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What Makes Your Stomach Growl

What Causes Funny Noises In The Stomach

Stomach Growling is a Symptom of…

Growling, rumbling, or gurgling can come from the stomach or the small intestines . The noises are commonly linked to hunger because theyre typically louder when the stomach or intestines are empty. Without any contents in them, the organs dont muffle noises as well.

For bowel sounds to be heard, the following conditions must occur:

  • There must be a muscular contraction of the intestinal wall.
  • There must be liquids within the intestines.
  • There must be gas within the intestines.

Here are some reasons you might notice peculiar stomach noises:

Why Does My Stomach Grumble

Stomach grumbling, known as borborygmus, is the sound of gas or food particles moving through your digestive tract.

When you eat, your intestines move food and liquid along by contracting and relaxing, a process known as peristalsis. Once the food has been digested, your intestines continue to move air along your digestive tract, creating rumbling sounds.

Stomach grumbles simply mean that you havent eaten in a while. Your intestines are always working to move food and air through your body. Youre more likely to hear sounds when youre hungry because theres no food in the intestines to muffle the noise.

So there you have itwhen you hear stomach grumbles, it just means that there is no food being digested. If you feel hungry, go ahead and enjoy a meal or snack, but just because your stomach is making its presence known does not mean that your body needs a large meal. Listen to your hunger, and eat what you need to feel satisfied.

Once you eat something, youll notice the sounds start to quiet down. Even just a quick snack or small meal could be enough to quiet your gurgles.

Its important to note that a constant rumbling sound may mean that youre experiencing a chronic gastrointestinal condition such as irritable bowel syndrome. If you also notice frequent bloating, constipation or diarrhea along with the gurgling sound, talk with your doctor.

Medical Importance Of Abdominal Noises

Bowel sounds without other significant symptoms are normal. Typically, there is no medical significance of bowel sounds however, in certain medical circumstances, hyperactive or absent bowel sounds can cause concern.

Hyperactive Bowel Sounds Hyperactive is defined as being overly active or occurring more than usual. Bowel sounds are often noted to be hyperactive when someone is experiencing diarrhea. With diarrhea, muscle movements, fluid, and gas in the intestines increase. This causes the sounds of watery stool splashing through the gut to be louder.

Some malabsorption conditions may also cause loud bowel sounds. Malabsorption occurs when nutrients are not absorbed well by the small intestine. One common example is the bowel sounds and gas resulting from lactose intolerance. Due to reduced levels of the small intestinal enzyme needed to digest milk sugar , the lactose reaches the colon intact. Bacteria in the colon then ferment the lactose.

This releases hydrogen and other substances and gases into the gut. Fluids in the gut then increase, causing muscle contractions in the gut to increase. Thus, all the conditions that produce abdominal sounds are increased causing hyperactive bowel sounds.

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The Conditions That Cause Stomach Gurgling

As mentioned before, hunger is the most common cause of stomach gurgling, so learning to better read and respond to your own hunger cues can help if thats the cause. Another frequent cause is not reaching rest and digest mode prior to and while eating, Dr. Zook says. Many of us are rushed and often multi-tasking through our meals, she says, which can lead to poor digestion. Focus on taking a few deep breaths before you eat to activate your parasympathetic nervous system and see if it helps.

But if those get ruled out, the sounds and sensations of borborygmi might come from a few other, more serious conditions, including:

  • Infections, like bacteria, yeast, or parasites
  • Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth
  • Food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance
  • Celiac disease

Here’s Why Your Stomach Growls

Why is My Stomach Growling

American Hustle, screenshot

Christian Bale in American Hustle.

BI Answers: Why does my stomach growl?

Whether you call it a growl, a rumble, or a gurgle, chances are you’ve experienced some noise coming from your stomach at an inopportune time, like in the middle of giving a presentation or taking a test.

Well, it turns out your stomach isn’t fully to blame, but also your small intestine. Also good to know: the growling sound is a natural part of your digestive system but is not necessarily related to hunger, although it can be.

The digestive system

Think of the digestive system as an enormous tube beginning with your mouth and ending with a trip to the bathroom a long and winding trail that can be up to 30 feet long in adults.

In the simplest terms, each bite of food you take enters your mouth, travels down the esophagus and ends up in the stomach. The stomach churns up the food with digestive acids. It’s the small intestine that “digests the food with enzymes to absorb the nutrients the good stuff into your body,” Dr. Steven Moss, director of the Brown University Gastroenterology Fellowship Training Program, told Business Insider.

The system relies on a series of contractions known as peristalsis, which are essentially waves that push the churned up food from the stomach into the small intestine and through the gastrointestinal system.

Grumble, grumble, grumble

Growling versus gas

Is there a way to stop the rumble?

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When Stomach Gurgling Signals Another Problem

First off, think about the last time you ate. If its been several hours, and your only symptom is the gurgling , then its likely nothing serious, says Michelle Zook, MD, an internal medicine physician with Parsley Health. However, if you have pain, diarrhea, constipation, excess gas or foul-smelling stool, then its time you pay extra attention. If these added symptoms stick around or get worse, youll want to get checked out by a doctor.

Keep in mind, you may be able to let symptoms like noises and gas go on for a week or two to see if they go away. But if you have more severe symptoms, like diarrhea, blood in the stool, or severe pain, aim to see a doctor within 24 to 48 hours.

Is There Something To Be Worried About Stomach Growls

Growling stomach or intestines are absolutely common and natural and there is nothing to be worried about. If a person never experienced these sounds, this could, in fact, indicate that there is something wrong with the digestive system. However, in some conditions, the growling sounds are louder than usual. These include â

In all these cases, there is an increased muscle contraction or peristalsis. In case of diarrhoea, fluid and gas accumulate with the stool and this increases the sound during muscle contractions.

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How To Stop Stomach Growling

Stomach growling after eating is a natural process and a simple byproduct of food breaking down in our bellies. However, what you eat and how you eat it can affect the regularity and volume of the growls and gurgles.

Take control of your borborygmus and look at these tips below. Manage a growling stomach by changing your diet and eating habits to enjoy more time growl-free.

How To Stop Stomach Rumbling

How To Make Your Stomach Growl | 5 Rumbling Ways!

There are also some natural ways of relieving stomach rumbles, as they can be embarrassing and frustrating. These remedies include:

  • Drinking water – water should be drunk slowly at regular intervals throughout the day, rather than in large gulps, which can cause gurgling sounds.
  • Eating slowly – chewing slowly can reduce the amount of air swallowed, preventing digestive distress.
  • Limiting sugar, alcohol, and acidic foods – sugars such as fructose and sorbitol, and foods like citrus fruits and coffee can cause stomach growling. Meanwhile, alcohol can irritate the digestive tract and can delay gastric emptying, leading to stomach pain.
  • Discovering your food intolerances – avoid foods that cause symptoms, and discuss the possibility of an intolerance with your doctor.
  • Staying physically active – walking after meals can speed up the rate at which your stomach empties.
  • Remaining calm – stomach growling can become more apparent in stressful situations.

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Growling Belly Why Your Stomach Rumbles And How To Stop It

In social situations, theres nothing worse than your stomach doing the talking for you.

The grunting, growling, egregious sounds emanating from the human belly are letting you and sometimes everyone around you know that its time for you to eat.

But maybe you really dont need a sandwich or a slice. Thats because a gurgling belly doesnt always mean its time for lunch.

The noise you, and potentially everyone else is hearing, is perfectly normal, but it isnt always related to the need for food, or even your stomach, says gastroenterologist Dr. Patricia Raymond, Assistant Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

That so-called stomach growl we attribute solely to our bellies also comes from our intestines, specifically the some 20 feet of small intestine.

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If Youre Constantly Feeling The Stomach Gurgles It Might Mean Its Time To See A Doc Heres How To Determine Next Steps

If youre constantly getting stomach gurgles, it might mean its time to see a doctor. Heres how to determine next steps.

You probably know that sensation of your stomach gurglingthe uncomfortable and concerning feeling like a volcano could erupt inside at any time. If you experience it infrequently, you can likely pinpoint whats going on, whether you ate your food too fast, had something that didnt agree with you, or simply skipped breakfast. But if stomach gurgling becomes a recurring symptom, it could signal a more serious problem.

First, head over to our free quiza quick full-body assessment that helps you connect the dots between your gurgling and your overall healththen read on to find out more about what may be causing this symptom.

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Why Does My Stomach Gurgle When Laying Down

Weve all probably had moments where our stomachs make the sounds of a dying whale, usually at the worst possible times. Sometimes in a meeting, sometimes when youre lying in bed, and sometimes just after youve had lunch. Since we were small, weve all been told that your stomach gurgling is a sign that youre hungry and that you should eat. But what about all the times your stomach gurgles after you just ate.

If it happens once or twice a week, you might probably brush it off. But what should you do when it happens every day? Is there something wrong with your stomach? Should you see a doctor? Could it be a symptom of something serious? How do you stop these annoying sounds?

Your stomach gurgles are perfectly normal. These sounds are called borborygmic, and yes, they can be a signal from your stomach to eat. But it can also be caused slow digestion or incomplete digestion, which explains why it happens after eating. You can easily prevent this by drinking water, chewing your food well, and eating on a regular schedule.

What Is A Stomach Growl


Stomach sounds are standard, and the majority of the time, they occur after eating. After consumption, the wall surfaces of the gastrointestinal system contract to allow food to pass from the tummy to the intestinal tracts, which brings about swallow gurgling.

Belly sounds can also indicate cravings since the rise in hormone levels responsible for the hunger experience can also engage the intestines and belly to the agreement, resulting in tummy noises.

Nonetheless, when tummy gurgling includes other symptoms such as discomfort or increased abdominal area, it can also indicate illnesses such as infections, swellings, or constipation. Therefore, it is essential to see the physician to recognize the root cause and start adequate therapy in these situations.

Stomach growling is a normal sensation that any person can experience. It is associated with cravings, slow or incomplete digestion, or the consumption of certain foods.

These roaring and also grumbling noises do not constantly originate from the belly nonetheless, as they can likewise arise from the small intestine additionally along with the digestive system tract.

Stomach Grumbling Facts

  • Belly growling occurs as food, liquid, and gas go through the tummy and small intestine.
  • Belly growling or rumbling is a normal part of digestion.
  • There is nothing in the tummy to stifle these sounds.
  • Among the reasons are appetite, insufficient food digestion, or acid indigestion.

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Try To Rid Anxiety Or Depression Triggers

Do you how your stomach feels like it is in knots when you are depressed? Depression or high levels of short-term anxiety slow gastric emptying. This is primarily due to increased adrenalin and fight and flight response. This response diverts blood away from digesting food and sends it to your muscles to react if need be. This reduces the digestion time and increases your rumbling and growling sounds in your gut.

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Suppose you are observing a high level of anxiety. In that case, deep breathing is perfect for calming the central nervous system and reducing physical drawbacks.

Outlook For Stomach Growling Or Sounds

The outlook for stomach growling relies on the severity of the issue. Sometimes, irritating sounds in your digestive system are optimal and should not be triggering for the matter. If your stomach noises feel irritating, seem unusual, or they are accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical care right away to minimise the risk of complications.

In particular situations, some complications can be life-threatening if you ignore them or leave them untreated. Mainly, Intestinal obstructions can be harmful or life-threatening. The block can cause tissue death if it stops the supply of blood to part of your intestine. Any cut in the lining of your stomach or intestinal wall leads to infection in the abdominal cavity. This can be deadly.

Other medical problems and diseases such as tumours or Crohns disease may need long-term treatment and monitoring.

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Why Does Your Stomach Growl When You Are Hungry

Though stomach growling is commonly heard and associated with hunger and an absence of food in the stomach, it can occur at any time, on an empty or full stomach. Furthermore, growling doesn’t only come from the stomach but, just as often, can be heard coming from the small intestines. Growling is more commonly associated with hunger because it is typically louder when the stomach and intestines are empty and so the organs’ contents don’t muffle the noise.

This growling has been of interest for so many years that the ancient Greeks came up with the rather interesting name for it: borborygmi . The etymology of the term relies on onomatopoeia it is an attempt to put the rumbling sound into words. Borborygmi actually translates as “rumbling.”

The generation of these waves of peristalsis results from a rhythmic fluctuation of electrical potential in the smooth muscle cells, which, all other conditions being appropriate, will cause the muscle to contract. This fluctuation is called the basic electrical rhythm and is a result of inherent activity of the enteric nervous system, which is found in the walls of the gut. The BER causes the muscle cells of the stomach and small intestines to activate at a regular rhythm , in a manner similar to, but slower than, the rhythmicity of cardiac muscle in the heart. The autonomic nervous system and hormonal factors can modulate this BER.

Does A Stomach Rumble Always Mean Hunger

Why Does Your Stomach Growl When You’re Hungry?

The muscle contractions that cause a rumbling stomach actually happen all of the time, not just when we are hungry. However, they are more audible when the stomach or intestines are empty, as nothing but air is helping them travel around. When your stomach is empty, contractions happen about three times per minute, and usually multiple contractions occur at different places in the stomach. When it’s full, those contractions don’t stop completely, but they soften and slow down.

A couple of hours after your last meal moves out of your stomach, your stomach produces a hormone called ghrelin that signals hunger to your brain, causing the digestive system to restart peristalsis.

Not only does this trigger your body to consider where its next meal will come from, it acts as a bit of housekeeping for your insides – sweeping any remaining food and liquids down the digestive tract and into the intestines, leaving your stomach clean.

A growling gut doesn’t necessarily mean you need to eat. It can simply be a sign that your most recent meal has moved further along your digestive system.

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Does Stomach Growling Mean You Are Losing Weight

Weight loss is a complex process that involves many different factors.

While stomach growling, or gastric rumbling, can sometimes occur during weight loss, it is not necessarily an indication that the weight loss is successful.

Stomach growling is usually caused by one of two things: either the stomach is empty and needs to be filled, or gas is passing through the intestines and causing the stomach walls to vibrate.

In either case, stomach growling does not necessarily mean that weight loss is occurring.

However, if stomach growling is accompanied by other symptoms of weight loss, such as reduced appetite, nausea, and fatigue, it may be a sign that weight loss is taking place.

If you are concerned about your weight loss, it is always best to speak with a medical professional. They will be able to help you determine whether or not your weight loss is healthy and sustainable.

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