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Ascites: causes, symptoms and treatment



Overview:
This is the build-up of additional fluid in your abdomen. It is also called your peritoneal cavity.
This is not really a disease but more of a condition. When you have a mild case of ascites this extra fluid may not be easily noticeable. If you have a serious case your abdomen will protrude a lot.
Symptoms:
If the case is mild you may have no symptoms. As more fluid starts to accumulate you may have these symptoms.
1- Abdominal discomfort.
2-An increase in your abdominal size and girth.
3-Shortness of breath since the increased pressure on your diaphragm from all the fluid build-up.
4-Having pleural effusion which is fluid around your lung. This happens when the fluid gets pass your diaphragm and surround your lungs.
5-A cosmetically disfigured large belly.
6-Mental confusion and Easy bruising
7- If it is caused by a bacterial inflammation you may have a fever, weight loss, and fatigue.
Most of the symptoms of ascites is depend on and related to the main cause of it   .
 Causes:
- When a person has ascites the cause is either advanced liver disease or advanced cirrhosis of the liver, which is marked by liver tissues that are scarred and results in impaired liver function and blocked blood flow to your liver.
- This disease is usually the result of alcoholism.
- You could also have this fluid accumulation in your wrists, feet, hands, and ankles due to congestive heart    .
- You can also have ascites because of abdomen cancer, tuberculosis, or pancreatitis.
- Another cause is advanced kidney failure due to the generalized retention of fluid in your body.
Other causes of ascites can include:
-Hepatitis
-Portal vein thrombosis which means having clots in the veins of your liver
-Liver cancer
-Ovarian cancer
Diagnosis:
If you have an accumulation of extra fluid in your body the doctor will determine if ascites is present and its causes   . Then you will undergo many different blood tests including:
1-complete blood count (CBC): to know the ability for your blood to clot and how your liver is function
2- The fluid will be analyzed to see what your serum ascites albumen gradient (SAAG) level is which can be either high or low. If the level is
1-low: tuberculosis or cancer is suggested as the underlying cause.
 2-high: this indicates heart failure or liver dysfunction.
Treatment:
If you are diagnosed with a severe case of ascites your physician will use paracentesis to extract slowly the excess fluid that is in your abdominal cavity.
 If you have a mild case your physician will have you on a diet that is low in sodium. You should limit your salt intake (sodium) to less than two grams a day.
 They will also prescribe a diuretic, which is a pill that will help get the fluid out of your abdominal cavity. This medicine will increase the amount of output urine.
Other treatments include:
-Antibiotics: For tuberculosis treatment.
-Anti-viral medications: To treat some hepatitis types.
-Having a liver transport: For a severe case of cirrhosis of the liver to treat it.
Ascites: causes, symptoms and treatment Reviewed by Tpdsm on August 31, 2017 Rating: 5

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