Ascites: Causes & Symptoms

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

 Likes  Comments

Ascites can make regular activities like eating, drinking, moving around, and even breathing very uncomfortable. But what is really the most frightening thing about this disease is that it can cause infection, which can be life-threatening.

What is Ascites?

Ascites is a condition of the body in which fluid is accumulated in the cavity of the abdomen or peritoneal cavity. The stomach gets swollen, resulting in a heavy and uneasy feeling. The legs swell up, and even breathing is not normal, which causes rapid heart palpitations. It is also known as peritoneal fluid excess, peritoneal cavity fluid, abdominal dropsy, and hydroperitoneum.

An X-ray film of the abdomen with ascites


According to MedlinePlus some of the major causes of ascites are:

  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatic vein obstruction or clots in the veins of the liver
  • Kidney and heart failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Cancer involving tuberculosis and the abdominal cavity


The main symptoms of ascites are:

  • Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
  • Distension of the abdomen
  • Everted umbilicus
  • Shifting dullness
  • Portal hypertension
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Shortness of breath
  • Reduced appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen ankles
  • Rapid weight gain
About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve is a health and wellness enthusiast and started working on Organic Facts since 2012 and is currently responsible for managing it. She follows naturopathy and believes in healing with foods. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

Rate this article
Average rating 0.0 out of 5.0 based on 0 user(s).