How Is Ascites Diagnosed
Sometimes, ascites can be diagnosed in the doctors office with a physical examination. To confirm a diagnosis, a physician may run certain tests, such as an ultrasound or CT scan of the belly. A test to examine the fluid may be conducted. In these cases, after a local anesthetic is applied, the doctor will insert a small needle into the belly to extract the fluid. The doctor can then test this fluid to determine its cause.1
What Is The Connection Between Ascites And Hepatitis C
Hepatitis can cause serious damage to the liver. For people with chronic hepatitis C infection, cirrhosis can develop if the symptoms remain untreated and the hepatitis infection continues to progress. Alcohol use and some medications can also increase the risk for ascites in patients with hepatitis C, as these can be additionally damaging to the liver.3
Rashes From Hcv Treatment
While some skin rashes are caused by HCV, treatment for the infection can cause rashes, too. This is most common when anti-hepatitis medications are injected. In such cases, rashes may develop at the injection site as a sign of irritation.
Cold packs and hydrocortisone cream may alleviate itchiness and discomfort as the rash heals. If you experience rashes that are not at the injection site, this can be a sign of a rare reaction to the medication. Call your doctor right away.
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Swollen Feet Resulting From Venous Insufficiency
This condition occurs when veins can no longer adequately pump blood, causing blood to pool in the legs.
Venous Insufficiency Treatment
A common treatment for venous insufficiency includes prescription compression stockings. These stockings apply pressure at the ankle and lower leg level. They help improve blood flow and can significantly reduce leg swelling. Compression stockings are available in a range of prescription strengths and different lengths.
Venous Insufficiency prevention
Preventive measures you can adopt immediately without a doctors prescription include:
- Avoid sitting or standing in one position for long periods. Get up and move around frequently.
- Dont smoke
- Get regular exercise
- Maintain healthy body weight.
Tip: As there is no cure for venous insufficiency, prevention is of utmost importance.
Swollen Feet Caused By Heart Disease
Swollen feet could be a sign of heart disease or pending heart failure. If the heart is damaged, it cannot pump blood to and from the heart efficiently. Right-sided heart failure can cause the body to retain salt and water, resulting in swollen feet.
Heart Disease Treatment
Treatments for this condition vary widely and may include everything from lifestyle changes to medications, surgery, stents, pacemakers, and ablation.
Watch this video about how heart failure is diagnosed.
Heart Disease Prevention
While heart disease has a hereditary aspect, here is what you can do to significantly reduce your risk:
- Control your blood pressure
- Control your diabetes
- Maintain good sleep habits
According to MedlinePlus.gov heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Some of the risk factors you cannot change include your age, sex, race, and family history.
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What Causes Swollen Hands And Feet
Swollen hands and feet can have a variety of causes. The most common type of swelling is called idiopathic edema. Idiopathicedema is poorly understood, but it is not dangerous. Sometimes it is possible to pinpoint the cause, but often it is not.
Sometimes women suffer from idiopathic edema during certain portions of their menstrual cycle. The problem, however, is not limited to women and not necessarily to a particular time of the month. Swollen hands and feet is often combined with retained sodium. Diuretics rarely have any effect on idiopathic edema.
Swollen hands and feet from idiopathic edema can often be reduced by lying down for several hours and reducing the amount of salt in your diet. Some doctors treat idiopathic edema with ACE inhibitors or progesterone, but this does not consistently treat the condition. There is no health risk associated with this swelling, so rest and reduction of salt seem to be the best treatment.
In some cases, idiopathic edema is so severe that it causes discomfort. The swelling can stretch the skin, causing itching and pain. In this case, a doctor will first determine that the swelling is not part of a greater health concern. If not, he may recommend elastic stockings to help reduce the swelling and alleviate the discomfort.
Liver Damage Symptoms Your Doctor Wants You To Know About
Did you know that the liver is capable of repairing its own damaged tissues? This means that, in some cases, liver damage is reversible. However, liver conditions exist that can cause permanent damage, so it is critical that liver damage symptoms are identified and treated as quickly as possible. At Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, we understand the value of early diagnosis when it comes to the liver and other digestive health issues. The following list provides you with common liver damage symptoms to watch out for.
Early-stage liver damage often causes nausea, weight loss, disinterest in food or a combination of the three. Furthermore, the first stage of hepatitis can bring on flu-like symptoms such as an upset stomach. Be proactive and visit a doctor if you notice significant changes in your appetite or digestive health in general.
Abdominal Pain Cirrhosis-induced pain usually presents itself in the upper right abdomen, just below the right ribs. The pain may be throbbing or stabbing, and it can come and go. If you experience this type of pain regularly, or if the intensity of it prevents you from functioning normally, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Bruising When your liver is damaged, it does not produce an adequate amount of clotting proteins, so you may bruise and bleed more easily than usual. A number of conditions can lead to excess bruising, so be sure to check with your doctor if you notice this symptom.
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The Top Ten Causes For Swollen Foot Pain And Treatment Options
It can be quite challenging to carry on with your daily routine if you have swollen feet! The saddest part is that sometimes you dont even have to be involved in high-impact activities to develop swollen feet.
Many conditions can cause your feet to swell. For example, something as simple as just gravity can pull down fluid into your feet, causing swelling.
But given that there are so many causes of swollen foot pain, its important to have a deeper understanding of this condition before arriving at a final conclusion.
The first thing youre probably wondering is what causes this kind of pain?
That question begins the first part of our discussion:
Youre In Kidney Failure
Your kidneys are responsible for balancing fluids in your body and moving fluid you dont need out of your system. When one or both arent functioning properly, you might end up with swollen feet.
Normally people go home and put their feet up, and the body reabsorbs that little bit of extra fluid, and the kidneys just get rid of it, explains Dr. Marcussen. kidney problems, your body has trouble getting rid of that fluid, then that swelling is more marked and more dramatic. A lot of people have swelling other places too, like their hands and face.
You would think that treatment for kidney disease would help the problem, but not so with dialysis, which is often required for advanced cases of kidney failure. Dialysis machines are like artificial kidneys, performing the same tasks that your kidneys no longer can. Even on dialysis, though, your body cant get rid of enough fluid.
This is when medications can help. People who have heart failure or kidney problems are often put on diuretics, says Dr. Marcussen, of medications that increase the amount of water and salt you excrete in your urine. Basically they help the kidneys dump fluid.
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Soak Your Feet In Cold Water
Soaking your feet in cold water can also provide some quick relief to swollen feet. Blood vessels contract when theyre cold, which can help reduce swelling. You can also try soaking in Epsom salt. The theory is similar to how sodium draws water into your blood when its in your body. The salt is absorbed into the skin and draws water out of the body. It also boosts the magnesium in your body, which can act as an anti-inflammatory. However, its a good idea to moisturize after an Epsom salt bath. Drawing water out of your skin can leave it dry and irritated.
Other Conditions Causing Swollen Feet
Preeclampsia This condition causes high blood pressure during pregnancy. The increase in blood pressure can result in poor circulation and swelling in the face, hands, legs, and feet.
Natural Hormonal Changes Fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels may cause reduced circulation in the legs, resulting in swelling. These changes in hormone levels may occur during pregnancy and a womans menstrual cycle.
Reactions To Medication Foot, leg, and ankle swelling can also occur while taking particular medications, like:
- Antidepressants including tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs , including ibuprofen and aspirin
Tip: These types of medications can lead to water retention, resulting in mild to severe leg, foot, and ankle swelling.
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Hepatitis C Burning Feet And Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy, characterized by numbness, burning, tingling and/or pain in the hands and feet, is a nerve damage arising from hepatitis C infection and other health conditions.
The precise cause of HCV neuropathy has not been determined, and treatment may vary based on how the nerve damage occurred.
When To Seek Medical Help
While swelling in the foot, leg, and ankle usually doesnt pose a significant health risk, its important to know when you should see a doctor. Swelling may sometimes indicate a developing or grave underlying health issue that should be treated immediately.
Report your symptoms and condition to your doctor if your swelling leaves an indentation if you press your finger into it, if it has developed suddenly, lasts for more than 48 hours, affects only one foot, or is accompanied by pain or skin discoloration.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you develop any of the symptoms of chronic hepatitis, liver damage, or liver cancer, see your healthcare provider. It takes only a blood test to detect the presence of a hepatitis virus in your body .
A blood test also can determine which hepatitis virus you’re infected with, which will determine what your treatment should be .
How Can Diet Improve The Condition
Doctors may, however, recommend changes in diet, as part of a general treatment plan. This may be especially important if damage to the liver leads to complications, such as cirrhosis.
Doctors will warn people to avoid alcohol in most cases, as autoimmune hepatitis can damage the liver.
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What Is Portal Hypertension
Portal hypertension is high blood pressure in the portal vein. This vein sends blood to the liver from the intestine and spleen. Portal hypertension may be from increased blood pressure in the portal blood vessels. Or it may be caused by the slowing of blood flow through the liver. Portal hypertension can lead to the growth of new blood vessels . These connect blood flow from the intestine to the general circulation. They bypass the liver. When this happens, substances that are normally removed by the liver pass into the general circulation. Symptoms of portal hypertension may include:
Kidney problems or failure
Chronic Hepatitis B Symptoms
Most patients with chronic hepatitis B are asymptomatic unless their disease progresses. Others might have nonspecific symptoms, such as fatigue.
Some patients experience worsening of the infection and develop signs and symptoms similar to acute hepatitis.
If patients with chronic hepatitis B progress to cirrhosis they will develop signs and symptoms of liver failure, including:
- Peripheral edema
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
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How Is Cirrhosis Of The Liver Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will first ask about your medical history and over-the-counter and prescription drug use. They will also ask about any supplements or herbal products you may take. Your provider may suspect you have cirrhosis if you have a long history of alcohol abuse, injectable drug abuse or have had hepatitis B or C and have the symptoms listed in this article.
To diagnosis cirrhosis, your provider will perform a physical exam and may order one or more of the following tests:
- Physical exam: Your doctor will examine you, looking for the signs and symptoms of cirrhosis including: the red, spider-like blood vessels on your skin yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes bruises on your skin redness on your palms swelling, tenderness or pain in your abdomen enlarged firmer-feeling, bumpy texture to the lower edge of your liver .
- Blood tests: If your doctor suspects cirrhosis, your blood will be checked for signs of liver disease. Signs of liver damage include:
- Lower than normal levels of albumin and blood clotting factors .
- Raised levels of liver enzymes .
- Higher level of iron .
- Presence of autoantibodies .
- Raised bilirubin level .
- High white blood cell count .
- High creatinine level .
- Lower levels of sodium .
- Raised level of alpha-fetoprotein .
In addition, other blood work will include a complete blood count to look for signs of infection and anemia caused by internal bleeding and a viral hepatitis test to check for hepatitis B or C.
Blood And Vessel Problems
People with hepatitis C often get a condition called cryoglobulinemia. This happens when certain proteins in your blood stick together in cold weather. They can build up in vessels and block blood flow, which causes swelling and damage. The condition can affect your skin, organs, nerves, and joints.
Hepatitis C also can cause problems with blood itself. You may not make enough white blood cells, which fight infections, or platelets, which help your blood clot.
The infection can also make you bruise easily or get red or purple spots under your skin. Those are signs of a bleeding disorder called immune thrombocytopenic purpura.
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Easy Bruising And Bleeding
In the advanced stages of hepatitis C, you may see easy bruising and excessive bleeding for no apparent reason. Abnormal bruising is believed to be the result of the liver slowing the production of platelets, or proteins needed to clot blood.
In more serious cases, there can be excessive bleeding of the nose or gums, or blood in the urine.
What Can I Expect If I Have Cirrhosis
Damage already done to your liver is permanent. But your liver is a large organ. If part of your liver is still working, you might be able to slow the progression of disease, depending on its cause. For instance, if your cirrhosis is caused by alcohol abuse, you need to stop drinking immediately. If you are obese or have diabetes, you will need to lose weight and manage your blood sugar so you can lower the damage caused by fatty liver disease.
You and your healthcare provider or team will work together to determine whats causing your cirrhosis and what complications may have resulted from your cirrhosis and treat them accordingly.
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Youre Taking Medication That Causes Swelling
Hormonal contraception and hormone replacement therapy aren’t the only meds that can cause foot swelling. So can many other drugs, and usually for different reasons. Pills to control blood sugar in people who have diabeteslike Avandia or Actos make it harder to get sodium out of the body, which leads to swelling.
The heart drugs known as direct vasodilators can also cause it. Vasodilation means the drugs help open up the blood vessels to make blood flow more freely. Examples are Loniten and Apresoline . Calcium channel blockers widen blood vessels by relaxing the muscles in vessel walls. This can also cause foot swelling, as can angiotensin receptor blockers, which prevent sodium from being flushed out of your body.
Foot Pain And Liver Disease
Liver disease can cause pain and swelling in the feet. When the liver isnt working right, excess fluid builds up in the lower extremities leading to edema.
Peripheral neuropathy in the feet has also been associated with chronic liver disease.
Hepatitis is the most common cause of liver disease. Other types of liver disease include cirrhosis of the liver , fatty liver disease and alcohol-induced liver disease.
Any time the liver is compromised by disease there is potential for it to cause pain and/or swelling in the feet and ankles.
Treating Foot, Ankle & Toenail Problems Associated with Hepatitis C
Because hepatitis C affects the liver, it is associated with a wide variety of symptoms and health problems affecting the feet, ankles, toes, skin, kidneys and the entire body. A compromised liver can even affect your toenails, as poor nutrition weakens hair and nail growth.
Whether or not youve been diagnosed with HCV, its important to see an experienced podiatrist whenever you notice a change in the health of your feet and ankles.
Early diagnosis is key for the most effective treatment of your pain.
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