Minor water retention can occur from time to time. Some women experience mild water retention during certain points of their menstrual cycle. Water retention, however, can be caused by a more serious pathological condition. It should not be taken lightly and when patients notice that they are starting to retain significant amounts of fluid in their belly area, they need to seek medical help.
The condition is medically known as Ascites. It is defined as the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity. Its presence is related to problems with the Liver, the Heart, and Malnutrition.
Water Retention in the Stomach Causes
The main cause of Ascites is the migration of lymph fluid from the blood vessels into the interstitial space of the peritoneal cavity. A number of factors including the following can trigger this migration:
- Liver Problems, usually Cirrhosis. The increased pressure on the vessels of the liver lead lymph fluid to leak out and gather in the peritoneal cavity. This is the main cause of the symptom and is estimated to be the causative factor 81% of the time.
Other possible causes that can lead to Ascites include:
- Congestive Heart Failure. The heart is no longer able to give enough pumping power and the blood and fluid pool in certain areas. Patients may also exhibit bipedal edema.
- Kwashiorkor. This is a protein deficiency malnutrition characterized by large stomachs and small extremities.
- Constrictive Pericarditis.
- Nephrotic Syndrome causes loss in protein.
- Hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland produces lesser amounts of T3 and T4 Hormones.
- Renal Dialysis
- Meigs Syndrome
- Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis.
Water Retention in the Stomach Symptoms
The symptoms of Ascites may not be easily noticeable during the early part of the disease. Some of the symptoms to look out for include:
- Unexplained weight gain or inability to loose weight.
- Flank bulging. This is most noticeable when the patient is lying down.
- Shifting dullness noticed during percussion test.
- Palpable Fluid Bruit. This occurs during the later stages of the disease.
How to Get Rid of Water Retention in the Stomach
Effective treatment of water retention in the abdominal area is going to depend on what is causing the problem in the first place. If the condition is due to systemic problem, that will have to be addressed. Aspiration of the extra fluid may also be performed.
Treatments used to help relieve the retention include:
- Aspiration. A cannula is inserted into the abdominal cavity and the water is allowed to drain out.