- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Treat Ascites
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
- Sodium restriction-Limiting salt intake to 2,000 mg per day or less is often recommended to reduce or delay fluid build-up. More extreme restrictions in salt intake do not further improve outcomes.
- Alcohol restriction-Ascites commonly occurs in people who have liver disease. Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism can further impair liver function. Stopping alcohol use may limit the progression of ascites.
Diuretics (Water Pills)
Diuretic medications are drugs that cause the kidneys to excrete more sodium and water in the urine. These medications are often recommended as the treatment of choice for ascites, along with sodium restriction.
Examples of diurectics include:
- Spironolactone (Aldactone)
- Furosemide (Lasix)
Ascites can be treated by inserting a hollow needle into the abdomen and removing excess fluid through the needle.
If the other treatments are not effective and the ascites keep coming back, surgery can be done to divert blood away from the liver.
If you are diagnosed with ascites, follow your doctor's instructions.