Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 3/10/2020

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that occurs in children due to exposure to alcohol while in the womb.

The severity of the condition can vary, but FAS in general results in problems with brain development, intellectual ability, and physical defects, particularly of the face. Associated signs and symptoms can include

Other symptoms and signs can include

  • a misshapen or abnormal appearance of the face,
  • anxiety,
  • congenital heart disease,
  • hearing loss,
  • intellectual disability,
  • poor coordination,
  • speech impairment, and
  • vision disorders.

Cause of fetal alcohol syndrome

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is the cause of FAS, and no known amount of alcohol has been proven safe during pregnancy.

Other fetal alcohol syndrome symptoms and signs

  • A Misshapen or Abnormal Appearance of the Face
  • Aggression
  • Antisocial Behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Hearing Loss
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Irritability
  • Poor Coordination
  • Slow Growth
  • Speech Impairment
  • Vision Disorders


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.