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Why Is My Stomach Gurgling?
Weird bodily noises are embarrassing, but they’re also natural and rarely a sign that anything is wrong. Your body is an incredibly efficient machine and, like all working things, it occasionally creaks and gurgles. Gurgly stomach noises have several different causes, but mostly they are just your digestive system doing its job. Loud stomach gurgles that don’t stop may be a sign of something more serious, so if they are continuous enough to be uncomfortable, consult your doctor to isolate the cause.
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Your stomach is a hollow organ that is shaped like the letter “J”. Adult stomachs generally weigh approximately 4.5 oz. and can hold 4 to 8 pints of food. The stomach’s job is to use the 2.5 quarts of water, hydrochloric acid and pepsin — an enzyme that breaks down proteins — to digest your food into a paste. This paste, called chyme, is then passed through the duodenum and into your excretory system.
Normal Functioning Noises
Your stomach stays just as busy between meals. According to the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, the glands that line your stomach go into action every three to four hours whether you eat anything or not. Smelling food, seeing images of it or even just thinking about food can start the release of gastric juices. The movement of your stomach walls and the juices being excreted creates growling and gurgling noises.
Hunger is activated by signals sent from your digestive system to your hypothalamus. These signals release hormones that stimulate the secretion of gastric juices and get the muscles in your stomach walls moving. This can make your stomach gurgle.
Eating certain foods like beans, cabbage and melon can cause gurgles because your stomach lacks a necessary enzyme to break down the sugars they contain. According to the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, the natural bacteria in your stomach reacts with these sugars, creating carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane gasses, which can rumble around uncomfortablly before escaping. Once the food in your stomach has been broken down into chyme, it must pass through your duodenum and into your intestinal tract. This requires muscle contractions, which can cause gurgles.
More Serious Causes
Prolonged stomach gurgling can be a sign of something more serious than hunger or gas, like irritable bowel syndrome, also called IBS which generally presents with other symptoms like excess gas, diarrhea, bloating and cramping. Occasional rumbles in your tummy are normal, but if you have gurgles accompanied by other symptoms, you should consult your doctor.
Gurgling Stomach: Causes and Home Remedies
A gurgling stomach can cause growling and burbling noises from your abdomen at any time of day. These stomach noises can be a source of embarrassment to you and cause amusement for others. Even though gurgling stomach noises are usually associated with hunger, there are many other reasons for rumblings in your tummy. Frequent and recurring gurgling stomach noises can be caused by food intolerances, eating too much sugar, a digestive disorder, or stress.
The medical name for a gurgling or growling stomach is “borborygmi.” The noises come from the intestinal muscles contracting to move contents of your gastrointestinal tract along. As fluid and gas move through the intestines it causes noises like your stomach is gurgling, rumbling, or growling. Along with the stomach gurgling, you may also experience bloating, pain, discomfort, or excessive gas.
There are many home remedies that can help to relieve the discomfort caused by a growling stomach. Home remedies that include ginger and chamomile tea, can help to improve your digestion and reduce the gurgling sounds. Other helpful ways to treat a stomach that gurgles is to take probiotics and eat slower.
This article examines the most common reasons why you could have a gurgling stomach and what you can do to stop stomach rumbling.
Causes of Gurgling Stomach
Stomach muscle contraction
Abdominal noises are a normal part of the digestive system and are not usually anything to worry about.
According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), “borborygmi” (stomach noises) occur when the muscles of your intestines contract and you have liquid and gas in your bowels. Sometimes, the muscles are very active and you can hear your stomach “gurgling.” 1
Even if you can’t hear the gurgling noises from your stomach or intestines, a doctor can usually hear them through a stethoscope. Doctors may listen for sounds from your stomach to make sure your intestines and digestive system are working properly.
Hunger causes gurgling stomach
Hunger is one of the most common reasons for a gurgling stomach. When you haven’t eaten for a few hours, your gut sends signals to your brain to get your digestive system working. But, why would your stomach emit noises if it is empty?
The journal Frontiers in Pharmacology explains that the connection between your brain and gut can cause the stomach and small intestines to become more active when they are empty. This is described as the Migrating Motor Complex. The noisy contractions from your tummy could be the stomach clearing out accumulated food in the intestines to get ready for the next meal.
Gastroenterologist, Dr. Laurence Bailen, explains that the noises usually stop when you put some food in your system. This is because your digestive muscles start breaking down the food to digest it properly. Dr. Bailen recommends eating food slowly and not talking at the same time to prevent stomach gurgling during digestion. 3
If you notice stomach grumblings or gurgling noises after consuming dairy products, it could be a sign of lactose intolerance. If your digestive system can’t digest properly the sugar (lactose) in milk products, it will cause digestive upset. You may feel the symptoms of lactose intolerance within a few hours of consuming products containing dairy.
The Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility reports that lactose intolerance causes borborygmi, nausea, digestive pain and discomfort, and diarrhea. 4 The IFFGD explains that the loud gurgling noises from the stomach are caused when lactose ferments in the colon and increases gas and intestinal muscle contractions. 5
Avoiding dairy products is one way to prevent gas and bloating. If you are interested to find out more about the symptoms of lactose intolerance, please read my article on why most people are lactose intolerant.
Eating too much sugar
A diet containing too much sugar and foods containing natural sugar can cause excessive stomach gurgling. Too much sugar, especially fructose, can cause digestive upset and a gurgling stomach.
Doctors on WebMD reported on a study showing that fructose isn’t easily absorbed by the body. If there is too much fructose in the body, it ferments with bacteria in the colon. Some of the symptoms are excessive gas, pain, bloating, and diarrhea. 6 The IFFGD says that fructose can also cause increased intestinal noise. 7
If you notice digestive problems like stomach growling, gas, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea after eating, you should ask your doctor to test you for fructose intolerance. You could also try to limit your consumption of high-fructose foods.
Inflammatory bowel disease
If you suffer from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, you may also have a gurgling stomach. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel conditions that cause digestive upset. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can cause abdominal cramping, rectal bleeding, constipation, pain under your ribs, and night sweats.
According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, one of the digestive symptoms of IBD is “abdominal sounds, such as gurgling over the intestines.” They say that it is difficult to treat inflammatory bowel disease and usually it can be managed by making dietary changes and taking the appropriate medication. 8
Diarrhea is an unpleasant digestive condition that also causes loud abdominal noises. The gurgling noises from your abdominal area happen as gas and watery stool get pushed through the intestines.
Dr. Linda Vorvick on MedlinePlus says that diarrhea can cause hyperactive bowel sounds and increased intestinal activity. 9
Gastroenteritis is caused by an infection that causes nausea, abdominal discomfort and can be a reason for explosive diarrhea. According to Dr. Jennifer Lynn Bonheur on MedSape, one of the symptoms of gastroenteritis is borborygmi. 10
Irritable bowel syndrome
A grumbling stomach is also a common symptom associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a difficult digestive condition to manage that causes diarrhea after eating, constipation, abdominal cramping, and pain.
The Journal of Neurogastroenterol Motility reports that stomach gurgling is common in IBS patients and is especially noticeable after consuming dairy products (lactose intolerance). They recommended that making the appropriate dietary changes can help to reduce the stomach noises, excess gas, and bloating. 4 In this regard, you can read my article about the best natural treatments to relieve IBS.
Stress may also cause a gurgling stomach if you have irritable bowel syndrome. Stress can affect your body in many negative ways and digestive upset is just one of the symptoms of excess emotional or physiological stress. Please read my article on the best home remedies for anxiety and stress to help relieve any digestive upset it is causing.
In some cases, an intestinal obstruction can cause a growling stomach with gurgling noises. Intestinal obstructions can be caused by something blocking the bowel. It can cause pain and discomfort and also prevent the proper absorption of nutrients into the body.
According to the British Society of Gastroenterology, rumblings in your stomach can be caused by a bowel obstruction. 11 Dr. Luigi Santacroce on Medscape says that if the obstruction causes the stomach to bloat very much, you may even hear a splashing noise and loud stomach noises. 12
Home Remedies for Gurgling Stomach
It’s important to remember that a gurgling stomach is a normal part of a healthy digestive system. However, frequent loud rumbling or growling noises can be a symptom of an upset intestinal system. Here are some of the best home remedies for a gurgling stomach.
Improve digestion with ginger
Ginger can help you boost the health of your digestive system and reduce the amount of gurgling in your stomach.
A review on the medicinal properties of ginger found that it has a positive effect on the effectiveness of moving food through your gastric system. Ginger can reduce the symptoms of an upset digestive system including nausea, gas, abdominal discomfort, and vomiting. 13
You can easily make a home remedy for a gurgling stomach by making ginger tea. You should grate about 1-2 inches of fresh ginger root and put it in a cup of boiling water. To prevent the amazing properties of ginger escaping, cover the cup and let it infuse for a few minutes. Drink this about 20 minutes before each meal to prevent a grumbling stomach. If you don’t have fresh ginger, ground ginger is just as good for your digestion.
Drink ginger tea to relieve a gurgling stomach that has been caused by diarrhea, IBS, or gastroenteritis.
Other herbal teas that can boost your digestive health are chamomile tea, peppermint tea, and lemon balm (Melissa) tea.
Another way to help improve the health of your gastrointestinal tract and get rid of stomach grumbling is to use probiotic supplements. Supplements containing live probiotic bacteria help to balance the delicate flora of your gut. They can alleviate many conditions caused by IBS, digestive problems from taking antibiotics, diarrhea, IBD, and ulcers.
The British Medical Journal reported that probiotics can benefit intestinal health. They can help to prevent diarrhea and stop infections from irritating the gut and causing inflammation. 14 The study also reported that food containing “live” cultures is also showing promising results in studies on digestive health.
To get the benefit from probiotic supplements to relieve a gurgling stomach, it’s important to use them regularly.
Reduce stress to help stop stomach gurgling
Reducing stress is another natural way to reduce the discomfort caused by a gurgling stomach. There are many natural ways to reduce stress.
For example, the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that using lavender oil in aromatherapy can reduce stress when inhaling it for 5 minutes. 15 A study from Iran found that lavender oil inhalation can help to significantly lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. 16
To find out how to use essential oils to reduce stress and therefore a rumbling stomach, please read my article on the best essential oils for anxiety, depression, and stress.
Eat slower to stop gurgling stomach
Eat your meals slower to help reduce the amount of gurgling noises in your stomach. When you eat fast you also take in lots of air which leads to a buildup of gas in your stomach. This, in turn, aggravates a gurgling stomach.
Some of the practical ways that you can treat digestive problems by eating slower are to eat your meals in a relaxed atmosphere, don’t watch television while eating, and chew your food well before swallowing.
Treat diarrhea to stop gurgling stomach quickly
To stop a grumbling stomach that is caused by diarrhea or another gastrointestinal upset, you can use some natural remedies for diarrhea.
For example, you can calm your stomach and intestines by using chamomile tea. This has a relaxing effect in your gut and can stop grumbling noises from your tummy. As well as having a soothing effect in your gastrointestinal system, chamomile tea can also help kill off germs that cause infections and inflammation in the gut.
In a review of the medicinal properties of chamomile, the journal Pharmacognosy Review found that chamomile extracts are effective in treating upper intestinal diseases and can reduce inflammation. 17
Make a soothing chamomile tea to quickly calm your stomach grumblings and get rid of the gurgling noises. Drink the tea regularly to prevent a gurgling stomach and boost your digestive health.
You can also consume bland foods to treat a gurgling stomach caused by digestive problems. A bland diet is often recommended to help treat digestive problems or to assist the stomach or gastrointestinal tract recover after surgery or illness (such as food poisoning). Some of the foods that you can eat are carrots, celery, eggplants, and chicken. For a complete list of foods please read my article about the complete guide of the bland diet.
Gurgling Stomach? Try These Remedies
Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.
As a digestive organ, the stomach can make a variety of different sounds. After all, there are a lot of substances being digested through our stomachs on a daily basis.
Stomach Gurgling and Rumbling sounds are typically caused by gas flowing through our intestines. Doctors call these types of sounds borborygmi—and more often than not, the cause is benign.
According to the Pittsburgh School of Nursing, the glands in the stomach will go into action every few hours, regardless of whether or not you’re consuming food. Anything from smelling food, seeing images of food, or even just thinking of food can release gastric juices.
One in five individuals will experience a “gurgling” stomach at least once in their lifetime.
What Causes Stomach Gurgling?
Stomach gurgling can be attributed to various causes—but it generally means that your digestive track is doing its job! Here are some of the causes of gurgling stomach:
When consuming food, the movement of the food and fluids through the gut can be a vigorous process. Strong muscle contractions are constantly churning the food and attempting to push it through the gut. Though the gurgling sounds are normal after consuming a meal, there can be times where certain foods and drinks contribute to louder and excessive noises.
One major contributor is carbonated beverages. These beverages can increase gas in the body and contribute to loud gurgling sounds in stomach. Eating too fast or swallowing air while consuming food can also increase gas in the bowels.
Increased bowel activity can lead to louder stomach gurgling sounds in the stomach and bowel. This is usually due to gastroenteritis (irritated or inflamed intestines) and food poisoning—two conditions where the bowels are irritated.
Alcohol or even different types of medication can upset the gut. Gut over-activity is not always caused by consuming substances; disease, anxiety, and psychological stress have also been known to alter bowel activity.
When you hear a rumbling or growling sound in the gut, it may be your body’s way of reminding you that you need to eat. When you’re hungry, the stomach is put into action; it begins to churn and then signals the brain that it’s time to eat.
If you consume alcohol or caffeine on an empty stomach, the gurgling noise can increase.
Sleep deprivation and stress can cause some people to overeat, which can trigger excess stomach sounds.
A nervous sensation can trigger a significant increase of stomach acid and gurgling. This feeling can also mean that you are ready for a task at hand and are aware of the importance of it.
Dairy and gluten are common triggers for food intolerance. As the body attempts to digest these foods, cramps and gas can result. In order to avoid this, find out what food irritates your stomach and avoid it.
Remedies for Stomach Gurgling
- Drinking water: Consuming water should naturally prevent stomach gurgling. Keep in mind that tap water can include chlorine or fluoride, which can help contribute to gurgling stomach in some people. The best thing to do is to filter or boil tap water before consuming it.
- Healthy diet: A diet high in fiber will help reduce the gurgling symptoms. Instead of eating large meals, eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day—this will keep your stomach satisfied and give it time to digest the food.
- Get a good night’s sleep: A healthy gut—and body— requires between seven and eight hours of sleep every night. Losing sleep might contribute to overeating and lead to gurgling stomach, diarrhea, or constipation.
- Physical activity: Physical activity (playing sports, aerobics, working out at the gym, etc.) is essential to reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and stomach gurgling.
- Stress management: Managing stress should help the symptoms pass quicker. Try relaxation methods, prayer, meditation, or listening to soothing music.
- Herbal tea: Peppermint and chamomile tea provide a soothing sensation for the stomach and can also speed up the digestive process.
- Do not drink or smoke: The chemicals in both cigarettes and alcohol will irritate the stomach. Alcohol contains acid, and cigarettes reduce the production of protective stomach mucus. Both can contribute to severe stomach pain and contribute to gurgling symptoms.
- Maintain good hygiene: We are constantly at risk of dangerous bacteria entering our systems; this could contribute to contracting a virus, bug, or stomach flu (and as a result, gurgling stomach). Make sure to maintain proper hygiene, including frequent hand-washing.
There are times when gurgling noises are the result of a more serious condition. If the gurgling sound becomes consistent, occurs on a daily basis, and is accompanied by discomfort, abnormal stools, or severe pain, consult your doctor to find out what the underlying cause may be.
Sources for Today’s article:
Http://www. treatmd. org/
Http://www. livestrong. com/article/326182-why-is-my-stomach-gurgling/
Http://www. healthyandnaturalworld. com/stomach-gurgling/
Http://www. doctorshealthpress. com/general-health-articles/stomach-gurgling-home-remedies/