CD – Congenital Disorder
A congenital disorder is a medical condition which is present during birth. The severity of a congenital disorder varies depending on its nature; for example, in some cases, the condition may not manifest until much later in life; if ever; and at other times, the disorder is incompatible with life. Congenital disorder can be caused by a myriad of factors; the expectant mother’s activities can largely affect and cause this.
Many congenital disorders are genetic in nature. Genetic disorders may be passed down from one or both of the parents or they may be caused by errors in the duplication of chromosomes which cause spontaneous genetic mutations. Individuals with a family disorder history as well as older parents will be among those that are categorised in the high-risk group. A congenital disorder can also be caused by problems with morphogensis; this means that problems come during the foetus development stages. Exposure to harmful toxins and chemicals during the said foetus development stage appears to be a major risk contributor to the disorder.
Anomaly or malformation is the term given to physical handicaps caused by congenital disorders. The two have different characteristics. Anomalies are abnormal, but not necessarily harmful; growing a sixth finger, for example, is an anomaly. Malformations, on the other hand, can possibly result in problems. Sometimes, congenital malformations are also commonly known as birth defects.
There is a possibility genetic disorders being manifest during birth. As an example, conditions that are characterized by abnormal numbers of chromosomes. In other instances, genetic disorders may only manifest itself in the later stages of life. It isn’t uncommon to hear of individuals who are totally unaware of their disorder and live with it until they undergo some form of routine testing. A congenital disorder may also come in the form of a metabolic condition or a disease.
The different treatment options that are available for congenital disorders depends on the nature of these disorders. Malformations and anomalies is possible to be corrected through surgery. On the other hand, diseases with certain genetic conditions are sometimes possible to be contained with medication alone. Some patients may require life-long care for congenital disorders, some of which are associated with a very low life expectancy.
It is essential for parents to understand that congenital disorders are unpredictable and spontaneous; therefore they shouldn’t be blaming themselves for it. If a family has a history of genetic problems, genetic testing to look for deleterious genes might be advisable. Expectant mothers should also avoid obvious risk factors such as toxin or chemical exposure and smoking. At the same time, eating a nutritious and well-balanced diet can help promote a healthy foetal development. Regular prenatal care is also highly recommended for expecting parents, to ensure that any signs of possible problems with the pregnancy are detected the earliest possible.