Spina bifida is a rare birth disease which is occurring in children who do not get proper nourishment in the womb of the mother. Spina bifida, involves a structural defect in the vertebral column of the child that is in the spine of the child.
The function of the vertebral column in our bodies to shield the spine so that any external pressure is not exerted on the spine but there is a situation known as spina bifida in which the vertebral column is not structured as it should be and due to this, the internal spinal cord is exposed and this can result in serious injury as well.
The spinal cord is responsible for sending the signals to the brain and the brain in turn send signal to the various parts of the body through the spinal cord and the nerves which are around it and if there is an occurrence of injury in the spinal cord due to the occurrence of spina bifida, the entire functioning of the body is affected because the spinal cord would not be able to send signals to the brain and the brain in turn would not be able to send signals to the various parts of the body.
Since it is such a serious condition, it is important to know what is the cause of spina bifida so that we can avoid this problem in the child.
What causes spina bifida?
There has been a considerable amount of research which is being done on the subject of spina bifida and still the answers have not been exactly found. In most of the cases, the problem is found to be genetic and in some rare cases the problem is found to be due to the lack of nutrients while the mother is pregnant.
One of the nutrients which is directly related to the cause of spina bifida is fiber because if the fiber intake of the mother is not proper during pregnancy, it significantly increases the chances of the child suffering from spina bifida.
Another nutrient which is directly related is the folic acid. Even though folic acid is needed in very small quantities in our body, still if you’re not consuming it in the required quantities it can certainly cause spina bifida in the child.
Some of the other minerals which are needed in order to avoid spina bifida is iron, magnesium and other such minerals which are needed by our body.
Thus, the research which is being done on spina bifida associates spina bifida with either the genetic problem or it associates spina bifida with the lack of nutrients which are necessary for the proper development of the body of the child.
Another problem is that, if the mother gives birth to the child which is suffering from spina bifida then the future children of that mother would have a high risk of suffering from spina bifida as well. This is another prominent problem.
Some of the research has also associated spina bifida with mothers who are suffering from diabetes. The occurrences of children being born with spina bifida in mothers who are suffering from diabetes is larger as compared to the normal population.
Obesity is also related to spina bifida because the obese mothers often are undernourished due to which the child does not get proper nutrients as well and therefore the child is at risk of suffering from spina bifida as well. In order to determine whether your weight is proper or not, you need to calculate the body mass index and you need to make sure that your body mass index is below 30.
How to detect if the child is suffering from spina bifida?
Most of the mothers would always go for the ultrasound scan when they are pregnant and during this ultrasound scan, the occurrence of spina bifida can be easily detected as well. You need to consult your doctor to interpret the reports of the ultrasound scan in the right way.
What is the treatment for spina bifida?
The extent to which spina bifida damages the vertebral column varies from case to case and therefore first you have to consult your doctor and find out the extent to which spina bifida has affected the vertebral column and after that only you would be able to make a decision about the treatment which can be opted for.
Surgical procedure: Surgical procedure is only possible if the damage is small and also if the surgery takes place within 2 days of the birth and in this, the parts of the spinal cord which are exposed are covered and also the structural defect in the vertebral column is also repaired.
If at a later stage, there are some other bone defects in the body of the child as well or the growth of the bones in the body of the child is limited, then a follow-up surgery would be required as well.
Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy is a non-invasive procedure which can help the child in coordinating better with their body parts inspite of suffering from spina bifida.
Occupational therapy sessions: The therapy sessions allow the child to go about the day to day activities in a normal fashion inspite of suffering from spina bifida.
There are some other surgeries which are recommended for the patient suffering from spina bifida as well and the type of the surgery which is chosen would be dependent on the body part in which the patient is suffering from a problem due to spina bifida. It would be best to consult your doctor regarding the appropriate treatment depending on the extent of the problem.
So, in most of the cases, spina bifida is found to be hereditary or it can be connected to nutrient deficiency in the body of the mother when she is pregnant and therefore, it is important that you look into the consumption of folic acid as well as minerals if you want to ensure that your child is not suffering from spina bifida because of the lack of nutrients in your body.