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British Liver Trust
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Ascites

Hi can anyone help me please, if I had ascites would the swelling/feeling of been bloated go up and down on its own without medication? Would I have other symptoms before ascites was present? Thanks

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ascites is a late stage issue, it would mean actual liver failure . I would say yes there would be other things such as spider veins on the upper body and probably jaundice, swelling ankles to name a few. Have you had any blood tests? or scans?

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HI thank you for your reply, I'm 39 undergoing investigation in pelvic area due to severe pain in the last four weeks so going for ultrasound on Thursday, I have had a full blood count done and Dr receptionist said I need to make an appointment with Dr as liver has come back high, my belly has been swelling up throughout the day but does seem to go down through the night until I'm on my feet again so worried this could be ascites x

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Yes I've had blood tests liver came back high waiting to see Dr to see what that means I'm having a pelvic scan Thursday as I'm under pelvic investigation due to last 4 weeks abdomen pain and back pain last few days really swelling up and painful x

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Doesn't sound like ascites as they main consequence is build up of fluid in the abdomen and that has to be drained.

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Does ascites caused by cirrhosis or cancer need to be drained? My tummy swells so much I look 9 months pregnant then hours later the swelling goes down again? Thank you for your reply x

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Yes. I have not had it done but seen it. People seem to spend one or two days in hospital. May need other treatment, however.

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I was critically ill in hospital in the High Dependancy Medical Unit receiving blood transfusions for some of that time) for nine days. My experience isn't one that I'd wish on anybody. The intubation to drain me of eight litres os fluid was actually one of the more pleasant parts of my treatment!

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Depends on a lot of things that need to be done at the hospital....it doesn,t necessarily need to be drained as water tablets do the same job only slower, personally i was 10 stone over my usual 13 stone but they still took a week of tests at the hospital before they did a drain as infections are quite common in the drain process.

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Stop drinking alcohol and see your gp. If necessary ask to be referred to a specialist consultant .

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Hi, I'm 41 and recently recovered from cirrhosis. When I say recovered I really do mean recovered - I was given a few months to live when I left hospital in September, and yesterday the same man informed me that my blood tests show full recompensation, with the only evidence remaining being the liver scarring - which will hopefully not cause any problems. It needs to be made clear here that I'm one of the extremely lucky ones who won't need a transplant; I'm one of the few who will reach this point of recovery with or without that intervention, so how my liver has bounced back isn't a story for anybody to take for granted - it may just not happen for them.

Ascites isn't the first or last symptom to appear, but it's certainly the most obvious. If you have ascites then most likely your hands are already very red and you have spider nevi - the red marks that resemble spiders - present on your chest. You may or may not already be on medication for numerous vitamin deficiencies. Are you otherwise very skinny despite being a seemingly healthy weight?

Not all ascites needs intubation (draining), but for most of us that's exactly what had to/will happen. I was drained of eight litres of fluid and there was still far more, but if they drain too much the body will go into shock - and so I was prescribed Spyrolactone and a fluid restriction to get rid of the rest.

You basically want a diet of low salt (it's impossible to avoid completely unless you cook everything from scratch, so look for "no added salt" on labels), NO ALCOHOL and about one and a half or two litres of fluids a day (see your specialist about this, as it varies from individual to individual).

Above all, see a doctor if you've not seen one yet and get all the neccessary blood tests taken. Before you start haemorraging and vomiting blood from varices would be preferable, as that's pretty much your death knell right there (usually a symptom of end-stage cirrhosis) and I'm lucky to have survived that - never mind being as fit and healthy as I am now.

Good luck xx

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Hi. I was wondering how you are doing three years later. The same thing happened to me three years ago. I haven't had any issues until this week with ascites again. I'm not on any medication, as I'm waiting too see my hepatologist in a couple days. My new primary prescribed me three medications, but I'm hesitant to take any before seeing my specialist who knows my history. But, this swelling is unbearable and I'm afraid of hemmorhaging again. Have you had this reoccur?

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Goodness, what a blast from the past! Hello, and I really hope I can help you with this.

I was able to get rid of the rest of the ascites thanks to the Spyronolactone. The only fluid retention I get now is hormonal in nature, and that's something I've always had to deal with. I've not had a resurgence of ascites. My last ultrasound even showed a liver within the realms of normal, whereas last year it was still displaying as mildly cirrhotic. I actually questioned the last result because I thought that cirrhosis was forever, but apparently there are many others like me, who never needed a transplant and whose liver regenerated. I won't pretend to know the whys or wherefores there; I'll just say that I'm incredibly lucky.

All I can really suggest is to see your GP if you're concerned between consultant visits, or even call your consultant to arrange an emergency appointment. If mine is anything to go by, they will listen and book you in before your next appointment is due, if you have any reason at all to be concerned.

I've never haemorraeged again - there is no sign of varises on ultrasounds, but mine were never really a problem after they alerted me to the fact that I was massively ill. I hope that you won't have it happen to you again either x

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Hi regarding your question I'm no expert but speaking from experience asceities is usually a progressive thing getting progressively worse, it maybe a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted but definitely cut down on your salt intake and fluids, just 1 1/2-2 litres is usual also water tablets eg. Spironolactone and/or a drain. It is a very serious condition so if you feel you have it contact your GP if no joy go straight to casualty for opinion, to avoid a crisis.

Good luck 😊

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But is it something that makes your abdomen swell up but then hours later once you have laid down for a while the swelling subsides??? Thanks for your reply x

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DO you have your results to post? Do you drink or take any medication? are you over weight?

It doesnt sound like ascites, but its very curious! Could it be your stomach bloating? is it painful? I have never heard of anyone just lying down and ascites going away, well only if they are lying down when being drained!

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My full blood count came back receptionist said liver function test was abnormal so you need to see Dr but because I'm under pelvic investigation for all the pain I'm experiencing in my hips back and abdomen and then the swelling that bloats my belly right up like I'm pregnant then reading some of the horror stories of liver problems and ascites and ovarian cancer and ascites I'm scaring myself . That's why I wondered if once you start with ascites is this something that causes you belly to swell and bloat but goes up and down without been drained? Last night I looked 9 month pregnant this morning when I woke up it was much flatter x

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no it doesnt generally go up and down, that would mean the liver is stopping and starting again, which would be odd indeed. if you have ascites its a slow journey back, if you come back at all.

start to get actual copies of your results, it pays to know what they are and not just accepting "abnormal" ive learnt with health issues you have to be proactive and manage it for the best way forward.

there is nothing like google and liver paranoia ! try not to scare yourself, ive been there and it was so frightening i didnt sleep for 3 months

how is your urine,what colour is it? stools ok?

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Constipated at the moment I think possibly due to co codimol??? Thank you for taking the time to comment x

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no problem

why are you taking co codimol? that isnt good for the liver btw

your unrine colour?

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I am taking it for pelvic pain prescribed by Dr as paracetamol wasn't touching the pain I've had in my hips and pelvis I'm having a ultrasound scan on Thursday just really scared x

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Pelvis and hips wouldnt be liver related im sure. The ultrasound appears to aimed at your pelvis, when I had mine the doctor specified "abdomen" and liver. Perhaps they are going to take a look at everything? Also is would help if you could tell which liver enzymes are elevated, ALT is liver specific, AST, ALP and GGT isnt, so in theory you could have a liver test that shows abnormal, but its actually something else.

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Mine says abdomen and pelvis yes I'm also worried as ascites is also common in ovarian cancer that has spread x

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Good luck with your scan on Thursday have you had to wait a long time? What is your issue? X

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Hi, the fact that you describe your abdomen flattening overnight, and fluctuating in general, suggests intestinal gas - which, by the way, can cause referred pain to other areas and be quite excruciating. If it is gas that is causing the abdomen to distend, it sounds like it is releasing during the night, at least when you awake with a flatter abdomen. It doesn't sound like fluid accumulation. Which liver enzymes were elevated? Uterine fibroids can occasionally get large enough to cause an intestinal blockage of sorts that can fluctuate with position and movement, and can cause wreak all sorts of havoc, including constipation and trapped gas. I'm not sure if you stated your age, but are you experiencing any abnormal bleeding? There are many possibilities besides liver disease or cancer, so try to stay positive pending more information. And, please get more proactive with your own health - inform medical personnel you require copies of all test results, and don't leave without them, ask doctors for specifics - i.e. what are they looking for, what do they need to rule out, what are the concerns, etc. You should never feel like you are being left out of the loop or in the dark, it is your body, your decision process, your life; be as informed and involved as possible. Best.

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I've been doing a bit of investigation on these symptoms myself recently, I have been having similar pain, bloating etc. but related to my 'cycle', pain round my lower back, pelvis, hips and lower tummy (radiating into groin). I saw GP about it in November and finally I had an abdominal and pelvic ultrasound on Monday and radiographer intimated I may need a referral to gynacology as there is perhaps a polyp in my womb but i've done some reading and I don't have polyp symptoms but do have fibroid symptoms so am awaiting the US report to see what it's saying. I have never for one moment thought liver myself, it's hubby who has the liver issues but in past year or so i've started with these ones and they definitely co-incide with various stages of my 'cycle'.

Nothing to worry about on the pelvic ultrasound, all over in less than half an hour & I am not worrying about the results, even if it is a fibroid it can be dealt with.

I agree with everyone saying about ascites, it doesn't come and go especially not overnight. It can come up pretty quickly but generally needs treatment to go away. I saw a guy in next bed to hubby having 14 litres drawn off - he looked about to burst with triplets. Fortunately hubby hasn't shown signs of ascites and long may that last.

Anyway, I think you'll get more answers once the results of your pelvic tests are through, all the best to you.

Katie :) x

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YOU NEED TO TAKE THE MEDICATION TO REDUCE THE FLUID IN YOUR BODY.COULD BE THE FIRST SIGN YOU NOTICE.WITHOUT MEDS THE FLUID WILL SHIFT AROUND YOUR BODY OK.

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