Ascites is that condition when too much fluid builds up in our abdomen (belly). This condition often happens in people who have cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver. A sheet of tissue called the peritoneum covers the abdominal organs, including the stomach, bowels, liver and kidneys.
It is a term applied to an effusion of fluid within the peritoneum (less than one and a half to two litre is difficult to detect). It can be detected by dullness or percussion of the abdominal region with the patient in a hands and knees position. When the patient turns on its sides, the flanks which were till now dull, are now resonant. There is pressure within the abdomen.
Oedema of the feet and legs occurs from pressure upon the inferior vena cava and its branches. Albumin is detected from the pressure on the renal veins and dyspepsia from undue elevation of the diaphragm. It is necessary to determine whether the ascites came first or oedema of the legs came first. In portal obstruction, ascites occurs first, then oedema of the legs.
In heart and lung disease, oedema and ascites start at the same time. Ascites with marked jaundice is seen in cancer of the liver or proteinuria.sallow skin and ascites is observed together in alcoholic cirrhosis.
SIGN AND SYMPTOMS OF ASCITES
Ascites is usually accompanied by a feeling of fullness, a ballooning belly, and fast weight gain. Other symptoms often include:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in legs and ankles
- Loss of appetite
CAUSES OF ASCITES
Ascites happens when pressure builds up in the veins of liver and it does not work as it should. These two problems usually are caused by another condition -- cirrhosis, heart or kidney failure, cancer, or an infection.
The pressure blocks blood flow in the liver. Over time this keeps kidneys from removing excess salt from our body. This, in turn, causes fluid to build up.
Risk Factors of Ascites
Any disease that causes liver damage or scarring can make us more likely to get ascites. Common risk factors for ascites include:
- Viral infections like hepatitis B or hepatitis C
- Alcohol misuse
- Cancer in organs in the belly area
- Kidney failure
- Congestive heart failure
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR ASCITES
APIS MEL : Useful for ascites which produces serous inflammation with effusion, especially in the membranes of the brain, heart and pleura.Useful for Effusion, swelling or puffiness of various parts, with a rosy red hue and stinging pains. Very useful for Afternoon aggravation mostly at 3:00pm.
APOCYNUM CAN : Useful for dropsies with or without organic disease .Useful for swelling in every part of the body including cardiac dropsy.Given when excretions are diminished, especially sweat and urine.
CARDUUS M : Very useful for melancholic person with liver disorder.Suited to that patient who is hypochondrical and despondent.There is distension of abdomen with rumbling.Useful for cutting pain in the liver region, high diaphragm and Cirrhosis of the liver with general oedema.