Have you ever been in a situation where an embarrassing growl from your stomach has disrupted the conversation? We’ve all experienced it at one time or another – whether after an intense workout, when we’re hungry, or even when we’re feeling stressed. But what causes stomachs to growl?
“Stomach noises are completely normal and don’t just happen when you’re hungry,” says Will Bulsiewicz, MD, gastroenterologist and Fiber Fueled book author. “In fact, if I’m examining a patient and put a stethoscope on their belly and don’t hear anything, that’s actually a sign something is wrong,” he says. “Stomach growling is a healthy part of digestion and if you experience stomach growling by itself without any pain, discomfort, or other symptoms, it is nothing to worry about,” Dr. Bulsiewicz says. He explains that after you eat, your stomach will start to move food and stomach acid around to break it down, which is what causes those gurgling noises. If food is not moving through your digestive system quickly enough, you may experience increased gas which creates even more noise.
Here are the 6 reasons why do stomachs growls
The most common cause of your stomach gurgling is hunger. When your body needs energy, it begins to produce more stomach acid, which leads to those familiar growling sounds. You can think of it as a noise from your stomach that’s begging for food! It’s like a small, rumbling reminder to fulfill the basic need of nourishment. The message is clear: your stomach needs to be fed! Thankfully, there are plenty of delicious meals to choose from to satisfy your stomach’s cravings.
Eating Too Quickly
If you eat too fast, you are likely to swallow more air which can cause gurgling in your stomach. Eating too quickly can also lead to indigestion and bloating. It’s important to take your time and enjoy your meal so that you can give your stomach a break and prevent those annoying noises. Slow down and savor each bite, allowing your taste buds to take their sweet time to appreciate the meal. Eating slowly is not only good for your stomach, but it can also help you appreciate the flavors more and enhance your overall dining experience.
Eating Too Much
Eating an excessive amount of food can cause your digestive system to work overtime and make those growling noises. The sounds come from the turbulent movement of gas and liquid in your stomach. When you eat too much food, it can be difficult for your stomach to break down the large amount of food quickly, leading to more growling noises. So don’t forget to practice portion control and try to eat until you feel satisfied, not overly full.
Eating Certain Foods
Some foods are harder for your body to digest than others. Eating a lot of fiber-rich foods, such as beans, can cause increased gas in your stomach, leading to more noise. Dairy products, such as ice cream, can also cause rumblings in your stomach if you’re lactose intolerant. “Some people who are sensitive to lactose will eat ice cream and then experience stomach growling and diarrhea,” Dr. Bulsiewicz says. “This can also happen to someone with celiac disease if they eat something with gluten.” Pay attention to how your body reacts to different types of food and make adjustments if needed. Eating more whole, unprocessed foods might help reduce stomach growling and help you feel more comfortable.
When you are feeling anxious or under pressure, your body may produce more stomach acid which leads to increased gurgling. Stress can also cause an upset stomach, leading to those familiar growling sounds. “It’s almost like you’re squeezing a balloon,” Dr. Bulsiewicz says. “A spasm clamps down on the muscle surrounding the intestines which push the gas and liquid to another place.” If you’re feeling stressed out, make sure to take some time for yourself to relax and practice some stress-management techniques. This can help reduce those pesky stomach noises, as well as your overall stress level. Taking a few deep breaths or going for a walk can help you regain your sense of balance and clear your mind.
Eating Too Late
If you eat late at night, your digestive system may not have enough time to process the food before you go to sleep. Eating late can also lead to an overproduction of stomach acid, which can cause gurgling in your stomach. Try to eat dinner early and give your stomach a few hours to digest before bedtime.