Gurgling intestines are a common problem among most people. In spite of this, its exact causes are not known. Read on to know more in this regard.
All of us have, at sometime or the other, faced the problem of gurgling intestines. Sometimes, the sounds can be loud enough for others to hear it as well. Most of us tend to associate the gurgling sound with an empty stomach, because we assume that the sound comes from the stomach. The medical term for intestinal gurgling is Borborygmus. Borborygmus is characterized by the rumbling sound that is produced by the movement of gas through the intestines.
Reasons behind Gurgling Intestines
➜ The gurgling sound occurs in the small intestine when the intestinal muscles contract to move food and digestive juices down the gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes, hunger can also cause gurgling, because when a person is hungry, the brain signals the intestines to contract in anticipation of food.
➜ Excessive intestinal gurgling after a meal indicates that the food isn’t completely digested or that too much air has been swallowed during a meal. Those who suffer from anxiety are in the habit of swallowing lots of air while eating, hence they suffer from gurgling and bloating.
➜ In some people, food intolerance is one of the reasons. Those who cannot digest sugars such as lactose found in milk suffer from gurgling, because the undigested lactose stays in the intestines. This in turn causes the bacteria to feed on it and produce gas.
➜ Celiac disease is another causative factor. Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disorder that damages the small intestinal villi. These villi are the small finger-like protrusions in the small intestine, and they play a major role in nutrient absorption. If they are damaged, nutrients can’t be absorbed. Those affected with celiac disease are unable to digest the wheat protein, gluten, found in breads, pizza crusts, and cookies. As a result of this, they suffer from intestinal gurgling.
➜ Intestinal gurgling also occurs as a part of the migrating myoelectric complex (MMC). MMC refers to the waves of activity that flow through the intestines in a regular cycle in a fasting state. These waves facilitate the transportation of digested and undigested food through the intestines. They originate every 75 – 90 minutes during the inter-digestive phase (between meals) and cause some rumbling.
➜ Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the other key causes. IBS is characterized by cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation. Since IBS leads to irregular, disorderly contractions of the intestines, gurgling in the intestines is a natural effect that follows.
➜ When gurgling intestines and diarrhea occur together, it is a symptom of digestive problem, for which medical help should be sought. There is a direct connection between intestinal gurgling and gas movements through the digestive system.
Ways to Prevent Gurgling in Intestines
- Have snacks at short intervals. An empty stomach is one of the causes of this problem. At the same time, avoid overeating.
- Do not gulp down your food in a hurry. Chew it properly to avoid swallowing too much air. For the same purpose, don’t talk too much while eating.
- Avoid drinking excessive water while eating, especially carbonated beverages, which increase the amount of air entering the digestive tract.
- Certain foods like sugar, wheat, onions, and coffee aggravate the problem. These should be taken in moderation.
The problem of gurgling intestines is not uncommon in people who led extremely stressful lives and follow an unhealthy diet. So, it is very important to eat the right foodstuffs, avoid junk food as much as possible, and drink lots of water to keep yourself free from excessive gurgling noises and many other stomach problems.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.