Can gastrointestinal tract birth defects be prevented?

While most gastrointestinal tract birth defects are not sourced to a preventable cause, avoidance of teratogenic substances (those that interfere with fetal development, including alcohol and tobacco products) is the primary preventative measure for mitigating birth defects. 

Because the causes of gastrointestinal tract birth defects are not entirely understood, it is not possible to completely prevent them. Having a healthy pregnancy could reduce the risk of your baby being born with birth defects, so make healthy decisions during your pregnancy. These include going into your pregnancy healthy, eating and sleeping well, and following your doctor's recommendations. Don't smoke, do drugs, or drink alcohol and make sure your doctor is aware of all medications you are taking.

Continue Learning about Digestive Diseases

Digestive Diseases

Digestive diseases, also known as gastrointestinal diseases, are disorders that affect your esophagus, stomach and small and large intestines. The symptoms of digestive diseases vary widely depending on which part of your digestiv...

e system is affected. Generally symptoms can be blood in your stool, a change in bowel habits, pain, weight loss or heartburn that is not relieved by antacids. See you doctor if you have any of these signs of digestive disease.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.