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What are some causes of fluid retention ascites?

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Quick Answer

Liver scarring is the primary cause of fluid retention ascites, increasing pressure in the blood tissues of the liver, states Healthline. Other factors include tuberculosis, heart or kidney failure, pancreatitis and hypothyroidism.

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Full Answer

Inflammation, hardening of the liver and the formation of permanent scarring of liver tissue can obstruct and restrict blood flow in and from the liver, explains Healthgrades. This can result in increased blood pressure in the portal vein or portal hypertension, causing blood to back up and fluid to build up in the abdominal cavity. Conditions that can cause scarring of the liver include chronic hepatitis B or C, alcoholism, elevated levels of iron in the body, and cystic fibrosis, which is an inherited disease characterized by a buildup of mucus in body organs, such as the lungs and liver.

Patients should seek medical attention if they experience sudden weight gain, abdominal pain, abdominal distention and difficulty breathing when lying down, says Healthline. They should also practice safe sex, avoid alcohol or intravenous drugs, and get vaccinated for hepatitis B.

Patients with liver scarring or cirrhosis should consult their doctors before taking prescription drugs, supplements or over-the-counter medications, notes Healthgrades. Treatment for fluid retention ascites includes diuretics to minimize pressure in the veins around the liver, paracentesis to remove the excess fluid, and surgery, in severe cases, according to Healthline.

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