Ascites in liver cirrhosis: symptoms and treatment

Ascites are a dangerous disease in which, for various reasons, excessive fluid accumulates in different organs of the human body. Most often this disease affects the liver, kidneys, heart, it develops against the background of other pathologies of these organs. Ascites are common in cirrhosis of the liver, a condition in which organ tissues are killed and replaced by nonfunctional scars.

  • Ascites in cirrhosis: what is it?
  • How many live with ascites against a cirrhosis of the liver
  • Symptoms
  • How to treat?
  • Nutrition for cirrhosis of the liver with ascites
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In ascites, cirrhosis accumulates fluid in the abdominal cavity, this is one of the complications that can significantly worsen the course of the disease and the prognosis. Stagnation of fluid in this case is due to increased pressure in the venous system.

Ascites in cirrhosis: what is it?

Ascites are a common complication, with up to half of all people who are diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. The most destructive liver disease is one of the main causes of death due to pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract, the appearance of ascites further reduces the chances of surviving.

Often the appearance of abdominal ascites in liver cirrhosis depends on how quickly the destructive disease of the liver, the efforts of the patient to fight it, was detected. If cirrhosis is detected at the initial stage, the right treatment is immediately selected, the probability of complication is reduced.

Changes occurring in the body with cirrhosis lead to the accumulation of excess fluid in the abdominal cavity. First of all, the normal functional tissue of the liver is replaced by fibroids, because of this, blood circulation is disrupted, the vein is compressed, the oncotic pressure of the plasma decreases.

The volume of blood decreases, the body reacts with the production of special substances that provoke fluid retention. In addition, against cirrhosis due to pathological processes, heart failure may occur, which also affects the development of ascites.

How many live with ascites against a cirrhosis of the liver

By itself, ascites rarely causes death, it all depends on how the disease proceeds, liver cirrhosis, whether there are other complications, how successful the treatment is. To estimate the life expectancy with these pathologies, the following factors should be considered:

  1. If liver cirrhosis does not enter the stage of decompensation, in which the body can not cope with negative processes on its own, the liver function is not lost, with ascites in this case it is possible to live peacefully for more than ten years.
  2. With cirrhosis at the stage of decompensation with ascites, the probability of living longer than five years is extremely small.
  3. Within half a year after the development of ascites, it is possible to die, if the disease proves to be resistant to therapy, often recurs.

At the moment, with timely access to a doctor, the probability of living for more than ten years is quite large. In general, ascites against cirrhosis is a dangerous pathology that requires prompt intervention.

Important!Ascites are considered to be an unfavorable complication.


In ascites, there are a number of signs on which it is possible to determine the occurrence of a dangerous process. Initially, the fluid volumes are small, however, as the disease progresses, the symptomatology will be more noticeable.

  1. Increase of stomach volume. In a short period of time, it can increase significantly, the skin is smooth when the fluid is pooling, pinkish vessels can appear through the skin. In the prone position, the stomach will protrude, if you press slightly or hit the abdomen, a symptom of hesitation will appear.
  2. In the abdomen there is discomfort, a feeling of squeezing. The patient begins to gain weight.
  3. As a result of pressure of fluid volumes on the diaphragm, symptoms from the side of the lungs may occur. When you change your physical position, you get a cough, a feeling of pressure, shortness of breath, a sense of lack of oxygen. For the same reason can be observed blue lips.
  4. Due to the pressure of the liquid on the stomach and other organs of the gastrointestinal tract, various disorders occur on the part of the digestive system. There is a feeling of heaviness, a feeling of saturation with small amounts of food, there may be vomiting, belching, heartburn. When pressure on the intestines arises intestinal obstruction, constipation.
  5. With pressure on the bladder, there may be various problems with urination. Too frequent urination, pyelonephritis, cystitis.
  6. Appearance of edema in the legs.
  7. Appearance of a bulging navel, umbilical hernia.

The first signs of the disease will begin to occur when the amount of fluid in the abdominal cavity exceeds one liter, the maximum amount of fluid that can form is about twenty-five liters.

The temperature in ascites usually does not rise, this symptom indicates cirrhosis. Also, an increase in body temperature is possible if a complication of ascites and cirrhosis is added in the form of a bacterial infection or with the appearance of inflammation.

Important!Before the appearance of symptoms of ascites, the symptoms of liver cirrhosis always increase.

Is it possible to cure ascites? This disease is a complication of cirrhosis, in the treatment of this pathology the very accumulation of fluid will begin to disappear. However, it should be taken into account that the treatment of liver disease can take quite a long time, therapy requires a serious attitude of the patient to his condition, a clear following the instructions of the doctor. Self-medication in this case is unacceptable.

How to treat?

The main treatment is always aimed at combating degenerative liver disease, with the accumulation of fluid, additional therapy is used. Without treatment of cirrhosis, any measures to treat ascites will be useless. Usually, therapy consists of taking a number of drugs, a specialized diet, and sometimes surgical intervention is required.

Usually, depending on the causes of cirrhosis, the following drugs are selected:

  1. Hepatoprotectors based on various substances. They protect the liver and stop the destructive processes in it, reduce the level of cholesterol. They are needed regardless of the cause of the disease.
  2. Antiviral drugs. They are required if the liver disease was caused by a viral infection, hepatitis B or C. They suppress the activity of the virus, pushing it out of the cells of the body.
  3. If the disease was triggered by autoimmune processes, the use of anti-inflammatory drugs is required. Prednisolone is usually used.
  4. Albumen. This drug helps to restore the lack of proteins in the blood.
  5. Various diuretics are commonly used to prevent ascites with the onset of treatment of liver pathology or when it occurs. Examples of diuretics: Aldakton, Spiriks and others.

When cirrhosis in the stage of decompensation often requires surgery, organ transplantation is needed. This operation is quite complicated, often the patient does not have time to wait for the donor.

If the amount of fluid in the abdominal cavity does not decrease from taking medications, a technique called laparocentesis is used. With the help of a special needle, excess fluid is withdrawn, its removal leads to an improvement in well-being. Over time, you can not remove more than five liters, you may need several procedures.

Important!With this disease, you should keep bed rest.

Nutrition for cirrhosis of the liver with ascites

Diet in ascites and liver cirrhosis should be strict. First of all, they limit the consumption of liquid, salt, any products that can provoke fluid retention in the body.

It is also important to avoid alcohol in any doses, sweet, fatty foods and choleretic products. It is necessary to include in the diet more vegetables and fruits, low-fat kinds of fermented milk products. It is recommended to take the simplest recipes of dishes from diet number 5, which is best suited for people with diseases of the liver, gallbladder, pancreas.

Is it possible to lemon and other acidic foods in this disease? No, they should be completely eliminated. Food irritating the gastrointestinal tract can worsen the course of the disease, provoke the development of complications.

In general, usually with ascites against a cirrhosis of the liver, the prognosis is unfavorable, but with a clear control and the right treatment, the chances of recovery and a long life will increase. The main thing is not to engage in self-medication, in this case it is extremely dangerous.