What is happening when your stomach rumbles?

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What is happening when your stomach rumbles?
« on: 11/07/2008 10:10:14 »
skoo  asked the Naked Scientists:

Hi Chris,

I'm a fairly recent convert to your podcast. Unfortunately I don't get
to tune in live, but I thought I'd fire off a quick question anyways.
It was inspired just a moment ago by a(n apparently) hungry colleague
of mine.

What is actually happening inside when our tummies rumble? How is the
sound produced, and is there a way to prevent the sound - aside from
eating to appease the beast within?


Mr Skoo

What do you think?


Offline neilep

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What is happening when your stomach rumbles?
« Reply #1 on: 11/07/2008 13:59:41 »
Hi Mr Skoo,

I found this just for you from those nice people at Wikipedia:

Borborygmus also known as stomach growling or rumbling is the rumbling sound produced by the movement of gas through the intestines of animals, including humans. The word borborygmus is an onomatopoeia for this rumbling.

The "rumble" or "growl" sometimes heard from the stomach is a normal part of digestion. It originates in the stomach or upper part of the small intestine as muscles contract to move food and digestive juices down the gastrointestinal tract and functions as a sort of intestinal "housecleaning". Sometimes it occurs as part of the migrating myoelectric complex.

Although this muscle contraction happens whether or not food is present, rumbles are more common after the animal has gone several hours without eating. This may be why a "growling" stomach is often associated with hunger.

Rumbles may also occur when there is incomplete digestion of food that can lead to excess gas in the intestine. In humans this can be due to incomplete digestion of carbohydrate-containing foods including milk and other dairy products , gluten , fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and high-fiber whole grains. In rare instances, excessive abdominal noise may be a sign of digestive disease, especially when accompanied by abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation.

It is thought that some borborygmi can be treated with the ingestion of olive oil, allowing the fatty acids to decrease the muscular contractions of the intestines.
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Offline thedoc

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What is happening when your stomach rumbles?
« Reply #2 on: 30/07/2008 10:17:36 »
Listen to the answer to this question on our podcast by clicking here


Offline rosalind dna

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What is happening when your stomach rumbles?
« Reply #3 on: 30/07/2008 11:45:29 »
But then why does my stomach rumble with gas if I've not eaten then there is nothing to cause it?
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Offline naina121

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is there anyway to stop the stomach making noises?
« Reply #4 on: 02/01/2013 01:34:39 »
i m having this problem and nobody could solve it until now...is there any way that i can stop my stomach making noises in high volume during my classes :-\ i m dealing with this since last 2 semesters  :( and it is so embarrassing  :-[