Stomach Growling

We often refer to a growling stomach to indicate how hungry we are. The noise the stomach makes is due to the digestive process in the stomach. The noises made by the stomach are prominent when the stomach is empty.  Though this is a condition found commonly, it can be prevented with simple ways by carefully choosing your food and eating habits.


What causes stomach growling?


The human digestive system comprises of the mouth, food pipe, stomach, small and large intestine ending in the anus. Food when swallowed moves through each of the organs in turn and the waste is eliminated through the anus. Food is moved by muscles in a series of contractions termed peristalsis. Muscles in the stomach and intestine alternately relax and contract in waves, pushing the food through the digestive tract. In the process, food is broken down into small portions, digestive juices are mixed with it and food is broken down in a form easily absorbed by the body. Helpful bacteria present in the gut help break don food and ferment the same. In the process, gas is produced which moves with the food into the next organ along the digestive tract. When the muscles contract these pockets of gases are compressed resulting in the growling noises made inside the stomach.


Within 2 hours of emptying itself, the brain signals the stomach to restart peristalsis. This digests any remaining food and also signals the brain to send hunger signals. Abnormal growling may be an indication of an upset stomach or stomach infection. Excessive growling, when accompanied by a bloated feeling, frequent stools and heartburn should be referred to a doctor.


How to prevent Stomach growling


1.    The digestive system is strained if we eat 2-3 big meals a day. Instead if we break down meals into 6 small meals at regular intervals, the digestive system finds it easier to digest and assimilate food.  

2.    Sometimes, due to Candida bacteria present in the gut, food in the digestive tract gets fermented leading to excess gas production. A complete cleansing of the bowel is called for in such a case

3.    Certain food items are gas forming. Beans, cheese, nuts, meat, cabbage and whole grains come under this category of foods and should be avoided if the stomach rumbling is loud.

4.    Lactose intolerant people should avoid all milk and dairy products.

5.    Snacking on crackers between meals helps avoid rumbling.

6.    Talking while eating is best avoided. Talking while eating causes air to be swallowed which causes belching and a rumbling stomach.

7.    The process of digesting starch and sugar begins in the mouth. Chew food well before swallowing to allow saliva to partially digest starches and sugars, which are the main sources of stomach gas.

8.    Exercising stimulates the functioning of the internal organs and glands so that the process of digestion is well regulated.


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