August 9, 2011

Ascites Liver Disease

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Ascites is associated with liver disease and cirrhosis. Though ascites could occur in any kind of liver diseases, the accumulation of this fluid occurs in the later stages of severe liver conditions. When ascites progresses and reaches an advanced stage, it could ultimately lead to accumulation of the fluid and edema in your legs, arms, and other parts of the body.

Ascites liver disease is very common in patients who have chronic liver complaints. Fibrosis of the liver is often present in those who have liver disease. As the liver begins to get scarred, you can get liver cirrhosis. In advanced stages of the liver disease, the abdominal cavity fills with a fluid known as ascites. This fluid can infect other organs and can cause bloating in the stomach. The inner lining of the cavity, due to the excessive amount of fluids, can fold over into the other organs in your body.

The folding in of the inner lining of the abdomen could put some pressure on the blood vessels inside your abdomen. As the veins are pressured, the blood vessels are not able to pass blood to different organs in your body such as spleen, stomach, liver, and intestines. The lack of blood flowing to these organs can cause a decline in their normal functioning.

This in turn produces a larger quantity of the abdominal fluids, which complicated the circulatory problems even further. One of the causes of ascites in abdomen is the lowering of a blood protein known as albumin. Albumin is a protein that is present in high quantities in the blood. This protein helps maintain the thickness as well as the volume of the blood. However, when a person has liver cirrhosis, the amount of albumin in the blood is reduced, and there is a larger amount of fluids that accumulates in the abdomen.

There are specific signs and symptoms of ascites that can be ascertained through a physical evaluation as well as several blood tests. Ascites may be accompanied with jaundice since it is almost always caused due to liver diseases.

Ascites Liver Failure

Ascites liver failure is usually a very serious condition, and it is present in liver cancer or severe cases of liver cirrhosis. Portal hypertension ascites can cause a lot of different symptoms. The increased fluids in the abdomen could cause dilation of veins in the neck as well as the esophagus. The veins on the abdomen also become prominent and may begin to be seen outside the surface of the skin as well. The persistent formation of fluids in the abdomen also often leads to the enlargement of the spleen.

The treatment of ascites requires regular draining of the abdomen to remove this fluid from the body. Usually, when the cirrhosis of liver is not very severe, syringes may be used to remove the fluid from the distended abdomen. The doctor usually makes a physical examination to see which areas are palpable. Since the blood and the excessive fluids in the abdomen can cause a lot of pressure on the abdominal organs, it is important to repeatedly drain this fluid. The removal of this ascites through a syringe is known as paracentesis.

Ascites could also be caused due to other chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure, cancer, nephrosis, and tuberculosis. Diuretics may be used to remove the ascites from your body naturally without the use of syringes or other drainage equipment. However, sometimes diuretics do not help this condition, and therefore, you will require surgical removal of the fluids. In case, there is larger amount of fluid in the body, you would need regular sittings with your doctor for performing paracentesis.