Ascites, also known as water retention in the abdomen, is a liver disease that can escalate quickly, leading to fluid accumulation in the chest and lungs.
The liver is a powerhouse that carries out many crucial functions in our body producing essential proteins, hormones and cholesterol. It acts as a filter, removing toxins from the food we eat. However, when the liver sustains damage, it can create havoc on our entire system, causing a range of debilitating conditions, including Ascites.
Ascites, also known as water retention in the abdomen, is a liver disease that can escalate quickly, leading to fluid accumulation in the chest and lungs, making breathing and swallowing a struggle. While weakness and fatigue may appear in the early stages, the symptoms become more pronounced as the disease progresses and swelling in various parts of the body becomes more noticeable.
If you suspect you may have Ascites, it’s essential to watch out for these common symptoms: abdominal swelling, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, fatigue, and yellowing of the skin and eyes. If left untreated, Ascites can cause severe complications, leading to a medical emergency. So, seek medical attention promptly if you experience any of these symptoms.
Why does this problem occur?
As per Hopkins Medical, Ascites is a severe and potentially fatal liver disease that often develops as a complication of cirrhosis, a condition characterised by scarring of the liver tissue. The major reason behind cirrhosis is excessive alcohol consumption, but other factors like heart-related complications, diabetes, severe protein loss and specific infections can also contribute to the development of Ascites.
In addition to cirrhosis, some other conditions that can lead to Ascites include hepatitis, liver cancer and blood clots in the liver’s veins. When fluid accumulates in the abdomen, it can cause discomfort, swelling and difficulty breathing, leading to life-threatening complications if left untreated.
It’s crucial to understand that Ascites is not a standalone disease, but a sign of an underlying condition that requires prompt medical attention.
Symptoms of Ascites
One of the most common signs of Ascites is swelling in the abdomen, which can become more evident as the condition worsens. This swelling can also cause sudden weight gain without a corresponding increase in the diet, especially in the stomach area.
Additionally, those with Ascites may experience a feeling of fullness or discomfort in the stomach, as digestion becomes impaired due to liver dysfunction. This can lead to bloating, vomiting and nausea, making it difficult to maintain a healthy diet.
As Ascites progresses, other symptoms may also be seen, including swelling in the feet, which can make it challenging to walk or stand for extended periods. In severe cases, Ascites can also cause difficulty breathing, making everyday activities a struggle.
Furthermore, those suffering from Ascites may also develop painful hemorrhoids’, which can cause discomfort and further impede daily functioning. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms to prevent complications and ensure proper treatment.