Ascitis: what is it, main symptoms and treatment

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Asciitis, the fluid in the abdomen is the abnormal accumulation of fluid rich in proteins in the interior of the abdomen, in the space between the tissues that cover the abdomen and the abdominal organs. Ascitis is not considered a disease, however, it can be present in several diseases, being the most common hepatic cirrhosis.

This situation cannot be cured, however, it can be treated with diuretic drugs, restriction of salt in food and avoiding the intake of alcoholic beverages, to eliminate excess liquids in the abdomen.

The liquids that can accumulate inside the abdomen are the blood plasma, which is the liquid part of the blood, and the lymph, which is a transparent liquid present throughout the body, which forms part of the lymphatic circulation.

The symptoms of ascitis are related to the volume of fluid in the interior of the abdomen. At the beginning, generally, ascitis does not present symptoms, however, in case of voluminous ascitis, symptoms such as:

  • Hinchazón and growth of the abdomen;

  • Difficulty breathing;

  • Pain in the abdomen and in the back;

  • Loss of appetite;

  • Weight gain for no apparent reason;

  • Heaviness and pressure in the abdomen;

  • Frequent need to urinate;

  • Stress;

  • Nausea and vomiting.

Ascitis can be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as enlargement of the liver, swelling in the legs, pies and eyes, and yellow skin depending on what the cause is.

Some more common diseases that can lead to asciitis are: cirrhosis, fulminant liver failure, delayed or obstructed blood flow to the liver, congestive heart failure, constrictive pericarditis, restrictive cardiomyopathy, Budd-Chiari syndrome, hepatic veno-occlusive disease, neoplasms, peritoneal tuberculosis, Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome, HIV, kidney, endocrine, pancreatic, biliary and lupus diseases.

The treatment for ascitis depends on the illness that it originates, and may include:

  • At rest, preferably the person should remain in the corner;

  • Diuretic medications, such as spironolactone (Aldactone) and/or furosemide (Lasix);

  • Restriction of salt in the diet, which should not exceed 2 g/day, through a nutritional plan indicated by a nutritionist;

  • Interruption of the intake of alcoholic beverages;

  • Restriction of fluid intake when serum sodium is less than 120 g/mL;

  • Abdominal paracentesis in severe cases, when the treatment with diuretic drugs is not working, it is a medical procedure with local anesthesia, where a needle is used in the abdomen to extract the liquid from the ascitis;

  • Antibiotics when infection of the fluid of asciitis occurs, which is known as spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, a serious complication that can lead to death, requiring hospitalization of the person.

Some home remedies with diuretic properties can also help in the treatment of ascitis, see what they are: home remedies indicated for ascitis.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

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The translator user relied on the following text:

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Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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