Getting Ascites Under Control
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If you are suffering from ascites you will no doubt be at a loss to know how to deal with the condition because conventional medicine has very few remedies available to offer as the problem is primarily one of damage from toxicity .
This article aims to offer some possibilities collected from Chinese and Indian knowledge which aim to strike at the heart of the ascites problem, which is usually liver health but can involve the spleen.
Ascities is technically recognized as peritoneal fluid excess, hydro peritoneum, and peritoneal cavity fluid. Ascities is a disorder of the body in which fluid is collected in the cavity of abdomen. Ascites are also well-known as dropsy, or abdominal dropsy, ascites are often caused by Liver damage caused by Chemotherapy, Hep B, C, D, E, Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis, Pancreatitis, Fatty Liver, Congestive Heart Failure and Pericarditis.
However it can also be caused by Fluid retention from the kidneys, alterations in various hormones and chemicals that regulate body fluids.
Additionally, albumin may be leaking from blood vessels into the abdomen. Normally, albumin, is made specifically by the liver and in the main protein in blood and helps keep fluid from leaking out of blood vessels. When albumin leaks out of blood vessels, fluid also leaks out. Albumin is found in eggs white which are known as albuminoids, another reason to eat more eggs with ascites, however in cases of a severely damaged liver protein should be restricted and beans and legumes used in their place.
The term “malignant ascites” is commonly used when the tumor fluid is tested positive for malignant cells and has a high level of lactate dehydrogenase, suggesting that the ascites may contain tumor cells with rapid proliferative rates indicative of rapid progression of the disease.
Causes of ascites
- Liver cirrhosis (scarring from inflammation)
- Fatty Liver (from high sugar/grains diet)
- Hepatic vein obstruction,
- Hepatitis C or B infection,
- Spleen ‘Chill’ causing Dampness
- Congestive heart failure,
- Alcoholic hepatitis,
- Kidney failure,
There are many symptoms of the ascites and some of them are as follows;
- Shortness of breath,
- Rapid weight gain,
- Reduced appetite,
- Portal hypertension,
- Shifting or dullness of percussion,
- Umbilicus eversion,
- Distension in the abdomen,
- Swollen ankles
Fluid from ascites is analyzed to evaluate serum-ascites albumen gradient (SAAG). This gradient can either be low or high, and helps to determine the underlying cause of the condition. In general, high SAAG indicates liver dysfunction or heart failure. Low SAAG suggests cancer or tuberculosis.
In general, when the underlying cause of ascites can be determined and treated, outlook is good, and careful monitoring can prevent recurrence. For those whose underlying conditions cannot be addressed, treatment focuses on reduction of any discomfort it causes.
Ways to manage Ascites:
Below we have mentioned the methods to treat the fairly ascites easily. Some of them are as follows;
1. Proper Diet:
The ascites patients are highly recommended use of diuretics as well as decrease the sodium/salt consumption to less than 2 grams each day. An advantageous diet for reducing ascites needs to be moderate protein and should contain egg yolks, buttermilk, bovine colostrum, soup of horse gram, cruciferous vegetables, garlic, asafetida, coix, yam, dry radish, tomato puree with mollases (at 2pm) and honey. Include fibre, fresh fruits sprouts, vegetables nutrient rich food in your diet.
If ascites are present it can also be caused by too many cold foods or raw foods, these can create a chill in the stomach and the spleen, so reduce the cold drinks and start including teas, soups and broths with roots such as sweet potato, Yam and congees (broths with rice and veg).
(for extremely weak livers see note below about protein
Update: We have a few new liver support ingredients such as LIVMagic™, LiveRegen™ and MegaGreens™ all very useful for reversing Liver Ascites and provide all the important ingredients which the liver requires for proper functioning and methylation.
2. Fluid Drinking:
There is a tendency for reducing the intake of water, however this can be detrimental because part of the process of dealing with ascites is to detoxify the liver and the microbes within the fluids using the mustard baths, teas, enzymes and the serrapaptase to repair the scarring, as these will lead to additional excretion through sweating, urination and stools and so clean water needs to be continued to facilitate the detoxification and hydration. Liver Nurse Tea is very useful to drink during the day to support the liver, reducing inflammation and increasing the phase 2 processes.
3. Enough Sleep:
Attempt not to sleep throughout the day. Keep a fixed time before 10pm to go to the bed at night and wake up quick in the morning. This plays a significant role in retaining the complete homeostasis of the body and by sleeping early you allow the adrenals to recharge, we have a page here on sleeping better. Bedtime is an ideal time to use an AscitesBullet (pessary) and the LIVMagic™ which supports the liver while it is at it’s peak detox cycle, this occurs between 1AM and 3AM, this is the time the Liver is looking for essential ingredients.
4. Cleanse the Colon and the Liver
See our page on Detox which uses juices and enemas to cleanse the colon and the liver, our new bullet suppositories are helpful if you have difficulty with the idea or practicalities of enemas. These should be done before attempting to tonify the liver. Additionally it can be helpful to lubricate the organs first with hot drinks of cumin, coriander and fennel seeds which are contained within Charaka Tea three times a day.
5. Herbal Tonics and Movement:
Taking diuretic herbal formulas such as Epazote tea and debris eliminating fibrin-dissolving enzymes such as Serrapeptase work by repairing scarred liver cells and then flushing the debris in fluids out of your body to decrease the quantity in the peritoneal cavity. These may also reduce the malignant cells contained in the fluid as does using mustard baths.
To help facilitate this, moving the body is extremely important, it can be done using gentle Qi-Gong exercises, here are a few videos: [ video 1, video 2 , video 3 ]. If that is too much, there is skin-brushing which someone can do for you to help circulate stagnant lymph fluid, this should always be done towards the direction of the heart.
A study has been done using Chenopodium ambrosioides (Epazote) extract injected peritoneally into mice with ascitic Ehrlich tumor forms. This inhibition was observed in ascitic tumor cell number, in the ascitic volume, in the tumor-bearing foot size and foot weight when compared to control mice. The treatments also increased the survival of tumor-bearing mice. In conclusion, C. ambrosioides has a potent anti-tumoral effect which was evident with a small dose and even when the treatment was given two days after the tumor implantation. This effect is probably related with anti-oxidant properties of C. ambrosioides.
The early Greeks, Romans, and Europeans have used a mustard bath for generations. It was one way to keep disease and viruses out of the body. It has been used in India in the Ayurvedic healing tradition for many years.
They still use it today to detox the body of stress, anxiety and tension increase blood circulation, draw away infection, inflammation and congestion. The ancient Greeks believed it had been created by Asclepius, the god of healing, as a gift to mankind. Over the years, mustard has been prescribed for scorpion stings, snake bites, epilepsy, toothache, stiff neck, rheumatism, colic, and respiratory troubles. The main active ingredient within Mustard Seed is allyl isothiocyanate (AITC).
In studies on mice it was shown that the anti-microbial qualities of allyl isothiocyanate significantly reduced ascites secretion and tumor cell proliferation by about 80% and inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor expression in the tumor-bearing mice. AITC within Mustard seed also possesses highly anti-microbial activity which has neutralising effect on microbes within the body fluids.
Nutritional Medicine for cirrhosis
Increase antioxidant intake, to reduce damage to liver cells from free radicals.
The most important antioxidants include –
- LiveRegen™ and LIVMagic™
- Milk Thistle (extract of silimarin)
- Vitamin C 1000 mg twice daily (EsterC)
- Selenium 200 – 300 mcg daily
Vitamin E is able to reduce the ability of the stellate cells to manufacture collagen and so reduces scar tissue production. Vitamin E can also soften existing scar tissue and therefore improve blood flow to the liver, which is essential for regeneration of the liver cells. Vitamin E assists in the maintenance of high levels of glutathione, which is the most powerful liver antioxidant to prevent cirrhosis. A clinical study of hepatitis C sufferers not responding to interferon therapy, showed that nearly 50% improved dramatically with 800 IU daily of vitamin E. These are the reasons why a high dose of vitamin E is required. Use only natural vitamin E which is known as d-alpha tocopherol.
It is vital to obtain plenty of beta-carotene and its related carotenoids from eating a wide variety of raw brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Beta-carotene is converted in the body to vitamin A. Beta-carotene, other carotenoids and vitamin A, have a powerful anti-cancer effect in those with cirrhosis. This will reduce the risk of cirrhotic livers developing cancer. Those with liver disease need to be careful not to take excessive amounts of vitamin A and should not take more than 10,000 IU daily.
Selenium has been shown in clinical studies to reduce the incidence of liver cancer and should be taken daily by those with cirrhosis and/or other risk factors for liver cancer. For more information see the website www.seleniumresearch.com
Take a liver tonic that contains the essential nutrients to support the liver’s ability to break down and excrete toxins. This will reduce the damage that toxins can inflict upon liver cells and support the repair of damaged liver cells. For cirrhosis, I would recommend a daily liver yea such as Liver Nurse tincture or tea that contains Milk Thistle, B vitamins, sulfur containing amino acids and Selenium.
Vitamin K – many people with cirrhosis have a problem with bruising or bleeding from enlarged veins in the esophagus. This is because the damaged liver cells are unable to manufacture sufficient amounts of clotting factors. This can be helped by the daily consumption of a fresh juice made with a mixture of raw dark green leafy vegetables. Good vegetables to use for this purpose are spinach, beetroot tops, parsley, mint, watercress, wheatgrass and alfalfa sprouts which are high in vitamin K. Vitamin K will help to reduce this deficiency of clotting factors and will reduce bruising and bleeding.
Fifty percent of your diet should consist of raw and cooked vegetables and fruits. Dressings can be made with organic apple cider vinegar and cold pressed olive oil. Drink one or two glasses of raw vegetable juices daily.
Eat cruciferous vegetables daily including broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, bok choy and watercress, as well as garlic and onions to help the detoxification ability of the liver.
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6. Therapeutic paracentesis:
In this treatment, a needle cautiously set into the abdominal area, in antiseptic conditions to drain the ascites. This method is very beneficial for patients having malignant ascites because it removes 4 to 5 litres of fluid every time.
7. Other Natural remedies:
- Garlic: It is natural infection-fighter and anti-inflammatory. Drink garlic juice mixing in water because it helps to flush out the toxins from your body.
- Onion: Onions helps to drain the additional collected fluid through urination because it is a powerful diuretic.
- Bitter Gourd: It offers the required relief from ascites. Remove 25 ml juice of bitter gourd and take it thrice when mixing with water.
- Fenugreek Seeds: Immerse the fenugreek seeds overnight. Drain and consume that water in the morning. It helps to decrease the swelling, resolves respiratory difficulties, reestablish your appetite, reliefs from ascites by endorsing urination.
- Dandelion Root or EPAZOTE Tea: Drinking tea twice a day prepared from using dandelion root or Epazote is very beneficial to treat ascites. Dandelion is a natural diuretic and also identified as gravel root. It is helps to recover the working of your kidneys, raise the occurrence of urination and eliminate all the extra fluids successfully from your body. Epazote works directly on the bacterial content of the ascites.
- Melon: You should consume melon every day to stay healthy and as well as to combat ascites. It not only supports in digestion but also bring back the fluid balance, as well as extra portions of homeostasis.
- Radish: Radishes are very advantageous in the cure of ascites. Blend the juice of the leaves of the radish plant with water and drink. It is very beneficial to control the working of your kidneys, liver, and the digestive system. It supports to inspire appetite and take away toxins from your system.
- Gram: Take 25 grams of gram and simmer it in 1/4 litre of water. Let the water decrease to half. Drain the liquid. You should drink this for at least 3 weeks to get a clear variation.
- Watermelon: If you want to reduce the symptoms of the ascites then eat watermelons on a daily basis. It supports to your body to renovate fluid balance, digestion, stay healthy and offers rapid recovery from ascites. You can also drink watermelon juice every day.
Protein Suggestion for Very Weak Livers
Protein provide building blocks for the generation of new cells, tissue repair and the immune system. They also prevent buildup of fatty tissue and damage to the liver cells. However, in one with a severely damaged liver, proteins are not properly processed. Waste products may build up and cause hepatic encephalopathy (mental confusion). Restricting the amount of protein in the diet can reduce the chance of toxins building up in the body.
Protein intake must be adjusted in accordance with a one’s body weight and the degree of liver damage present. U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends 1 g of protein for each kilogram of body weight for a stable liver disease patient.
Patients with unstable liver diseases, such as decompensated stage of cirrhosis, need to lower the percentage of animal protein they consume and eat mostly vegetable sources of protein. This is because animal protein has a high ammonia content which is liable to cause a sudden episode of encephalopathy among these patients.
When there are symptoms of encephalopathy, protein intake should be reduced to less than 20 g per day, until the episode resolves. Proteins absorbed through natural foods such as fish, soy products, meat and eggs are the best. For patients that have difficulty eating solid foods, protein can be taken as amino acids, albumin or serum infusion. Other suitable protein sources are legumes (beans, peas and lentils), grains, cereals, seeds, sprouts and nuts.
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