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Avatar universal

Cirrhotics & swelling belly

I'm wondering what to do with my stomach swelling so big. I have liver and spleen issues left from HCV.
I wake up and my stomach is flat and as the day goes on it looks like I have a beach ball in my belly.
I don't weigh much at all so it's not fat. Is there anything that would help? I don't do salt. It is HOT out lately but a dry heat. It's a bit disturbing to me to have this post treatment. I had hoped many symptoms would cease and as yet I am doing minimally better which is a lot. Heck I'm still alive. I keep touching my belly in astonishment of it's size. What's going on? Is this the preview to HE? What can I expect? What has anyone else done with extended stomach that fluctuates from morning to night? I'm supposedly F4 which is not detectable by looking at me except for the belly. Am I doing too much with all my physical therapy appointments? Am I doing too little and not moving around as much as I should? When the belly is like this it scares me as it was one of the symptoms prior to being hospitalized. Along with it I have no appetite. I feel like I ate Thanksgiving dinner and my stomach is empty short of some yogurt. I've had this symptom many times in the past before I 'cured'. Any input at all is appreciated. Docs are clueless and shine me on.
13 Responses
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2059648 tn?1439766665
It sounds like ascites.  

http://www.medicinenet.com/ascites/article.htm

You have cirrhosis (F4).  You should post on the cirrhosis of the liver forum.

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Cirrhosis-of-the-Liver/show/1390

Contact your doctor.  But also post on the cirrhosis of the liver forum.  They will guide you to the help you need.  You have cirrhosis (F4) and this sounds like ascites.
Helpful - 0
2059648 tn?1439766665
A lot of times when you have a belly that is fine in the morning and then bloats up at night it is something that you are eating.
1) Undiagnosed Celiac Disease.
When patients tell me they look seven to nine months pregnant soon after eating a specific food, I often suspect Celiac disease or an intolerance to wheat or gluten. In these cases, I probe further to see if bread, pasta, flour, or beer seems a likely trigger. Often, a Celiac-related bloated belly can take some time to deflate—up to a day or two after eating the trigger food. Celiac-related bloating may also be accompanied by foul-smelling flatulence and diarrhea, though it’s not unheard of to endure constipation instead. A simple blood test will tell your doctor whether further diagnostic testing is warranted

http://nolandfitness.net/belly-bloat-woes/

Celiac has an association to Hepatitis C.  

Hope this is helpful
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'll keep that in mind. I don't have anymore gastro issues like I did when I had the virus. Everything is normal there. I eat mostly non-gluten and detest bread because of all the salt in it. I cook stir-fry and lots of healthy foods but the past couple weeks I ate some restaurant food everyday...gag.
I think it's diet related and I don't want any pills for it like spirolactone. I don't do pills. Let me see if I can repost this.
I wonder if Celiac has to do with low platelets? hmmm.
I don't drink ever. No beer. I like fresh pasta with pesto sauce but haven't had that in a while. It has to be something I ate in restaurant....prolly bread.
I have an appointment coming up with the PCP and I'll ask about the Celiac. Thanks for your time and response.
Helpful - 0
747988 tn?1396536878
I had the same issues post treatment and have changed my diet to exclude gluten and dairy-it has helped to a degree-I think I've developed IBS as part of the Post viral fatigue syndrome.
Helpful - 0
3093770 tn?1389739126
I experience some if the same so I follow now a low FODMAP diet - just google it - more than likely it will help
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'll look it up. I am seeing I still have to be extra careful what I eat and stay out of the sun and heat.
A while back a poster said they used a diabetes diet and it helped their liver go from F4 to F2. That would be preferable to getting HE. From what I just observed from others with F4 no matter the MELD score, once HE happens, it is over for the liver. I want to avoid HE. I don't want this belly swelling. It's difficult to know what I weigh with all this water weight. I think I gained 4 real pounds and 3 water weight pounds. 4 lbs for me is a lot. That's due to post tx and doing better. I couldn't hold onto any weight when I had the virus. No matter. The bug is gone and for that I am grateful.
What's worked for me in the past is the LA diet so I gravitate towards it when desperate. I can adjust diet as needed and as time passes. In winter I can eat anything almost. In summer I can eat other things.

I do not have IBS at all. Edema is what I am bothered by and it comes and goes. I don't have gas or gastro issues post tx. I'm free of all that. I don't eat sugar or cheese or anything with salt. My liver and spleen swell or the sac around them. Come to think of it my diet is pretty good. It's gluten free based on LA diet that I have done for at least a decade. I'm afraid of HE.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I would try to eat small meals thru the day and limit bread and pasta.  You may want to make sure your drinking enough water and of course eliminate salt.  When I saw a dietitian at Mayo Clinic she said not to eat anything in a box, frozen, or canned.  When you think about it that covers everything except fresh. With Cirrhosis your liver can go either way.  Reaching SVR usually takes 2 years to see regression if at all.  Try not to get discouraged and with time we may all just get lucky.
My best
.,,,,Kim
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
And that's the whole point isn't it? "With Cirrhosis your liver can go either way."

Since I was never brought up on frozen or canned foods and still don't indulge in junk food, salt, booze or pills, I think it's going to take more than diet to move into a more positive direction of healing, if you know what I mean. Now that you mentioned it, I think I will go back to my 'grazing'. That works well. Maybe I'll indulge in some liver love with Organic Tulsi Jasmine Tea. Cheers.
Helpful - 0
6708370 tn?1471490210
Not sure why you don't want to take the Spirolactone. I have taken a small amount - 25mg a day and no ascities at all. Serious, it worked immediately and keeps on working

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have the belly off and on and it's not ascites. I also have cirrhosis. My belly came into being about a year before treatment and now at 8 months since eot it's still the same. However, I do have major problems with gas at times. I think my enlarged spleen and portal hypertension may be the cause. Also, for me, since I'm 68 things simply aren't what they used to be. :)
Helpful - 0
29837 tn?1414534648
I don't believe it's Ascites. How well I should know. If you did have Ascites, your stomach would be swollen all the time, not just when you get up.

Magnum
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I've heard from others that ascites can come and go in the beginning. I think ascites makes your stomach harder also. Not so sure about that though. My doctor said if you place your hand perpendicular to your stomach so that it places a crease in your stomach that acts as a barrier and then tap on one side the fluid will flow under the crease like a wave - if it's ascites. If it's fat and you tap it will not move on the other side of the hand/belly/barrier. Sorry, it's kinda hard to explain with only words.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
UPDATE: I had MLD done-(Manual Lymphedema Drainage) and I went back to normal. It drained all the liquid by manual manipulation of the lymph nodes.
I sweat it all out and went to the restroom more than frequently. Now I have it back in some places because I cheated and ate some salty Cape Cod Potato Chips but at least it's not systemic. As Hector says "it's such and uncomfortable feeling" to have this swelling.

Helpful - 0
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