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Symptoms and Types
The cause of spina bifida is unknown. However, folic acid deficiency is thought to play a part in neural tube defects. It is recommended that any woman considering becoming pregnant take 0.4 mg of folic acid a day. Pregnant women need 1 mg per day.
Also, if a child is born with spina bifida, subsequent children in that family have a higher risk than the general population.
Some theorize that a virus make play a role, since there is a higher rate of this condition in children born in the early winter months. Research also indicates possible environmental factors such as radiation.
Symptoms of Spina Bifida
A newborn may have a sac sticking out of the mid to lower back. The doctor cannot see through the sac when shining a light behind it. Symptoms include:
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Partial or complete lack of sensation
- Partial or complete paralysis of the legs
- Weakness of the hips, legs, or feet of a newborn
The exposed spinal cord is susceptible to infection. Other symptoms may include:
- Hair at the back part of the pelvis called the sacral area
- Dimpling of the sacral area