Ascites is a medical condition that results in the accumulation of fluids within the spaces of your abdomen. Primarily, the condition is caused by cirrhosis of the liver that is foremost a result of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Ascites can also be caused by different types of cancer, specifically, it is seen in advanced stages of cancer and recurrent cancer. The condition can also be seen in different heart disorders, infections, low protein levels, and dialysis.
Ascites can be painful in severe cases and may prevent a person from being able to move around comfortably. The condition can cause fluid to move into the chest and surround the lungs which can cause difficulty in breathing.
The most common symptoms of ascites include swelling in the abdomen, weight gain, bloating, sense of heaviness, feeling of fullness, vomiting, shortness of breath, nausea, and indigestion. Treatment of ascites requires a change in lifestyle, modification of diet, and taking diuretics to flush out the excessive fluid. In severe cases, doctors would remove excessive fluid through a needle.