Ascites vs Belly fat

Ascites is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the space between the organs in the belly and the wall of the belly. In the United States, the most common cause of ascites is cirrhosis of the liver while belly fat refers to fat around the abdomen.

What are ascites?

Ascites is a term used to describe the buildup of excess fluid in your peritoneal cavity, which lines your abdomen and abdominal organs, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Medline Plus. If you have a severe liver condition such as hepatitis or cirrhosis, ascites develop from the combination of low levels of a liver protein called albumin and abnormally high pressure in the blood vessels that supply your liver. Medline Plus lists additional potential causes of ascites that include congestive heart failure, pancreas inflammation, inflammation of the heart sac, kidney dialysis complications, and cancers of the pancreas, colon or ovaries.

Ascites and belly fat are two distinct conditions that can cause enlargement of your belly or abdomen. Ascites commonly indicate the presence of significant liver disease, but may also result from a number of other serious medical conditions. Excessive belly fat can increase your risks for disorders such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain forms of cancer.

What is Belly Fat?

Belly fat, also called abdominal fat, comes in two varieties, according to Harvard Medical School. Subcutaneous fat, which you can feel when you grab your belly, lies between your skin and your abdominal wall. Visceral fat directly surrounds your abdominal organs. The third type of fat, called retroperitoneal fat, sits behind your abdominal cavity and is typically classified as a subtype of visceral fat. Both age and genetic factors can contribute to the increased presence of belly fat, according to Michael Jensen, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic. However, for men, in particular, lifestyle choice and physical inactivity are more significant factors.

Belly fat refers to fat around the abdomen. There are two types of belly fat:

  • Visceral: This fat surrounds a person’s organs.
  • Subcutaneous: This is fat that sits under the skin.

Health complications from visceral fat are more harmful than having subcutaneous fat.

What’s behind belly fat?

Your weight is largely determined by three main factors:

  1. How many calories do you consume during the day

  2. How many calories do you burn off through daily exercise

  3. Your age

If you eat too much and exercise too little, you’re likely to carry excess weight — including belly fat.

Also, your muscle mass might diminish slightly with age, while fat increases. Loss of muscle mass also decreases the rate at which your body uses calories, which can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight.

Many women also notice an increase in belly fat as they get older — even if they aren’t gaining weight. This is likely due to a decreasing level of estrogen, which appears to influence where fat is distributed in the body.

The tendency to gain or carry weight around the waist — and have an “apple” rather than a “pear” shape — might have a genetic component as well.

Why belly fat is more than skin deep

The trouble with belly fat is that it’s not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat). It also includes visceral fat — which lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs.

Although subcutaneous fat poses cosmetic concerns, visceral fat is linked with far more dangerous health problems, including:

  • Heart disease

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Abnormal cholesterol

  • Breathing problems

Research also associates belly fat with an increased risk of premature ■■■■■ — regardless of overall weight. In fact, some studies have found that even when women were considered a normal weight based on standard body mass index (BMI) measurements, a large waistline increased the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease.

Measuring your middle

So how do you know if you have too much belly fat? Measure your waist:

  • Stand and place a tape measure around your bare stomach, just above your hipbone.

  • Pull the tape measure until it fits snugly around you, but doesn’t push into your skin. Make sure the tape measure is level all the way around.

  • Relax, exhale and measure your waist, resisting the urge to suck in your stomach.

For women, a waist measurement of more than 35 inches (89 centimeters) indicates an unhealthy concentration of belly fat and a greater risk of health problems.

Trimming the fat

You can tone abdominal muscles with crunches or other targeted abdominal exercises, but just doing these exercises won’t get rid of belly fat. However, visceral fat responds to the same diet and exercise strategies that help you shed excess pounds and lower your total body fat. To battle belly fat:

Eat a healthy diet. Focus on plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and choose lean sources of protein and low-fat dairy products. Limit added sugar and saturated fat, which is found in meat and high-fat dairy products, such as cheese and butter. Choose moderate amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — found in fish, nuts, and certain vegetable oils — instead.

Replace sugary beverages. Drink water or beverages with artificial sweeteners instead.

Keep portion sizes in check. Even when you’re making healthy choices, calories add up. At home, slim down your portion sizes. In restaurants, share meals — or eat half your meal and take the rest home.

Include physical activity in your daily routine. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, for at least 150 minutes a week or vigorous aerobic activity, such as running, for at least 75 minutes a week.

If you use a step counter, remember that it takes an average of 10,000 steps a day to prevent weight gain. Some studies indicate it might take 15,000 steps a day to prevent the regain of weight after significant weight loss.

Strength training exercises also are recommended at least twice a week. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you might need to exercise more. To lose excess fat and keep it from coming back, aim for slow and steady weight loss. Consult your doctor for help getting started and staying on track.

Why is belly fat dangerous?

Being overweight is one of the leading causes of major diseases.

Excess belly fat can increase the risk of:

What causes ascites?

The most common cause of ascites is cirrhosis of the liver. Drinking too much alcohol is one of the most common causes of cirrhosis of the liver.

Different types of cancer can also cause this condition. Ascites caused by cancer most often occur with advanced or recurrent cancer. Ascites may also be caused by other problems such as heart conditions, dialysis, low protein levels, and infection.

Ascites may develop if cancer affects the:

  • peritoneum
  • liver
  • lymphatic system
  • ovaries
  • bowel
  • stomach
  • pancreas
  • lung
  • womb

What are the symptoms of ascites?

These are symptoms of ascites:

  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Weight gain
  • Sense of fullness
  • Bloating
  • Sense of heaviness
  • Nausea or indigestion
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling in the lower legs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hemorrhoids

How are ascites diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will do a physical exam and ask about your symptoms. You may also have tests such as:

  • Fluid sample. A sample of fluid from your abdomen may be taken using a needle. This fluid will be checked for signs of disease, such as cancer or an infection. This test may help point to the cause of the ascites.
  • Imaging. Your healthcare provider may request images of the inside of your abdomen using ultrasound, MRI, or a CT scan. An MRI creates images using a magnetic field and radiofrequency energy. A CT scan creates computerized images using X-rays.

How are ascites treated?

A number of steps may help ease your ascites. Your healthcare provider may tell you to:

  • Cut back on your salt intake. Your healthcare provider or a dietitian can show you how to follow a low-sodium diet. Avoid salt substitutes that contain potassium. This is because some medicines used in treating ascites can cause your potassium levels to rise.
  • Cut back on the number of fluids you drink.
  • Stop drinking alcohol.
  • Take diuretic medicines to help reduce the fluid in your body.
  • In certain cases, your doctor may need to remove large amounts of fluid from your abdomen through a needle. This may be done if you have trouble breathing or the diuretic is not working.
  • In very complicated situations, you may need to have a special procedure in radiology called TIPS. In this procedure, a connection is made inside the liver between the blood vessels to ease the high pressure causing ascites.

Other treatments include:

Paracentesis

In resistant cases, or if there is a significant amount of excess fluid, paracentesis can be an effective management technique. Paracentesis involves a doctor inserting a needle into the abdomen and draining off the excess liquid.

The aim of paracentesis is to relieve abdominal pressure, so the person feels less discomfort. In some instances, a person’s abdomen might contain about 5 liters of fluid, but in some extreme cases of ascites, doctors have drained more than 10 liters of fluid from the abdomen.

Shunts

When ascites are caused by cancer, doctors may use a shunt (tube) to move the fluid from the abdomen into the bloodstream.

A doctor inserts a needle into a vein in the neck and places a shunt along the chest wall. The shunt connects the abdominal cavity to the neck, where it enters the vein. The fluid then moves along the tube into the bloodstream.

What are the complications of ascites?

Ascites can make eating, drinking, and moving around difficult. It can also make it hard to breathe. Ascites can lead to abdominal infections, which may cause kidney failure. It can also cause umbilical or inguinal hernias.

Can ascites be prevented?

Certain steps to help you avoid cirrhosis of the liver and cancer can prevent ascites. These include:

  • Stop drinking alcohol.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Limit salt in your diet.
  • Do not use recreational drugs to decrease your chance of getting hepatitis.

Living with ascites

Be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s advice for lowering your salt intake. You’ll need to do this even if you’re taking diuretic drugs to reduce fluid in your body. Also, weigh yourself daily and call your healthcare provider if you gain too much weight.

Fast facts about ascites

  • Ascites are a symptom of another underlying cause.
  • Abdominal swelling and associated weight gain are typical symptoms of ascites.
  • Prognosis and outlook of ascites depend on the underlying condition.
  • Assessment of the progress of ascites may be made by regularly measuring the abdominal girth and by monitoring weight.

What Are the Main Differences Between Ascites and Fat Belly?

Both ascites and belly fat result in a large, protruding hard belly that can resemble that of a pregnant woman’s belly. Ascites often results in a rapid weight gain in contrast to a more gradual gain with beer belly development. Some patients with ascites may develop spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, hernias, and fluid in the chest. Tests like ultrasound, CT, or paracentesis (test and/or treatment for ascites fluid or fluid removal) usually diagnose ascites in contrast to a clinical diagnosis of belly fat that does not produce detectable abdominal fluid.

Does Beer Cause Ascites?

Drinking beer (or other liquor) doesn’t directly cause ascites, but excess consumption of beer may lead to ascites for the following reasons:

  • The most common cause of ascites is cirrhosis of the liver.
  • The most common cause of cirrhosis is alcoholic liver disease.
  • Alcoholic liver disease can result from alcohol abuse.
  • Thus, excessive consumption of beer may lead to ascites.

What Procedures and Tests Diagnose Ascites vs. Fat Belly?

To diagnose ascites, tests to detect fluid in the belly include the following:

  • Ultrasound

  • CT scan

  • Paracentesis: A medical professional inserts a needle into the belly to remove a sample of fluid and then sends it to a lab. This can help diagnose the cause of the fluid buildup and if the fluid is infected.

Fat belly in itself is not a medical condition, but abdominal obesity increases the risk of certain conditions such as heart ■■■■■■, stroke, diabetes, and erectile dysfunction.

Are Ascites or Fat Belly Serious?

The prognosis for ascites depends on the cause and severity. If ascites are due to heart failure, patients may live for many years if treated promptly and managed appropriately.

However, ascites due to cirrhosis usually indicate advanced liver disease, and the outlook is not as good.

If a patient has malignant ascites (ascites in patients with cancer), the prognosis is poor, and the mean survival time is between 20-58 weeks.

Fat belly in itself is not deadly, however, it can increase the risk for serious illnesses that can be deadly, such as diabetes, heart ■■■■■■, and stroke.

Frequently Asked Questions :bulb:

1- How do I know if I have belly fat or ascites?

Tests like ultrasound, CT, or paracentesis (test and/or treatment for ascites fluid or fluid removal) usually diagnose ascites in contrast to a clinical diagnosis of belly fat that does not produce detectable abdominal fluid.

2- How can you tell if you have ascites?

Ascites is a condition in which fluid collects in spaces within your abdomen. As fluid collects in the abdomen, it can affect your lungs, kidneys, and other organs. Ascites causes abdominal pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting, and other difficulties.

3- Is ascites stomach hard or soft?

Signs and symptoms

Mild ascites is hard to notice, but severe ascites leads to abdominal distension. People with ascites generally will complain of progressive abdominal heaviness and pressure as well as shortness of breath due to mechanical impingement on the diaphragm.

4- How can I test myself for ascites?

Techniques: Liver & Ascites

Inspection. Look for gross asymmetries across the abdomen.

Auscultation. Follow the inspection of the liver, as with the rest of the abdominal exam, with auscultation.

  • Percussion.

  • Palpation.

  • Scratch Test.

  • Bulging Flanks.

  • Flank Dullness.

  • Shifting Dullness.

5- What is the life expectancy of someone with ascites?

In general, the prognosis of malignant ascites is poor. Most cases have a mean survival time between 20 to 58 weeks, depending on the type of malignancy as shown by a group of investigators. Ascites due to cirrhosis usually is a sign of advanced liver disease and it usually has a fair prognosis.

6- Does drinking water help ascites?

Options to help relieve ascites include: Eating less salt and drinking less water and other liquids. However, many people find this unpleasant and hard to follow. Taking diuretics, which help reduce the amount of water in the body.

7- What happens if ascites is left untreated?

If ascites are left untreated, peritonitis, blood sepsis, kidney failure could occur. The fluid could migrate into your lung cavities. Treatment is necessary to prevent these bad outcomes.

8- What happens if ascites is not drained?

Most people do not have any serious problems from having an ascitic drain. As the fluid drains, it can cause some people’s blood pressure to drop and their heart rate to increase. Your nurse will check your blood pressure, heart rate (pulse) and breathing regularly so they can treat this problem if it happens.

9- Does ascites go down at night?

Initially, the swelling may go down overnight. As the condition worsens, however, the swelling may spread up the leg and be present day and night. As more fluid builds up, it may spread up to the chest and cause difficulty breathing.

10- Can you live a full life with ascites?

The average life expectancy of a person having ascites usually depends upon the underlying cause and intensity of the symptoms. Overall, the prognosis of ascites is very poor. The survival rate varies from 20-58 weeks.

Conclusion:

Ascites is a term used to describe the buildup of excess fluid in your peritoneal cavity, which lines your abdomen and abdominal organs. Belly fat, also called abdominal fat, comes in two varieties, according to Harvard Medical School. Subcutaneous fat, which you can feel when you grab your belly, lies between your skin and your abdominal wall. Visceral fat directly surrounds your abdominal
organs.

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Difference between fat belly and pregnant belly

Ascites (also known as “water belly” or hydroperitoneum) is the name given to the accumulation of fluid inside the abdomen, it is a sign that points to the possibility of liver, kidney, heart, and even tumors. Whereas belly fat is an accumulation of fat around organs located in the abdomen, in excess, this belly fat is a risk factor for health.

What is ascites?

  • Ascites are popularly called water belly, it is the accumulation of fluid within the abdominal cavity (belly). It is a sign that points to the possibility of liver, kidney, heart, and even tumors.

  • Depending on the amount of fluid, the person has abdominal distension, that is, their belly “grows”, similar to the way a pregnant woman’s belly increases in size during pregnancy. What’s inside the abdominal cavity, however, is a fluid that can come from a variety of sources: blood plasma, lymph, bile, pancreatic juice, and urine are just a few examples of what can be found in ascites.

  • The normal amount of fluid within the abdominal cavity, called the peritoneum, is nil. That is, normally there is no liquid there. If, due to some illness, there is an extravasation of liquids to this part of the body, the volume can reach up to 25 liters!

  • It is more common in people with liver problems, especially from diseases such as cirrhosis, but it can also happen as a result of diseases in other organs.

What is belly fat?

It is the accumulation of fat in the abdominal region, that is, the belly region. There are basically two types of this fat: visceral and subcutaneous.

  1. Visceral is when there is fat in the viscera of the abdomen. It is considered the most dangerous as it is close to vital organs and the circulatory system.

  2. Subcutaneous is the one that is under the skin.

How do ascites happen?

Our bodies are very well made. So well done that there are several ducts and channels for the passage of liquids, in order to prevent them from simply accumulating in inappropriate places. So if we’re going to think that all the vessels in our body are kept closed and that the peritoneum is poor in fluid, how does any fluid get there?

Well, this fluid found in ascites comes precisely from blood vessels that, for some reason, cannot keep the blood in there, leading to a leak into the abdominal cavity. This can happen because of:

  • Elevation in hydrostatic pressure;

  • Retention of water and salt in the kidneys;

  • Lack of blood proteins.

It is worth remembering, however, those menstruating women can suffer from a slight accumulation of fluid in the peritoneum without any disease causing it. In general, the amount of fluid in these cases is between 10 and 20 mL—enough for a slight swelling to be noticed, but not enough to indicate any problems.

Elevation in hydrostatic pressure

The increase in blood pressure in the veins that pass through the peritoneum, especially those known as the “liver portal system”, causes these blood vessels to dilate which, in turn, leads to extravasation of filtered fluid (serum).

Kidney water and salt retention

When there is an increase in pressure in the blood vessels, the body releases substances that try to maintain this normal pressure, that is, vasodilating substances.

If the hypertension is in the hepatic portal system—which is common in liver disease—the vasodilators are released in large quantities, causing a general dilation of all the body’s vessels.

Thus, there is a drop in blood pressure, and the kidneys interpret this as a lack of fluid in the vessels. Therefore, it begins to retain fluids and salts, which in turn leak through the vessel walls and accumulate in the abdominal cavity.

Lack of blood proteins

Although it doesn’t look like it, our blood vessels are filled with tiny pores that blood can easily pass through. In general, this does not happen because, in the bloodstream, there are proteins that “block” these pores, preventing the blood from leaving. One of these proteins is albumin.

When there is a loss of these proteins, the pore spaces become empty, and blood serum comes out of the vessels in the same way that water leaks into a house full of holes.

What are the causes of ascites?

Some of the reasons that lead to fluid leakage into the peritoneum are:

  • Portal hypertension

In the abdomen, there is a vein that goes to the liver called the Portal Vein. It is a large-caliber vein that tends to have low pressure normally. When, for some reason, there is hypertension in this blood vessel, there may be extravasation.

The causes of portal hypertension are usually liver diseases such as cirrhosis.

  • Cirrhosis

The presence of scars in the liver alters its function, bringing consequences for blood flow. There is an increase in hydrostatic pressure and water and salt levels, in addition to a loss of protein. Thus, cirrhosis is capable of leading to ascites with volumes greater than 10 liters!

Remembering that cirrhosis can be a result of both viral hepatitis and alcohol abuse. Furthermore, the disease is responsible for about 85% of cases of ascites.

  • Nephrotic syndrome

In nephrotic syndrome, the blood’s filtration units are damaged, leaving important proteins for blood vessels to pass into the urine. This condition is easily detectable by observing the urine, which is too foamy in these cases.

  • Cardiac insufficiency

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood for the flow to take place normally, which can lead to accumulations of blood in the blood vessels. Thus, there is an increase in the hydrostatic pressure in the vessels, which ends up leaking liquids.

  • pancreatitis

Because of the liver and digestive changes that pancreatitis causes, the blood vessels in the peritoneum can be overloaded.

  • schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by Schistosoma mansoni. While ascites are called water belly, schistosomiasis is also known by that name, due to the abdominal distension it causes.

This happens because the parasite usually lodges in the mesenteric veins, precisely one of the largest sets of veins in the peritoneum. This housing causes an obstruction which consequently ends in overflow.

  • Cancer

Ascites can also be a complication of many types of cancer, especially when cells grow into the peritoneum. It is more frequent in cases of cancer of the colon, ovary, pancreas.

What are the types of Ascites?

Ascites is classified according to the composition of the fluid found in the peritoneal cavity:

1. Transudative

In transudative ascites, the fluid contains low protein, low DHL, high pH, ​​normal glucose, and less than 1 white blood cell per thousand cubic millimeters. This means that this type of ascites is more frequent in cases of cirrhosis and liver disease.

2. Exudative

In the exudate, the amount of protein is high, with low pH, high DHL, low glucose level and there is the presence of more leukocytes, indicating that the ascites was caused by an inflammation of the neoplasm.

Other ways to classify ascites are:

3. Ascites kilosa

It is an accumulation of lymph in the abdomen, usually due to an obstruction of the lymphatic pathways.

4. pancreatic ascites

It is ascites resulting from chronic inflammation in the pancreas.

5. fetal ascites

It is characterized by the presence of fluid in the abdomen of the fetus or newborn. It can be a sign of a condition characterized by fetal swelling inside the uterus called hydrops fetalis.

What are the symptoms of ascites?

As a clinical sign of other diseases, ascites itself is a kind of symptom. It is easily seen when the individual has a very large buildup or the individual is very thin.

However, when the fluid volume is too small or the condition occurs in obese people in whom the change is barely noticeable, there are some symptoms that indicate its presence:

  • Abdominal pain;
  • Difficulty breathing due to restriction of diaphragm movements;
  • Feeling of pressure in the belly that increases with time, especially at bedtime;
  • Lack of appetite from abdominal pressure.
  • Belly swelling and growth;
  • Pain in the abdomen and back;
  • Weight gain for no apparent reason;
  • Willingness to urinate frequently;
  • Constipation;
  • Nausea and vomiting.

When the abdominal distension is too big, the navel can be “flattened” or even “out”.

In addition, depending on the cause, ascites is usually accompanied by several liver symptoms, such as jaundice (yellowish color), increased liver volume, collateral circulation in the belly, among others.

How is ascites diagnosed?

If ascites is suspected, the doctor should perform a physical examination to make sure it is an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity. This can be done through palpation, that is, applying light taps to the belly to check for the sound of waves propagating in the abdomen. Sometimes, when the accumulation is less than 1 liter, this test may not show any changes.

1. Ultrasound

Another test that can help identify fluids inside the cavity is ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create images from inside the body. If there is liquid, the images will have characteristic changes.

2. Blood tests

In order to check for possible causes of the problem, the doctor may order a complete blood count, electrolyte dosage — to check the amount of salts in the bloodstream — liver enzymes and clotting tests.

3. Paracentesis

This method, in addition to serving as a test, also helps in treating the problem. This is because it consists of the removal of the ascitic fluid to analyze its content. Depending on what is found (proteins, the body’s defense cells, etc.), you can get closer to discovering the cause of ascites.

In general, this liquid should be clear yellowish, similar to urine. However, when there is an infection, it can be cloudy or purulent. In the case of cancer, there may be blood in this fluid.

How to treat ascites?

The treatment of ascites itself is done through paracentesis, a drainage procedure in which a puncture in the abdomen is connected, through a catheter, to a collection bag.

This procedure is simple and practically painless, as it is done under local anesthesia.

However, simply removing fluid from the abdominal cavity is not enough to end the problem as, if the underlying disease is not treated, it is only a matter of time before the cavity is refilled with fluid.

Thus, treatment can vary greatly depending on the cause, but the use of diuretics is highly recommended while seeking to resolve the problem. The salt restriction in the feed is also beneficial because it prevents the increase of the amount of salt in the bloodstream.

When it comes to advanced cirrhosis, it is likely that paracentesis will be needed from time to time, as it is no longer possible to correct the problem causing the ascites. In cases of infection, the patient will receive, in the hospital, antibiotics to fight the microorganism found.

Medicines for ascites

The drugs recommended for ascites are those capable of draining excess fluid from the body, known as diuretics. Some examples are:

  • Furosemide;
  • Spironolactone

NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to say which medication, dosage, and duration of treatment is the most suitable for your specific case. The information contained on this website is intended to provide information only and is not intended in any way to replace the advice of a specialist or to serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.

Natural treatment for ascites

In nature, there are some herbs and vegetables with a diuretic effect, that is, they help to eliminate fluids and prevent retention. People who suffer from edema and even ascites can benefit from teas and other recipes with these plants.

Remember that these methods can have several side effects and should not be used without first talking to your doctor, especially due to the risk of drug interactions.

Also, a common misconception about diuretic teas is that they help you lose weight. In fact, with the elimination of water from the body, a little weight and “swollen belly” are lost.

However, most of these teas have no effect on fats, the real villain when it comes to weight loss. Some have substances that speed up the metabolism, favoring the burning of calories and using up accumulated fat, but the weight loss only really comes when the individual is committed to exercising and eating properly.

Some teas and juices with a diuretic effect are:

1. horsetail tea

Horsetail is rich in potassium, flavonoids, and silicon. These substances stimulate the production of collagen, a protein responsible for the skin’s firmness and elasticity. Therefore, in addition to the diuretic effect, horsetail is also indicated for anti-cellulite treatment.

2. Hibiscus tea

In addition to the diuretic effect, hibiscus tea is also rich in antioxidants and substances that help burn fat.

3. parsley tea

Parsley, a very popular and easily found spice, has a potent diuretic effect, as well as being rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, and potassium.

4. green tea and mate tea

These two teas are rich in substances that help with weight loss, in addition to a large amount of caffeine, a substance with a diuretic effect.

5. dandelion tea

As it is rich in potassium, dandelion is one of the plants most frequently used in the treatment of kidney and urinary diseases. That’s because it doesn’t lower the concentration of potassium in the bloodstream, which would be harmful to the body.

6. onion juice

Onion is a very common vegetable in cooking, as it has a strong flavor that is often used as a seasoning in food. What few people know is that it also has diuretic power, especially when prepared in the form of juice, which increases the body’s water intake and favors urination.

Ascites Diet

Because of the possibility of worsening ascites due to excess salt in the bloodstream, the diet for the accumulation of fluid in the belly is based on salt restriction. However, to do this, it is not enough just to stop seasoning foods with salt. There are several foods that are sources of sodium that the patient should avoid consuming.

Types of food What not to eat: Prefer:
Meat Burger, kebab, nuggets, meatballs, chorizo, jerky, feijoada meat, extracts and beef broth. Duckling, hardtop, soft top, rump, lizard, muscle, tit, fat-free loin.
birds Poultry pates, extracts and chicken broth. Chicken, turkey, chester (skinless).
Seafood Sardines, tuna, aliche, anchovies, dried shrimp, smoked fish, salted cod. Hake, hake, whiting, sardines etc., skinless and fresh.
Milks and derivatives Whole milk and yoghurt, powdered milk, yellow cheeses, cream cheeses, margarine or salted butter. Skimmed milk and yogurt, unsalted ricotta, unsalted margarine.
Fried and sausages Salami, sausage, sausage, mortadella, fatty ham, ham. Nothing.
Spices Ready-made seasonings, meat tenderizers, monosodium glutamate (aji-no-moto), mustard, ketchup, soy sauce (shoyu), Worcestershire sauce, miso (soy soup), mayonnaise, salad dressings, sea salt, light salt, coarse salt. Garlic, leek, onion, green scent, horseradish, kummel, basil, bay leaf, sage, oregano, sesame, tarragon, marjoram, dill, basil, thyme, paprika, mint, paprika, fennel, rosemary, nutmeg , coriander, turmeric, ginger, olive oil, dried mustard seed.
Drinks Regular, diet and light sodas, energy and sports drinks, artificial juices, alcoholic drinks, tomato juice. Water, natural fruit juice, teas.
Preserved Pickles, olives, sauerkraut, asparagus, hearts of palm, peas, green corn, capers, select vegetables, tomato sauce extract. Unsalted pickles, unsalted homemade preserves.
Several Dehydrated or canned soups, snacks, peanut snacks, cashew nuts, French fries, etc., snack foods, crackers, salty flour biscuits, cheese bread, filled pasta, pizza, sodium-based sweeteners, popcorn with salt. Fruits, vegetables, vegetables, unsalted popcorn, spaghetti-like pasta.

Complications of ascites

Left untreated, ascites can lead to some serious complications. Are they:

  • Infection and sepsis

Accumulated fluids are always a good place for bacteria to grow. When bacteria present in the intestine—beneficial for the intestine but bad for the rest of the body—find their way into the peritoneal cavity, it gives rise to spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, that is, infection of the peritoneum by bacteria already present in the body.

If this is not resolved soon, these bacteria can enter the bloodstream and be carried throughout the body, giving rise to sepsis: a highly fatal generalized infection.

  • hepatic encephalopathy

Liver disease often alters the function of the organ, which should eliminate toxic products from the diet. When he fails to do so, these toxins circulate through the bloodstream and reach the central nervous system, potentially leading to mental confusion and coma.

How to prevent ascites?

There is no exact way to prevent ascites, only the diseases that trigger it. Some tips for this are:
• Avoid excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages in order to prevent cirrhosis;

• Drink at least 2 liters of water a day so as not to overload the kidneys;

• Maintain a balanced, low-salt diet;

• Be up to date with vaccines against hepatitis A and B;

• Wear boots and gloves when coming into contact with backwater that can be the habitat of the schistosomiasis host.

Ascites itself is not capable of killing, as it is just an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdominal region. However, illnesses that cause this sign can easily lead to death. Furthermore, if complications such as infections are not treated, the possibility of death increases. As a sign, there really is no cure for ascites. It can resolve with a cure for the underlying disease, but it can also come back with chronic illnesses or illnesses that do not respond adequately to treatment.

What are the causes of belly fat?

Common causes of excess fat in the belly region include:

1) Bad diet: Foods with excessive sugar, such as sweets, drinks such as soda and fruit juice, can:

  • Cause weight gain;

  • Slow down a person’s metabolism;

  • Reduce a person’s ability to burn fat.

  • Low-protein diets, which help increase the feeling of fullness for a longer period of time, and high-carbohydrate diets can also affect weight.

  • Over-consumption of trans fats, in particular, can cause inflammation and lead to obesity. Trans fats are present in many foods, including fast food and cookies, cakes, and other processed foods.

2) Excess of alcohol:

Excessive alcohol consumption can cause a variety of health problems, including liver disease and inflammation.

3) Lack of exercise

A person who consumes more calories than they burn will suffer from weight gain. If she is also sedentary, it is even more difficult to get rid of excess fat, especially around the abdomen.

4) Stress

A steroid hormone, known as cortisol, is responsible for helping the body control and deal with stress.

When a person is in a situation of stress or high pressure, like what Covid-19 has given people, their body releases cortisol – and this can affect their metabolism.

The problem is that some people tend to turn to food for comfort when they feel stressed - and cortisol causes excess calories to remain around the belly, turning into belly fat, and other areas of the body for later use.

5) Genetics

Scientists believe that genes can influence behavior, metabolism, and the risk of developing obesity-related diseases.

Likewise, environmental factors and behaviors also play a role in how likely people are to become obese and accumulate belly fat.

6) Low-quality sleep

Lack of adequate rest can affect not only your well-being and your mood throughout the day, but also the circumference of your abdomen.

A study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine links weight gain to short sleep duration, which can lead to excess belly fat.

It is also important to emphasize that not sleeping well enough can lead to harmful eating behaviors, such as emotional eating – which can lead to problems such as obesity, diabetes, among others.

7) Smoking

Researchers may not consider smoking a direct cause of belly fat, but they believe it is a risk factor. As smoking also affects other issues related to your health, the idea is to stop smoking as soon as possible.

How to get rid of belly fat?

To lose belly fat, it is recommended to have a healthy diet and to exercise regularly, as this way it is possible to burn accumulated fat, improve the cardiovascular system and increase metabolism, making the body spend more energy during the day and at night, which favors the loss of body fat, including fat located in the abdominal region.

In addition, it is interesting to invest in natural thermogenic, such as green tea, for example, as they speed up metabolism and have a diuretic effect, reducing fluid accumulation and eliminating abdominal fat more quickly.

The 7 tips to eliminate belly fat are:

1. Drink green tea

In addition to drinking water, you should drink teas because they help to eliminate toxins and excess fluid accumulated in the body, and some teas help to speed up the metabolism and favor the fat-burning process, which contributes to weight loss.

A great example is a green tea, which has catechins that help dry the tummy, or a diuretic tea such as a mixture of dandelion with leather hat and sarsaparilla, which helps to eliminate excess body fluids, deflating the belly.

2. Exercise every day

Exercising on a daily basis is important not only to lose abdominal fat, but also to give you more energy to carry out your daily tasks, prevent the occurrence of illnesses, and improve your quality of life.

One of the exercise options to burn abdominal fat is running, because during this exercise the body uses accumulated fat as an energy source. In addition to running, it is important to do some exercise such as localized gymnastics or weight training to ensure the growth of muscles, which naturally increase metabolism and favor the elimination of accumulated fat.

In addition, performing exercises that work the abdominal region, such as planks and abdominals, can also favor the strengthening of the region, helping to increase muscle mass and lose belly fat, in addition to promoting its definition

3. Eat healthy

Food is important to help speed up the metabolism and thus favor the burning of fat, including that accumulated in the belly. Therefore, it is recommended to increase the consumption of vegetables, greens, and cereals, as well as fiber in all meals. In addition, whenever possible, foods that are too sweet and fatty and frozen ready to be eaten should be avoided.

Diet to lose belly fat should be based on natural foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins like white meat or tofu. To eliminate belly fat, eat regular meals throughout the day, avoiding times when the volume of the meal is too large, thus avoiding the exaggerated production of insulin and the increase in fat mass.

4. Eat high fiber foods

It is important to have a diet rich in fiber, preferably present in fruits and vegetables so that the intestine is functioning regularly. This way, it is possible to avoid constipation and the use of laxatives that can irritate the intestine and lead to abdominal bloating and increased gas production, for example.

To help regulate the bowel, invest in seeds such as sesame, flaxseed, and chia, adding 1 tablespoon to each meal. However, to ensure the elimination of ■■■■■, drink 2 liters of water, juice, or unsweetened tea every day

5. Consume thermogenic foods

It is important that thermogenic foods are included in the daily diet, which is those that increase body temperature and speed up metabolism, making the body spend more energy and burn fat.

Some thermogenic foods that can be included in the daily diet are pepper, cinnamon, ginger, hibiscus tea, apple cider vinegar, and coffee. It is important that these foods are consumed daily and are part of a healthy and balanced diet.

6. Massage the belly with fat reducing cream

Giving localized massages on the belly daily helps to activate blood circulation and helps shape the silhouette, being a good way to complement proper nutrition and exercise. It is important to pay attention to the ingredients of reducing creams, because, depending on the composition, it is possible to have better effects on the process of activating blood circulation and mobilizing fat.

It is in the fact that the toxins are concentrated, so it is very important to ensure good hydration and thus facilitate their elimination through the intestine and urine because when there is a large amount of localized fat burning, there is also a large release of toxins by the body, which must be eliminated so as not to cause swelling and lead to premature aging.

7. Other important advice

An excellent strategy to increase satiety is to eat several times a day in small portions, having 3 main meals and 3 snacks. Maintaining this strategy allows for better control of insulin and blood sugar, preventing the accumulation of abdominal fat.

Another good piece of advice is to write down everything you eat during the day, creating a food diary, as this helps to have more sense of what is being consumed, making it easier to identify if the food is being good or not.

Many toxins present in our body are concentrated in accumulated fat, so it is very important to maintain good hydration, since when localized fat is burned, these toxins are eliminated through the urine, thus avoiding an inflammatory process and premature aging.

What are the risks associated with excess belly fat?

Excess belly fat can increase the patient’s risk of developing:

  • Heart diseases;
  • High pressure;
  • Brain stroke;
  • Type 2 diabetes;
  • Asthma;
  • ■■■■■■ cancer;
  • Colon cancer;
  • Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.

How to protect yourself from the risks associated with excess belly fat?

  1. You can tone your belly muscles with crunches or other targeted belly exercises. Also bet on moderate aerobic activities, such as brisk walking, for at least 30 minutes a day – it is worth remembering that some exercises can be done at home, being enough to help combat the problem.

  2. Also, weight training exercises are recommended at least twice a week. If you want to lose weight or achieve specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more – but remember to get a sports check-up to check your health status beforehand.

  3. However, you need to go beyond exercise to get rid of belly fat. Combine physical activity with a diet focused on losing excess weight and reducing total body fat:

  4. Make healthy choices – focus on plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Choose lean protein sources such as fish and low-fat dairy products. Limit your consumption of saturated fat, found in high-fat meats and dairy products such as cheese and butter. Also, limit processed meats. Choose moderate amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – found in fish, nuts, and certain vegetable oils;

  5. Keep portion sizes under control – even when you’re making healthy choices, calories can pile up. At home, reduce portion sizes. At restaurants, share meals or eat half of your meal and take the rest home;

  6. Avoid sugary drinks: prefer to drink water, natural teas, or drinks with artificial sweeteners.

How to calculate belly fat?

To find out if belly fat is harming your health, the circumference of the abdomen and the Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated. The region is measured using the tape measure.

Check your belly circumference and the possible risks to your health:

Belly Circumference - Risk Measures
increased risk significantly increased risk
Men Greater than or equal to 94 cm Greater than or equal to 102 cm
Women Greater than or equal to 80 cm Greater than or equal to 88 cm

The presence of excess fat in the abdomen has always been an indicator of overweight, but now it is gaining even more attention from medical experts. This is because research shows that this type of fat is directly related to changes in metabolism and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as insulin resistance (diabetes), hypertension, and myocardial infarction. Women who are in menopause are more at risk of having excess belly fat.

It is believed that greater waist circumference is related to an increased risk of suffering cardiovascular disease, regardless of the patient’s weight or age.

Ways for the Prevention of belly fat

  • To prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes, it is necessary to avoid excess belly fat. Check below for some tips to reduce fat in this location.

  • Do aerobic exercise daily for 20 to 30 minutes. Hiking, swimming, and cycling are some of the options;

  • Eat between five or six small meals a day, at average intervals of three hours, always remembering to eat in moderation and choosing carefully what to eat;

  • Attention when chewing food;

  • Eat fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods;

  • Reduce your consumption of fatty foods such as fried foods (eg French fries) and processed snacks. Also avoid those foods with a lot of sugar, such as cakes and pies, sweets and sodas;

  • Don’t overdo the consumption of salt or alcoholic beverages;

  • It is recommended to drink 2 liters of water a day.

FAQs

1. Which specialist should I consult when I have ascites?

Ascites are treated by a gastroenterologist, who will first examine the patient and may then refer the patient to another specialist depending on the cause of the ascites.

2. What tests should be performed on ascitic fluid?

The most important tests are

  • White blood cell count or WBC to determine the presence of infection.
    An elevated count with a predominance of neutrophils suggests a bacterial infection and antibiotics should be started.
    An elevated lymphocyte count suggests the presence of tuberculosis or malignant disease in the patient.

  • Albumin concentration to calculate the SAAG and determine the type of ascites.

  • Culture to isolate causative organisms in case of infection.

  • Total protein concentration to identify patients at high risk of developing spontaneous bacterial peritonitis.

  • Amylase activity, which is elevated in pancreatic ascites and intestinal perforation.

  • Gram staining may be useful in cases of intestinal perforation when several types of bacteria are observed.

  • Cytology of ascitic fluid can detect ascites due to cancer when the peritoneum is involved.

3. How to eat a low-salt diet is ascites?

Try to limit your salt intake to one teaspoon per day or less than 2000 mg per day. Avoid processed and canned foods, salted nuts, pickles, chips, etc. Prepare a diet chart and a list of foods to avoid and follow it strictly.

4. How can salt-free foods be good in ascites?

Try adding lemon juice, herbs, and spice mixtures to improve the taste of food. Avoid salt substitutes, as they contain too much potassium.

5. What about sugar and fat intake in ascites?

No problem if you eat them in moderation. But if you are diabetic or have high blood pressure, you should watch this and be more careful.

6. should I need to restrict water in ascites?

The important thing is sodium restriction, fluid restriction in all patients with ascites is inappropriate. Fluid restriction is only indicated in cases of severe hyponatremia when the sodium level drops to 120mEq/l in a patient with ascites.

7. Is belly fat different from other parts of the body?

Yes, while fat on the arms, hips and most of the body is subcutaneous, belly fat is more visceral. Subcutaneous fat is the “pinchable fat” that you can see, it lies right between the skin and the muscle. Whereas visceral fat is the “hidden fat” that surrounds the abdominal organs. Visceral fat is noticeable because it interferes with hormone balance and the normal functioning of the body.

8. Is it difficult to lose belly fat?

A: Not really. Visceral fat is actually the first fat to be lost. This is because the belly area is close to the liver and therefore has a faster metabolism.

9. Can thin people also have belly fat?

Yes, you can look slim or have a healthy body mass index but still have fat accumulated around the belly. Fat is visible in most people. However, research shows that MRI and CT scans have revealed that many thin people also have hidden layers of belly fat.

10. Why is belly fat called the “silent killer”?

Belly fat is called the silent killer because many people do not realize the health effects of a large waistline and the consequences for liver and organ health.

11. Is there a link between belly fat and liver health?

Yes, having a healthy liver is essential to help you lose weight, reduce the amount of belly fat and visceral fat, and maintain a flat stomach.

Having a wider waist, more belly fat and an apple-shaped body is a strong indicator of high levels of visceral fat.

11. Does liposuction eliminate belly fat?

Despite being a surgery that eliminates belly fat, liposuction only removes the fat that is under the skin, not removing the belly fat, which is deeper in the abdomen, along with the organs.

In many cases, after liposuction, the amount of belly fat may even increase if the patient does not practice regular physical activity, as there are not so many fat cells under the skin and excess food ends up being stored in belly fat.

Conclusion:
Ascites** (also known as “water belly” or hydroperitoneum) is the name given to the accumulation of fluid inside the abdomen. This fluid can have different compositions, such as lymph (in the case of chylous ascites, caused by obstruction of the lymphatic pathways), bile (mainly as a complication of surgical removal of the gallbladder), pancreatic juice (in acute pancreatitis with fistula), urine (in case of urinary tract perforation) and others. But in the context of liver disease with portal hypertension ( cirrhosis, schistosomiasis, Budd-Chiari syndrome, and others), ascites is the extravasation of blood plasma into the abdominal cavity, mainly through the peritoneum, caused by a sum of factors.
Whereas belly fat is an accumulation of fat around organs located in the abdomen. It can cause metabolic syndromes such as diabetes type 2, hyper cholesterol, a voltage high blood diseases, or risks of cardiovascular.

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