’s physical and mental development. While there is currently no cure, treatment options exist. Let’s get into what you need to know. 

What Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

FAS can occur when a pregnant mother drinks alcohol during her pregnancy. During this time, trace amounts of alcohol cross into the placenta and into the fetus. The effects of alcohol on the unborn child can result in:

  • Nerve cell damage.
  • Lack of oxygen and essential nutrients.
  • Brain damage.
  • Other forms of abnormal development.

Many times, physicians can diagnose FAS in newborns. A baby with FAS may be underweight at birth and fail to meet appropriate growth milestones. They may also have congenital disabilities and problems associated with the ears, heart, kidneys, and eyes. In addition, they may show signs of delayed development or mental retardation. 

The intensity of symptoms varies. Some people will experience more severe issues than others, but symptoms can progressively worsen. 

Understanding FAS in Adulthood

Because FAS is chronic, the symptoms persist into adulthood. Unfortunately, there are limited studies on how FAS affects lifespan development. In some cases, cognitive deficits appear to resolve or improve on their own. However, in other cases, symptoms may become more exacerbated over time. 

Some of the common physical symptoms include:

  • Smaller head circumference (and smaller brain size).
  • Vision problems.
  • Joint or limb deformities.
  • Thin upper lips.
  • Short, upturned nose.
  • A smooth, flat surface between the nose and upper lip (instead of the usual crease).
  • Hearing difficulties.

Some of the common psychological, development symptoms include:

  • Poor social skills.
  • Lack of impulse control.
  • Memory problems.
  • Hyperactivity or inattentiveness.
  • Low IQ.
  • Poor concentration and focus.
  • Increased risk for addiction or other mental health problems.

Research shows that 90% of adults with FAS report mental health problems, 70% have faced legal issues, and 45% have drug or alcohol problems. Depression and anxiety are particularly comorbid with FAS. 

What Are the Treatment Options for FAS?

According to the CDC, it is important to note that FAS looks different for everyone. With that in mind, early intervention can drastically improve someone’s outcome. These services can begin as early as 0-3 years old, and they may include combinations of occupational, nutritional, and talk therapies.

People with FAS require the same basic medical needs as everyone else. For example, children need adequate nutrition, vaccinations, exercise, and appropriate hygiene. But they may also need to meet with specialists who can provide individualized care.

Currently, there are no FDA-approved medications specifically intended for FAS. However, many different medications can improve symptoms associated with this condition. Some options may include:

  • Antidepressants (to help with mood regulation and social skills).
  • Anti-anxiety medications (for treating anxiety symptoms).
  • Neuroleptics (for managing behavioral or emotional outbursts).

Some medications have the potential to be habit-forming. It is important to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor. If you notice problematic side effects, address them immediately.

In addition to medication and professional therapy, other alternative treatment options may include a combination of:

  • Biofeedback.
  • Creative art therapies.
  • Yoga and other restorative exercises.
  • Massage and Reiki work.
  • Animal-assisted therapies.
  • EMDR.
  • Acupuncture.

It also goes without saying that seeking and maintaining a level of ongoing support is critical. People with FAS may need routine assistance and supervision with specific tasks. They might also need reassurance and empowerment when life becomes difficult. Ideally, loved ones are available to offer such guidance.

Final Thoughts

The most straightforward solution for avoiding FAS is for mothers to avoid drinking any alcohol while pregannt. As mentioned, no amount is considered safe. 

However, some women may find it difficult to stop drinking during pregnancy. If this is the case for you, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. You may be putting your baby’s life in grave danger. Contact us today at (866) 578-7471 to get the support you need.

  1. mothers should avoid drinking any alcohol while pregnant. Some medications have the potential to be habit-forming.

  2. In take of alcohol for pregnant woman is not a good thing to be sincere. But Fetal Alcohol Syndrome shows that for taking alcohol by pregnant women has many negative effects. The best solution for them is to abstain for drinking alcohol.

  3. Alcohol is very detrimental to human health. It has not positive value to human health better still damage the nerves in the body I hope the world listen and read this information carefully.

  4. All these syndromes are killing if not avoided at all cost. My advice to all is to take to advice from the practitioners.

  5. Little did I know it carries on till adulthood. Abstinence from alcohol before, during and after pregnancy would save one from all of these unnecessary stress. Thanks for this piece.

  6. That’s pretty dangerous. The symptoms are not that prominent which is scary. Fetal alcohol syndrome is definitely terrifying. Thank you for sharing this info!

  7. Very informative and educative post on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. One has to take note of the effects stated above and stay away from alcohol intake.

  8. A very informative and educative post, now I know more about fetal alcohol syndrome, pregnant women should not drink so as to avoid FAS. Abstaining is the best solution. Detox to rehab thanks for sharing this wonderful information.

  9. This is worthy of noting.
    No cure but only treatment for FAS. This needs to be spread everywhere for people to know.

  10. This is why I hate vices. Most of the time it is not the user that suffers the backlash but other people in this case babies who had nothing to do with this. I have not seen this full on but I buy it. For one nothing good comes out of any addiction.

  11. How impact to babies from fetal alcohol,i hope every Mom or to be Mom must control herself to do not consume that while pregnancy or after give birth

  12. Pregnant women should totally abstain from alcohol. It has little or no important at all. Flee from drinking alcoholic drinks.

  13. Many pregnant women doesn’t know this and some might take little thinking it has no side effects.
    I hope this Relevant Content gets to all.

  14. A common saying “Prevention is better than Cure” is what I can procure to this.
    Offsprings suffer from this without the mother knowing the source of the problem.
    Everyone needs to be Informed about this.

  15. It is essential adhere strictly to safety information as it ensures proper safety. Alcohol is dangerous to an individual or even pregnant women. It high time we need to be responsible to our health issues. Thanks for sharing this

  16. Taking alcohol is not ideal for a pregnant woman cos it affects the fetus as I. Mother’s and potential mother’s should desist from this axt

  17. Alcohol is not good for our body in any way. It damages our body from inside. Liver and kidney also get damaged.

  18. I had no idea the side-effect can be so dire. Definitely important to inform mothers about FAS and have support systems in place. Thanks for sharing.

  19. I feel bad as there’s no cure for FAS but it is good that it can still be treated a bit than nothing. if it can be cured it would have been a lot better

  20. I strongly agree with this, mothers that drinks during pregnancy especially the heavy drinkers need to stop that. it isn’t healthy for the baby. they need to stop

  21. This is one of the most important reason why it is advised not to drink alcohol during pregnancy as it have serious impact on the growing baby.

  22. Damages usually caused by this act is enormous. It is better to desist from it. Thanks for this piece of information.

  23. Thanks for these tips. Alcohol is dangerous to an individual or even pregnant women. It high time we need to be responsible to our health issues.

  24. Alcohol is not good in adulthood. It exposes the elderly into underserved ailments that take them away from their love ones.

  25. There have been several information about the pregnant women avoidance of alcohol but some women are so addicted to the extent that it will be difficult for them to resist it during pregnancy. Thanks for this piece of information

  26. Very dangerous indeed, for a pregnant woman to engage in alcohol in-take during pregnancy, to avoid suffering from FAS, which is very cruel after delivery.

  27. This condition is a fatal one which causes a lot of damage to the unborn child. If it is possible a pregnant woman who is into alcohol should seize from it during the period of pregnancy.

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