Why Does Your Stomach Growl?

The human body is one fascinating machine that works hard to keep you alive and well. The stomach growl is something that reminds you how hard your body is working to keep everything function properly. Feeling your stomach growl can make you feel concerned and it often feels as if the noise is coming from a pot of bubbling stew. 

Why Does Your Stomach Growl?

To understand the reason why your stomach makes those noises, you first need to develop a better understanding of how the digestive system functions.

Your digestive system starts at your mouth and ends at your anus. This system is composed of several organs and helps you digest whatever you eat and extract nutrients from the food. It is important to understand the mechanism in which your digestive system propels food. It happens when waves of muscle contractions that constantly move and push the food downward, and the process is called peristalsis. These contractions are equally important for your stomach to churn liquid, food, and digestive juices together to create a gooey mix called chyme.

Your stomach growls because of this whole process. There are also gasses and air along with liquid and solid chyme ingredients. When these ingredients are pushed by the stomach muscles to be broken down into smaller, digestible bits, those pockets of gas and air are also squeezed. This produces the noises you feel coming out of your stomach. Stomach growling can affect you any time, but it is less likely to be heard when there is some food in your stomach or small intestine.

Why Does Your Stomach Growl When It Is Empty?

About a couple of hours after your stomach digests food and empties itself, it releases hormones that sends message to the brain. Your brain in turn signals your digestive muscles to restart the process of peristalsis. Due to this, your digestive system starts digesting any remaining food left in the stomach. The restart of peristalsis also causes vibrations that make you feel hungry. These muscle contractions usually come and go about every 60 minutes and last up to 10-20 minutes at a time.

How to Prevent Your Stomach from Growling

Why does your stomach growl? Now you know the answer, then it's time to learn ways to keep it from growling. You can take certain steps to avoid feeling any embarrassment due to your growling stomach. For instance:

1. Avoid Eating Too Much Gassy Foods

What you eat will have an effect on your digestive system. Having plenty of gassy foods in your diet is a surefire way of having a growling stomach. Limit your intake of broccoli, cabbage, and beans because they can cause serious gas. You may also have to limit dairy products if they cause any problem. Sticking to a light, bland meal usually resolves the issue.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Consider sipping on some water if you are going out with friends or are attending a meeting where you do not want your stomach to growl at all. You may even continue sipping water when you are there at the event. Keep in mind that sipping water may help keep your stomach from growling, but you may have to use the restroom if you drink a lot of water at a time.

3. Manage Anxiety

So many times, the reason behind your growling stomach is nothing but nervousness. When you are anxious, you tend to swallow more air through your mouth that can make you experience those rumbling sounds coming out of your stomach. You can talk to your doctor if you have chronic anxiety and cannot relax your nerves. They may give you certain medications to reduce anxiety and improve your overall health.

4. Limit Your Alcohol Intake

Hiccups, gas, and burping are common issues related to excessive consumption of alcohol. All these can cause high amount of gas in your system, which can lead to a growling stomach. It is better to stop drinking alcohol. If you must drink, you should at least limit the amount considering how much your system can tolerate with ease. 

5. Take Gas Relief Medications

When there is excessive gas in your digestive tract, you are more likely to have a growling stomach. Limiting the intake of foods that cause gas definitely helps, but you may still need to take OTC gas relief medications for better effects. You do not have to take these medications every time you eat your meal, but it makes sense to have them whenever you eat something that may cause you to be overly gassy.

When to See Your Doctor

Why does your stomach growl? The answer to this question makes it clear that stomach growling is not always serious. Still, you may want to go see your doctor if you have stomach growling along with some other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, frequent diarrhea, unintentional weight loss, bloody stools, feelings of fullness, and heartburn that persists even after taking OTC medications. 

 
 
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