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Fascinating Facts Behind Those Embarrassing Grumbling Stomach Noises

Doctors actually have a name for that grumbling, roaring, gurgling sound that comes from your innards: It's call "Borborygmi" (pronounced BOR-boh-RIG-me!) And the truth is, it doesn't come from your stomach at all...


As the muscles of the stomach and intestines contract and squeeze their contents, the contents move. It is the movement of the food, liquid, and particularly the gas that gives rise to borborygmi. Because food, liquid, and gas are most commonly present in the intestines after a meal, this is the time when we most frequently are aware of borborygmi. We also may be more aware of them at night while lying in bed, or when sitting in a quiet room.



When you’re hungry, your brain activates the desire to eat, which then sends signals to the intestines and stomach. As a result, the muscles in your digestive system contract and cause these sounds, although, stomach rumbles don't only happen when you’re hungry, it can occur at any time, even on an empty or full stomach.


The rate and force of peristalsis, (the involuntary constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestine or another canal,) typically increases in the presence of food, and also after the stomach and small intestines have been empty for approximately two hours, as the organs' contents don't muffle the noise. The noises can persist for up to 20 minutes at a time and may recur every hour until food is consumed.


If you feel like your noisy gut is garnering a lot of unwanted attention, there are ways you can put a muzzle on it. First off, try...


Mindful eating - slow down, chew thoroughly and swallow each mouthful completely before opening your mouth for another bite.


You can also consider avoiding straws, which will limit the amount of air you gulp down with each swallow.


Another tip would be that as hunger can initiate stomach rumbling and make it louder, try eating little and often, or slowly sipping on water, which can help fill the stomach, in turn helping to combat a borborygmi party!


Finally, fatty acids that are released from the digestion of fat and oils in the intestine are potent blockers of intestinal contractions, therefore a teaspoon of olive oil with breakfast could help reduce borborygmi by reducing the strength of intestinal contractions.


Even though abdominal sounds alone are not usually a cause for concern, if they persists and accompany other symptoms like diarrhoea, excess gas, heartburn, nausea, weight loss etc, seek medical care and advice.