The Effects Of Prenatal Exposure On Alcohol

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Introduction Prenatal exposure to alcohol can cause profound amounts of birth defects and mental retardation. Drinking alcohol is composed of ethanol, a flammable liquid, which is made by fermentation. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol can affect different parts of the human body such as the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, the immune system, and plays a role in cancer (NIH, n.d.). In the brain, alcohol can intervene in communication pathways, which affects how the brain works. Alcohol can cause many different heart defects and disorders such as cardiomyopathy, irregular heartbeats, stroke, high blood pressure and in some cases heart attack. Alcohol proves to be very damaging to the liver, especially in alcoholism. In many cases, the liver turns into scar tissue causing fibrosis and cirrhosis. Other liver problems can include having a fatty liver and alcoholic hepatitis. Alcohol-induced fatty liver disease, the first stage of alcohol-induced liver disease, occurs when fat is depositing in liver cells. Alcoholic hepatitis is very similar to fatty liver disease, although it presents with inflammation and scarring of the liver. Many alcoholic’s liver becomes so scarred that it is irreversible, which is called alcoholic cirrhosis. Alcoholic cirrhosis is the most progressive form of alcohol-related liver disease and presents as severe scarring, with termination of normal liver structure. The pancreas is also affected by long-term
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