What is anasarca and how can it be treated?: Get the answer from Harvard Health Publishing.

What is anasarca and how can it be treated?: Get the answer from Harvard Health Publishing.

Answered by Dr. Howard E. LeWine

M.D. Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing · 40 years of experience · USA

Anasarca refers to the accumulation of excess fluid throughout the tissues in the body leading to very significant weight gain. Anasarca is most often due to heart failure, very low levels of the protein albumin in the blood, cirrhosis or certain types of kidney disease. Diuretics (“water pills”) are almost always needed. But to control the excess fluid, the underlying condition causing the anasarca also needs to be addressed.

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