What causes ascites, how to help reduce it diet wise ?

Hiya all, I've just gone though another 'ascites' drain from behind lung, which was making beathing difficult, still got several pockets in tum and upper chest that need draining, in due course. What I wanted to know is what causes's ascites and is there anything I can be doing diet-wise to try and reduce this ? Thanks to you all, and a very merry christmas, Wendy xxx

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  • Dear Wendy

    I'm sorry you're having discomfort with the ascites. It's something that's just linked to cancer. My oncologist said to expect that or some pain and to monitor this.

    I'm not sure you can control ascites with diet but many of us do follow diets such as the anti-cancer diet. Here are a few I picked up from a google search:. The first seems to claim it can help reduce inflammation. I bought the fourth book and generally follow the guidelines in that which makes me feel better than doing nothing to try and help myself.

    The Everything Anti Inflammation Diet Book Ebook

    £7.46 - OnlineBookPlace.com

    The Anti-Cancer Food and Supplement Guide

    £4.20 - Bookdepository.co.uk

    Anti-Cancer Cookbook by Julia B. Greer

    £9.74 - Bookdepository.co.uk

    Anticancer: A New Way Of Life - David Servan-Schreiber

    Hope this helps and starts you off on more searches. Let us know if you find something you find helpful.

    xxx Annie

  • Hi Wendy - I asked specifically re: this after several drains pre-treatment and they said i could not control it - it is a protein rich type of albumen, unrelated to gastro processes and the body's fluid management. We always have some lubricating he inner spaces like the peritoneal cavity. When the body is protecting itself the production of more is automatic. Sure that's a v dumbed own spiel but makes sense.

    Sue

    xxx

  • Wendy - some people get ascites, and some don't. This is related to whether the cancer cells in the abdomen produce a chemical called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This substance seems to make the walls of tiny blood vessels (capillaries) leaky, so that the normal serum component of the blood escapes into the abdominal cavity and accumulates faster than the lymphatic system can re-absorb it. There really aren't any dietary measures that can prevent this (though replacing protein after it is lost by drainage, by eating a high protein diet makes sense). Sometimes wayer tablets (diuretics) such as a combination of frusemide and spironolactone can help a bit, but that treatment is a bit hit-or-miss. Fundamentally the way to stop ascites accummulation is to reverse the cancer - which is why ascites often resolves quickly after starting chemotherapy.

  • //richardO,

    Thank you for this clear explanation of the cause of ascittes.

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