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What is ascites, symptoms and causes

Ascites are fluid retention in the abdomen. The fluid can move, which can be identified by turning the patient from one side to the other in a lying position. It also can be felt with hand – if you press the abdomen even slightly, but more sharply from one side, vibrations can be felt on the other side, caused by”shock waves” of the fluid. These symptoms are not present in the other conditions of bloated stomach– due topregnancy, obesity, cancerous diseases and pancreatic cysts, etc.


When the ascitesfluid is little – less than half a liter, there are no clear symptoms.Therefore, for a period of time, the patient believes that the bloated stomach is due to weight gain or due to gases.

Over time, however, the accumulation of fluid increases and in some patients it can reach over 15 liters. So, as ascites progresses, the bloated stomach is clearly visible. The umbilicus is plumped, but from the pressure an umbilical hernia may occur. The skin is shiny and stretched, the hips are plumped, as men suffer from hair loss in this area.

The weight gain is concentrated in the bloated abdomen and the fluid in it, as the other parts of the body are getting thinner, especiallythe limbs, as the legs are swollen. Moreover, the swelling causes pressure in different internal organs, such as the diaphragm, which in turn causes disturbance of the lung function, difficult inhalation and exhalation, as the patientbegins tosuffer from shortness of breath. Because of the pressure on the stomach and intestines, when eating, the patient feels heaviness, nausea, pain and that’s why his appetite is greatly reduced.

Various causes may lead to ascites. Generally, the flow of fluid in the abdomen exceeds its discharge, which is not related to the water intake, but is due to health problems in different organs:

  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis – types В and С
  • Poisoning of the liver, for example, in alcoholism
  • Kidney diseases
  • Diseases of the circulatory system and of the cardiovascular system.

It also may be caused by cancer – for example, of the mammary gland, the colon, pancreas, the uterus, ovaries, intestines and so on.

Treatment with the help of Ayurveda

Ayurveda heals by restoring the vital energies of the person that are called Doshas,to their optimal state. These energies are three and they are set by nature in a unique proportion in every person,as the goal is to return them in the specific balance. Thus, the organs and systems for which these energies are responsible, work optimally and people do not suffer from diseases.


If a Dosha goes out of balance and disturbes the harmony, this leads also to disturbance in the functions of the organs and systems associated with the respective Dosha, s diseases occur. Since ascites iscaused by insufficient function of different systems, the Ayurveda specialist decides what changes need to be done in the Doshas, in orer to restore the energy balance.

Changes are introduced through the diet, consumption of various herbal combinations, pouring and massages with oils, procedures and therapies for cleansing the toxins out of the organism, yoga practices.

One of the most common causes of ascites is liver disease. Pitta Doshais responsible for the liver, so it should be adjusted. Of course, there are also other measures that can help to remove the fluid from the abdomen: natural diuretics, as some of them have laxative effect and increase sweating. Diuretics in Ayurveda are:

  • Punarnava
  • Lemongrass
  • burdock
  • cinnamon
  • mint
  • parsley
  • coriander
  • juniper
  • aloe vera
  • garlic
  • tribulus and other.

The diet should be tailored to reduce Pitta dosha – so hot foods must be avoided, as well as the fatty and sweet foods. Red meat is not recommended. The suitable spices are cumin, coriander, turmeric, mint, lemon, lime, as the dosage is individual – small doses may be gradually increased depending on the condition. It is best to consume them as teas before or after eating. The patient have to rest and meditate so the stressful situations to be avoided.

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