Chylous ascites is a condition characterized by accumulation of the milky chyle in the peritoneum. Experts suggest that the condition is more frequently observed in adults in the age group of 50 to 65 years and among children. The condition is reported to be more frequently observed in females. Chylous Ascites is not a disease in itself, but a manifestation.
Causes Of Chylous Ascites
The primary cause for the development of the condition is attributed to damage or obstruction of the lymphatic channels. Some of the common causes include,
- Malignant tumors, metastasis of tumors.
- Abdominal surgeries like radical gastrectomy, duodenectomy, Tumor resection, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair and nephrectomy can be associated with this condition.
- Infections especially abdominal tuberculosis is an attributing factor.
- Rarely the condition can develop as a complication of perforated gastric ulcer.
The symptoms include abdominal distension. The distension is attributed to accumulation of ascitic fluid, which has a higher triglyceride level (>110 mg/dl). Additionally, the fluid has normal levels of amylase and glucose with lower cholesterol levels.
Chylous Ascites Dietary Management
Dietary modifications are particularly important in the management of this condition, especially in ambulatory patients.
- A low fat diet is recommended. Additionally medium chain triglycerides are recommended since they interfere with the drainage of chyle. This in turn prevents the accumulation of the fluid in the peritoneum.
- A fluid diet may be recommended to allow the bowels to rest. Unfortunately, in severe cases, complete bowel rest becomes imperative and nutrition is provided via the intravenous route.
- Salt and water should be typically restricted. Salt can lead to water retention which worsens the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneum. Over hydration can also be harmful.
Natural Remedies For Abdominal Ascites
Here are some simple home remedies and natural treatment options that can help in dealing with this condition,
- Experts recommend the use of simple techniques like supportive stockings or keeping the legs elevated. These techniques promote lymphatic drainage and thereby prevent the accumulation of ascetic fluid.
- Diuretic therapy is recommended as it hastens the elimination of fluids from the body. Homeopathic drugs like Arsenic Album are effective as they promote elimination of fluids from the body.
- Herbs like milk thistle, dandelion roots are also effective in dealing with lymphatic problems. These herbs enhance liver functions and thereby help in rapid purification of the lymphatic fluids.
- Bryonia and Sulphur are other homeopathic remedies which are potent against fluid accumulation anywhere in the body, especially in the abdomen. These medicines are recommended to be consumed in low potency. The dosage may vary depending upon the severity but may require repetition for over three to four times in a day. These medicines should be taken under the supervision of a qualified homeopathic doctor.
Unfortunately, these simple home remedies may not always be very effective. Interventions like repeated paracentesis may be required to drain the accumulated fluid. Further, hospitalization may be required to deal with cases that are associated with abdominal sepsis. If these simple home based measures don’t help improve the condition, it is imperative to seek medical advice.