Ascites: Causes & Symptoms

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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.

ascites

Causes

Some of the major causes of ascites are:

  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatic vein obstruction
  • Kidney and heart failure
  • Cancer involving tuberculosis and the abdominal cavity

Symptoms

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
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