7 Natural Ways to Effectively Manage Ascites

Leaving cirrhosis untreated can lead to ascites, which is characterized by retention of fluid in the abdominal cavity. Usually, fluid retention, such as peripheral edema, ascites, and pleural effusion is a common complication of the end-stage liver disease. There will be fluid in your abdominal cavity when protein leaks from the intestines and the liver. Studies have found that around 15% of cases of ascites are the result of malignancies in the ovaries or in the gastrointestinal tract. It could also be the result of non-Hodgkin' lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, and metastatic carcinoma in the abdominal cavity. It is important to seek medical assistance, but you can also find natural ways to manage ascites. Let's find out more about it.

 

Symptoms of Ascites

A number of underlying conditions can cause ascites, and your symptoms may vary depending on the cause. You may notice some common symptoms though, such as a feeling of fullness, rapid weight gain, shortness of breath, vomiting, indigestion, loss of appetite, heartburn, fever, muscle wasting, and painful abdominal distention. Some people may also develop hernia, loss of appetite, and jaundice.

Conventional Treatment for Ascites

It is important to work with your doctor to help make a correct diagnosis. Your doctor may order an ultrasound to get a better idea of the severity of the condition. They may order other diagnostic tests as well to evaluate the liver and lymph nodes. Sometimes, your doctor may also order blood tests to measure electrolytes, liver function, and a full blood count.

Depending on the underlying cause, your doctor will create a treatment plan for you. They may recommend a salt-restrict diet and perform a procedure called therapeutic paracentesis to help remove fluid from the peritoneal cavity. A liver transplant is usually the last treatment option.

Ascites in children is usually treated by putting them on a low-sodium diet and prescribing diuretics. Doctors may administer intravenous albumin and prescribe antibiotics to lower risk of infections.

Natural Ways to Manage Ascites

As mentioned already, it is important to talk to your doctor to determine the exact cause of ascites, but you can try some natural ways to manage ascites. Here are some suggestions:

1. Limit Your Salt Intake

 

You need to limit your intake of salt to resolve ascites more effectively. Salt restriction often results in shorter hospitalization for people who are suffering from cirrhotic ascites. Studies show that even when you are taking a diuretic, it is still a good idea to reduce your intake of salt to get better results. In fact, you are not going to resolve ascites without salt restriction.

2. Focus More on Fresh Veggies and Fruit

Experts are of the view that you should switch to a high blood pressure diet when you are suffering from ascites. In other words, you need to include fresh fruit and veggies in your diet and eat more of legumes, lean proteins, sprouted whole grains, healthy fats, and organic dairy products. Ensure that you pay attention to your sodium intake even when following a high blood pressure diet.

3. Eat Smaller Meals

 

One of many natural ways to manage ascites is to eat smaller meals several times a day. It is natural to lose your appetite when suffering from ascites. Instead of not eating at all, it is better to eat smaller meals at regular intervals. You should not eat three meals a day but focus more on having 4-7 meals a day. You can also find many special recipes that provide you with more protein and nutrients even when the serving size is small. You may also consider getting your protein from plant sources, such as ancient grains, nutritional yeast, legumes, veggies, and dairy products. Limiting your meat intake may help because it helps cut the amount of salt your taking every day.

4. Limit Exposure to Chemicals and Toxins

Be sure to include organic food in your diet. You should not eat anything that may contain any toxins. The reason is that your ascites is the result of your liver not functioning optimally, and you are only going to put unnecessary strain on your liver by eating anything that contains toxins or chemicals. When your liver cannot detoxify your body properly, it is better to avoid making it work harder. Not eating organic food would lead to a build-up of toxins in your brain that can cause a condition called hepatic encephalopathy.

5. Go for Coconut Water

 

Even when dealing with ascites, dealing your body hydrated is still important and that is when you can put your money on coconut water. You will be following a liquid-restricted protocol to manage your ascites, and that is when drinking coconut water will keep you properly hydrated by providing you with the right amount of potassium and electrolytes.

6. Include Dandelion Root Tea in Your Diet

Some studies have shown that consuming dandelion may lead to frequent urination that helps with ascites. It increases urinary volume and frequency considerably, so you may benefit from having some dandelion tea every day. It also provides you with loads of vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin C along with potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium. It is also a good idea to add dandelion stems to your dishes – you can add them to salads or sauces.

7. Take Branched Chain Amino Acids

Increasing your intake of protein is important because it provides you with branched-chain amino acids, but you can also opt for BCAA supplementation. Getting more BCCAs helps increase muscle protein synthesis and even promotes muscle growth. There is some evidence suggesting that BCCA may help support brain function in individuals suffering from liver disease or other conditions leading to ascites. You usually get BCCAs from dairy, meat, and legumes, but you may have to be very careful here if you are on a restricted diet. You may opt for wild-caught Alaskan salmon, grass-fed beef, raw grass-fed cheese, whey protein, pumpkin seeds, and quinoa to increase your intake of BCCA safely.

 
 
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