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Stomach Gurgling

Stomach Gurgling

Stomach gurgling has often been associated with hunger but it can also occur due to intestinal disorders like IBS. Less physical activity and more inclination to eating fast foods can also cause frequent rumbling sounds in the stomach.
Nicks J
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Did You Know?
Having meals at regular intervals, eating in moderation, taking adequate sleep, opting for healthy foods, exercising regularly and avoiding excess intake of carbonated beverages can surely help to prevent stomach gurgling in the long run.

Although in most cases, stomach gurgling is not a cause for worry, it certainly puts a person in an awkward situation, especially when your colleagues beside you, hear it clearly. Also, referred to as borborygmus, tummy rumbling is an audible sound that can even wake up a person. No wonder, it is also called stomach noise.
Causes
Hunger
Skipping lunch or breakfast in the name of diet often results in stomach growling. In other words, stomach making noises at intermittent periods indicate that the person is hungry. In many instances, tummy grumbling is accompanied by unbearable hunger pains that subside only after consuming sufficient amount of food. When the stomach is empty, it secretes certain hormones, prompting local nerves to relay signal to the brain. The brain responds by sending another signal to the stomach and the intestine. This causes repeated contraction of muscles, lining the digestive system. So, the growling noises that you hear are nothing but recurring episodes of muscle contractions that occur in the digestive system.
Also, if your stomach is growling due to hunger pangs and instead of food, you take alcohol or coffee, it may irritate and inflame the stomach lining, causing excessive rumbling sounds.
Intestinal Disorders
In some cases, bouts of stomach growling occur frequently even when the stomach is full. When the stomach growls excessively and is followed by abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and severe stomach cramps, it could be the onset of a gastrointestinal disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome. Stomach gurgling associated with IBS can be quite annoying as it is excessively loud and may attract negative attention. Excessive grumbling in the stomach for a long period can also be a symptom of upset stomach.
Lack of Sleep
The line between personal and professional life is getting blurred as more and more people are bringing their office work at home, in turn taking very little rest. Sleeping less in an attempt to meet professional deadlines can also lead to obesity and digestion problems and eventually lead to stomach gurgling.
Nervousness
Nervousness is a psychological state of mind that is the result of anxious or uneasy feelings. Surprisingly, stomach rumbling has been linked to nervousness. People overwhelmed with anxiety become extremely nervous, which often results in stomach gurgling. In order to control anxiety and stress, an easy option would be to practice yoga and meditation techniques.
Food Intolerance
If you are hypersensitive to foods that are included in your diet, you may hear stomach noises after having meals. The hypersensitive reaction is likely to slow down the digestion process. Your body struggles to digest such foods, which may irritate the stomach lining and cause gurgling noises. For instance, people consuming dairy production, despite suffering from lactose intolerance, end up complaining about poor digestion and stomach noises.
Sedentary Lifestyle
If exercise is at the bottom of your priority list everyday, then you are likely to suffer from indigestion that is typically marked by nausea, bloated stomach, gas and belly noise.
Fast Foods and Carbonated Drinks
Drinking carbonated beverages excessively or gorging on fast or junk foods can also cause the stomach to rumble or growl. Junk foods are loaded with calories and therefore no easy to digest. Hence, feasting on these fatty foods can cause indigestion and belly noise.
Consuming Meals Hastily
The habit of having lunch or dinner very fast can take a toll on your stomach. They chew the food a few number of times and then just gulp it down. This improper way of eating food or drinking water quickly can trigger stomach gurgling.
GERD
Gastroesophageal reflux disease can be yet another reason behind these weird noises. In this condition, stomach acids (that promote digestion) spill into the food pipe causing chest pain and growls and gurgles from the stomach. Consuming too much food or one can say a large meal prompts the stomach to release excess acid. This increases the risk of back flow of stomach acid to the food pipe and subsequent stomach grumbling noise. Opting for 5-6 small meals throughout the day is the best way to prevent GERD symptoms.
Stomach Rumbling After Eating
An empty stomach is not the only reason why gurgling sounds are heard inside the stomach. Even after having lunch, one may hear these weird sound. As we all know, digestion takes place mostly in the intestines. It involves the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and minerals into smaller molecules for easier processing. This churning of food is a normal routine for the digestive system and can also produce gurgling sound in the stomach. It is discussed in detail below:
Muscle Contractions
The gurgling sound is due to the contraction of the muscles of the stomach and the small intestine. Muscle contraction is necessary to push the ingested food forward. So, the gurgling noise occurs when the muscles contract, which acts as a force to move the food. While, in most cases this gurgling sound cannot be heard, it might be audible occasionally. The stomach being a muscular organ, it does contract as needed to move its contents. Also, once the ingested food enters the stomach, it remains there for about two hours. During this period, various digestive juices and the contents of the food combine to initiate the process of digestion. All this cannot be done without contracting the different muscular layers of the stomach wall. This contraction of the stomach wall in turn produces this gurgling sound, which is quite normal and there is nothing concerning about it. To be honest, gurgling sound (whether audible or not audible) after meals is an integral part of digestion and certainly does not require medical assistance. So, if you hear this unusual sound from your belly after lunch or dinner, don't worry, as it indicates that your digestive system is doing its job correctly.
Tummy grumbling post meals is harmless and not an issue to be worried about. Sudden unexpected grumbling from the stomach can be slightly embarrassing, especially while socializing, but that should not be the reason for an appointment with a doctor. However, constant stomach gurgling cannot be overlooked and necessary medical advice is important.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.