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What causes ascites?

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Quick Answer

Ascites commonly occurs as a result of liver cirrhosis, which is an advanced liver disease, according to MedicineNet. Salt and water retention in the kidneys, cancers in the abdominal cavity, and heart failure are other possible causes of ascites.

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Full Answer

Ascites is a medical condition in which fluid accumulates in the cavity of the abdomen, says MedicineNet. Despite scanty information regarding the development of ascites, health experts commonly believe that this condition occurs when the pressure of the liver blood floor increases. This creates pressure imbalance between the low pressure system outside the circulation, which is the abdominal cavity, and the high pressure system inside the circulation, leading to ascites.

Salt and water retention occur when the kidney senses a reduced blood volume, as MedicineNet explains. A reduction in the blood volume stimulates the reabsorption of water and salt by the kidney as a way of blood volume compensation.

The cancers that cause ascites are those that attack the body organs located in the abdominal cavity, as MedicineNet reports. Such organs include the colon, pancreas, stomach and lungs. Cancers that attack the breasts and ovaries may also lead to ascites. Malignant ascites is the term that refers to ascites that develops due to cancer.

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