Liver cirrhosis is a common chronic liver disease. Some patients with liver cirrhosis, at a certain period of time, will suffer from abdominal distension, which is getting more and more serious. People do not get fat, but their stomachs are getting bigger and bigger.
Many people also know that there is ascites, which indicates that the disease is serious.
How does ascites appear?
Ascites refers to the abnormal increase of water in the internal organs of the abdominal cavity. Originally, there is a small amount of water in the abdominal cavity, which plays a lubricating role. These water are not stagnant water, but are constantly exchanged with water in the blood to maintain a dynamic balance. When this balance is broken, the water in the abdominal cavity is continuously increasing, exceeding the normal amount, forming ascites.
Liver cirrhosis is the most common cause of ascites. If ascites occurs in patients with liver cirrhosis, it usually indicates that liver function is difficult to maintain body operation.
The liver has a well-known [detoxification] function. When most of the blood from stomach, intestine, spleen and other organs flows back to the heart, it will first be collected to the portal vein, then flow through the liver from the portal vein, and return to the heart after completing the metabolism of various substances in the liver.
When cirrhosis occurs, The liver has hardened, The resistance to blood flow in the portal vein has also increased, The more blood accumulates in the portal vein, it will be forced to expand. The greater the pressure on the portal vein, the thinner its wall will become like a balloon, and the water in the blood will easily leak into the abdominal cavity through these voids to form ascites. Even some substances such as proteins and bacteria in the intestinal tract will leak into the abdominal cavity with the water.
In addition to material exchange, the liver can also synthesize albumin in the blood. When the liver function weakens, the albumin in the blood is also less. Like we soak milk powder, the milk powder is less, and this cup of milk will become lighter. After the blood becomes lighter, the water in the blood will run to relatively thick places, such as abdominal cavity.
Under these effects, there is more and more water in the abdominal cavity and the patient’s stomach is getting bigger and bigger.
How should liver ascites be treated?
Bed rest can increase liver blood flow, which is beneficial to the absorption and regression of ascites, and is also beneficial to the recovery of heart and kidney functions.
Rich nutrition, ensure sufficient energy supply. Give high vitamin, digestible food, prohibit drinking, moderate increase in vegetable and fruit intake, can eat lean meat, fish, milk and other high-quality protein, but patients complicated with hepatic encephalopathy need to reduce or even fast, patients complicated with esophageal varices should fast hard coarse food.
Limit water and salt
The more salt you eat, the more water you hold by the salt in your blood vessels, which will also enter the abdominal cavity, causing ascites to worsen.
Therefore, ascites patients generally need to limit the intake of water and sodium salt, and salt is generally below 2 g per day.
Diuretics can be used to expel water from the body, and the effect can be observed by monitoring body weight. The weight loss of patients without edema is controlled at about 0.5 kg per day, while that of patients with edema is controlled at about 1 kg.
Abdominal puncture and drainage
The amount of ascites released every day should also be controlled. In order to avoid cardiac insufficiency caused by a large amount of ascites released, sometimes patients will be tied with abdominal bands after ascites released to maintain a certain pressure in the abdominal cavity and ensure sufficient blood to enter the liver and heart.
Patients whose physical conditions permit can undergo hepatic portal vein shunt surgery, that is, blood can bypass the portal vein with relatively large resistance and flow back to the heart through other blood vessels, which can reduce pressure and ascites.
If conditions permit, liver transplantation can also be performed.
How to prevent ascites?
For people with liver diseases, prevention is the most important thing if they want to avoid liver cirrhosis and ascites.
Proper exercise can keep you healthy, but overwork is very bad for your health. People with liver diseases had better avoid heavy physical work.
Abstinence from alcohol
The liver is an important organ for metabolizing alcohol, which means that alcohol is very harmful to the liver.
Timely treatment of liver diseases
In our country, the main cause of liver cirrhosis is hepatitis B cirrhosis developed from chronic hepatitis B. Many patients did not carry out standardized antiviral treatment in the early stage of hepatitis B, resulting in deteriorating liver function and eventually developing into liver cirrhosis.
For patients with chronic hepatitis B, if the virus index reaches the standard requiring antiviral treatment, standardized treatment must be carried out as soon as possible to prevent liver cirrhosis.
Don’t abuse the folk prescription for protecting liver.
As we all know, the liver has the function of detoxifying. Those folk remedies and liver-protecting drugs with unknown efficacy will also undergo liver metabolism, which may also increase the burden on the liver and worsen the liver function.
During regular antiviral treatment, liver function should be monitored all the time to prevent liver damage caused by drugs. It is better not to touch those liver-protecting folk remedies with unknown origin and function.