Why Your Stomach Gurgles

Your guts make strange noises – rumbling, gurgling, growling, and more.

Most of the time, these noises are simply the sounds of your digestive system doing its job.

It’s perfectly normal, and there’s usually no need to worry.

Despite how common it is, some people can find the noise of their stomach gurgling a bit embarrassing.

If you’re one of those people, you may be eager to find out what’s causing it and how to stop it.

What Are You Hearing?

Most people associate the sounds and feelings of their stomach growling with hunger.

But the noises you hear are made by your intestines contracting as they move food through your digestive system. As your intestines push food and gas through your system, they make all sorts of gurgling and rumbling noises.

You’re most likely to notice these noises when your stomach is empty because there’s nothing else to muffle the sound – like the echoing noise you’ll hear in an empty room.

If you then eat some food, the noise will be dampened, making you think your stomach growling has stopped, but it’s been muffled by the fullness.

What Makes Your Stomach Gurgle?

Although these sounds are typically no cause for alarm, some things can make your stomach gurgle more than usual.

The sounds result from an interaction between liquids and gasses in your intestines, so anything that adds extra gas or disrupts your bowel movements can lead to more pronounced stomach growling.

Common causes of excessively noisy guts include:

  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • food intolerances or sensitivities
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
  • certain medications
  • drinking alcohol
  • drinking carbonated beverages
  • eating too much
  • eating too fast
  • eating high-fat foods
  • eating high-fiber foods
  • stress

What Should You Do About It?

If you’re concerned about your stomach growling, you can do a few things to help minimize the noise.

Try eating smaller meals more often throughout the day, and chew your food slowly and thoroughly to help with digestion.

You might also want to avoid foods that make your gut work overtime, like those high in fat or fiber.

Talk to your doctor if it is interfering with your quality of life or you’re experiencing other symptoms such as:

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • change in appetite
  • unexplained weight loss
  • blood in your stool

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to get checked out by a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

If not, then there’s no need to worry – your stomach growling is normal and unlikely to be anything to be concerned about.