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What is ascites

Updated on May 22, 2013

What is Ascites?

Ascites is the accumulation of additional fluid in the abdomen (usually serous fluid which is a pale yellow and clear fluid).

Ascitic fluid can be originated by internal problems such as liver disease, congestive heart failure, cancers or kidney failure.

People who drink too much alcohol are more likely to have ascites. The “beer belly” referred to by many may actually be ascites.

  • Around 80% of the ascites cases are directly related to cirrhosis.

One of the symptoms of ascites is the shortness of breath caused by the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, which increases the pressure on the diaphragm.

Other factors that may cause ascites are water retention and high ingestion of salt.

When the cause of ascites is severe cirrhosis of the liver, the patient will certainly need a liver transplant. Obtaining a liver transplant can be very difficult for patients who have cirrhosis due to alcoholism, because the transplant units don´t want to waste a liver in a patient that will continue drinking, and will certainly damage the new liver due to a new cirrhosis.

To prevent ascites you should moderate your alcohol consumption.


What is Ascites
What is Ascites

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