Noisy Stomach

Stomach noises are the noises that the bowel makes during digestion.  The sounds are usually hollow sounds, like water moving through pipes.  When you eat, the muscles of the stomach wall contract to mix the food and to push it through the intestine.  This movement (peristalsis) is what makes the rumbling sound.  Stomach noises are a normal result of digestion, but for some people the noises become loud and frequent.  While usually not cause for concern, they may cause social embarrassment or they may be a symptom of an underlying digestive disease.

What Causes a Noisy Stomach?

  • Hunger – when you’re hungry your brain signals the muscles in the stomach to begin contracting.
  • Food Intolerances – if certain foods are unable to be digested effectively then the gas that is released can stimulate the gut to begin contracting.
  • Infection in the gut.
  • Hernia.
  • Blood clot.
  • Reduced blood potassium, or hypokalemia.
  • Tumours.
  • Blockage of the bowels or intestinal obstruction.
  • Ulcers.
  • Laxative use.
  • Bleeding in the digestive tract.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease e.g. Crohn’s disease.

 

How can a Noisy Stomach be Treated?

  • See your specialist to rule out more serious digestive diseases.
  • Breath testing for food intolerances can be useful to find out if there is food your gut struggles to digest.  Removing those foods from your diet can greatly reduce noisy stomach sounds.
  • Slow down when eating – swallowing air by eating too quickly.
  • Don’t drink through a straw.
  • Avoid chewing gum.