You’ve probably experienced your tummy making sounds when you are hungry.
Here’s the thing – while stomach growling is usually heard and also thought of as being associated with hunger – it can happen even when your stomach is full! The reason why growling is thought of being a sign of hunger is that it’s usually louder when the stomach and intestines are empty (more on this below).
So, why does that happen?
It’s called borborygmi – which is defined as “a rumbling or gurgling noise made by the movement of fluid and gas in the intestines” – basically, the sounds the gases and fluids make during the digestive process.
Why does it happen?
The grumbling sound is caused because of the movements of the muscles in the stomach and small intestines.
There’s this tube in your body called the gastrointestinal tract – this goes from the mouth to the anus. The walls of this tube are mainly made of muscle. So, when these walls start working as the food enters the tube, the muscles mix and squeeze the food and then push the food, gas, and fluids through the stomach and small intestines – this is what produces a rumbling noise.
The muscles that line your gut (stomach) contract and squeeze the food and gas through the small intestine and large intestine.
But what about the rumbling when there’s no food?
Like we said before, the sounds are made at both times – while there is food and it’s being pushed and even when there isn’t and there’s gas and air in the tract. But, when there’s food the sound gets absorbed by the muscles and, when your stomach is empty, these sounds are much easier to hear. That’s probably why we associate stomach growling with being hungry.
The stomach muscle contractions also help to make you hungry, so you eat food that your body needs.
Are you tired of your tummy grumbling?
Here are a few tips to stop or lessen stomach growls:
- Eat smaller meals, more often each day rather than a few large ones
- Don’t get completely hungry
- Eat slowly and chew your food properly. This will help in digestion and stop the production of unwanted gases in the body.
- Avoid talking while eating as it will prevent air from entering the body.
- While drinking as well, air can enter the body. If you drink water using a straw instead of a glass, it will limit the amount of air you can gulp, strange but true.
- While exercising do not over-drink as heavy breathing can enable air to enter the body.
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