What is Spina Bifida?
Spina Bifida is a birth defect which occurs when the spinal cord and the spine do not form properly. It is a kind of a neural tube defect. It occurs during pregnancy when the child is still inside the womb of the mother. A portion of the neural tube does not close or develop properly which causes defects in the bones of the spine and the spinal cord.
There are three different types of Spina Bifida that experts essentially know of:
- Spina bifida occulta
Spina Bifida Symptoms
The Spina Bifida symptoms differ on the type and the severity of the condition. It also differs from individual to individual. In mild cases the symptoms are not really obvious because the spinal nerve is not really involved. But in severe it is more visible. The common symptoms across the different types have been listed below for your reference and knowledge:
- On the skin of the newborn, above the spinal defect there will usually be a small birthmark, a dimple or an abnormal and unusual tuft of hair.
- The spinal canal will remain open along the lower or the middle back.
- A sac like structure forms due to the spinal cords and nerves protruding at birth.
Who is at Risk?
Experts have not been able to identify the actual cause behind this condition, however, they have been able to identify certain risk factors related to this. We have mentioned them below for your reference and understanding of the same:
- A family history of neural tube defects increases the chances of the second child also being born with the same defect.
- It is said to be more common in females than in males.
- Folate, a natural form of vitamin B-9 is essential for the healthy development of a baby. A deficiency of this can lead to complication.
Spina Bifida Causes
The actual Spina Bifida causes has not really been understood by doctors and researchers till now. There are some different theories that scientists have been able to discover which people believe in. have discussed below for your understanding some of these theories in details:
- A combination of family history and the environment can lead to this unusual condition.
- If you are a Hispanic then you are most likely to develop this
- Obese women have increased chances of giving birth to a child with this condition.
These are some of the common theories that one should know about.
How is Spina Bifida diagnosed?
For Spina Bifida diagnosis, a Spina Bifida doctor will need to perform a certain number of Spina Bifida tests to understand if the baby has this or not because the signs and symptoms are not always visible. Due to this nature of the condition, there is no way for a doctor to know through any test. The doctor may check one or more of the following for better diagnosis:
- A blood test in which a small sample of the mother’s blood is taken and tested to see the presence of a certain protein called AFP which the baby makes.
- An ultrasound which will give images of the baby which will better help understand the situation.
How is Spina Bifida treated?
The only cure for Spina Bifida treatment is getting a surgery done. We have mentioned it below for you:
- The surgery is done when the baby is still in the womb or a few days old. This is done before the 26th week of pregnancy.
In certain cases, the doctor may also prescribe some medicine for Spina Bifida.
Care.Fit is your neighbourhood health care provider offering a variety of services for various health conditions. They some of the best urologist from all over India to attend to any and all medical requirements. Their services are listed on their app and website. You should consider them if you are looking for a good Spina Bifida cure.
How can Spina Bifida be prevented?
Spina Bifida prevention can be done by keeping some simple measures in mind. Some of these have been mentioned below for your understanding and consideration:
- When a woman is pregnant taking multivitamins with folic acid in it lowers the baby’s chances of developing this condition as it ensures that there is no folic acid deficiency. One should look at taking at least 400 mgs a day during pregnancy.
- If a woman has spina bifida and is giving birth, then she should look at getting about 4000 mgs of folic acid a month before pregnancy.