Ascites is a buildup of fluid in your abdomen. It often occurs as a result of cirrhosis, a liver disease. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have cirrhosis and notice you’re gaining weight very quickly. Your provider will talk to you about treatments, which often include a low-salt diet.
What is ascites?
Ascites (ay-SITE-eez) is when too much fluid builds up in your abdomen (belly). This condition often happens in people who have cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver.
A sheet of tissue called the peritoneum covers the abdominal organs, including the stomach, bowels, liver and kidneys. The peritoneum has two layers. Ascites happens when fluid builds up between the two layers.
Ascites is usually accompanied by a feeling of fullness, a ballooning belly, and fast weight gain. Other symptoms often include:
• Shortness of breath
• Swelling in legs and ankles
• Loss of appetite
If you have a combination of these symptoms, see your doctor. If you have ascites, it’s often a sign of liver failure. It occurs most often with cirrhosis.