What is down syndrome?


Know the basics

What is down syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that causes learning disability and certain physical features.

This condition lasts for a lifetime, but with proper care, people with Down syndrome can healthily grow up, live happily and productively for society.

How common is down syndrome?

Down syndrome is the most common genetic disorder. It can affect people from the first ages of life.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of down syndrome?

The common symptoms of Down syndrome are:

  • Flat facial features;
  • Small size of head;
  • Short neck;
  • Small mouth and protruding tongue;
  • Lack of muscle tone, causing floppiness;
  • A gap between the first and second toe;
  • Wide hand with short fingers and one crease in the palm;
  • Short weight and height comparing to the average.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you notice any of the following:

Your baby need a doctor immediately when she/he has:

  • Abdominal problems such as stomachache, swollen stomach, vomiting;
  • Heart problems such as discoloration of the lips and fingers, difficulty when breathing or having a sudden difficulty when eating or doing something.

Acting differently or cannot do something they usually do.

Showing mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression.

Know the causes

What causes down syndrome?

A normal body has 46 chromosomes, half of them is from the mother and the other half is from the father. Down syndrome occurs due to an unusual division in the 21th chromosome. People with Down syndrome will have 47 chromosomes. This addition of 21th chromosome causes mental and physical disabilities that involving Down syndrome.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for down syndrome?

There are many risk factors for Down syndrome, such as:

  • Pregnancy when you are older. As you get older, your baby has the higher risk of Down syndrome. The risk increases from the age of 35 of the mother.
  • Your previous baby was born with Down syndrome.
  • Inherit factor: the mother and father can inherit the genetic disorder to their children.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is down syndrome diagnosed?

  • During pregnancy, a screening test and diagnostic test can be done to detect if the mother is carrying a baby with Down syndrome.
  • After childbirth, a blood sample from your child can be taken and analyzes to find the presence of another 21th chromosomes that causing Down syndrome.

How is down syndrome treated?

Down syndrome cannot be treated completely. However, it is important for the parents to realize this condition as soon as possible and help their baby from the first age.

If your child has Down syndrome, you may need help from your doctor or a supporting group to provide him/her medical care and encourage them to develop essential social skills.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage down syndrome?

When your child is diagnosed with Down syndrome, it can be hard for you at first. You should find a supporting source where you can learn basic information about this condition and how to care and help your child develop skills, including:

  • Seeking for professionals or people who have the same issues with you. It is better to share information and solutions for your child.
  • Keep hoping: many children with Down syndrome still can live a happy life and do productive and helpful things for the society. Never lose hope about the future of your child.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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