Ascites, a disorder characterized by a swollen stomach, is caused primarily by liver damage. When the liver is damaged, there is increased pressure in liver blood vessels, which causes significant fluid buildup and swelling in the abdomen, according to Healthline.
The liver damage that leads to ascites can be caused by liver cirrhosis, hepatitis B and C, and chronic alcohol abuse. The most common symptoms of ascites are swollen stomach, sudden weight gain, difficulty breathing while lying down, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. The best ways to prevent ascites due to liver damage are moderation of alcohol consumption, vaccination for hepatitis B, safe sex practices and avoidance of intravenous drug use, according to Healthline.