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Stomach Growling after Eating

What is Stomach growling?

Stomach growling is a noise within the stomach and considered to be a normal part of gastrointestinal physiology. It is produced when contents of the gastrointestinal tract move and propel through the small and large intestines. It also happens when gas and liquid get displaced by food in the intestines Stomach noises are often inaudible to the human ear. However, after eating, the bowel noises become audible.


If the noises are persistent and accompanied by other symptoms including flatulence, belching, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention.

Notably, a growling stomach does not necessarily mean that one is hungry.

Other Synonyms for Stomach growling

Other terms used to refer to stomach growling include:

  • Gurgling
  • Rumbling
  • Bowel sound
  • Belly chimes
  • Borborygmus

Causes of Stomach growling after Eating

Stomach growling is caused by some factors such as:

Hyper-motility

Hyper-motility is defined as the excessive movement of food or fluid contents in the gut region. It happens when the peristaltic mechanism of the bowels and stomach become overactive. As a result, food is churned and pushed through the gut faster than usual rate hence affecting digestion. Hyper-motility is associated with diarrhea due to an infection, chemical irritation, diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food allergies and psychosomatic.

Partial obstruction

As the food moves through a narrowing within the gut, it may cause unusual noise due to muscle contractions. Noise from partial obstruction may not be evident especially since the obstruction lies in some parts of the large intestines. Partial obstruction is mainly caused by tumors, strictures, and foreign bodies.

Delayed gastric emptying

Delayed gastric emptying slows the rate at which contents of the stomach are released into the duodenum due to mechanical obstruction.

Excessive gas

Excessive gas occurs from bacterial overgrowth and overeating gassy foods. Growling and rumbling noise can be heard as the gas moves through the gut.

Excessive fluid

Excessive fluid in the gut may occur due to secretory or osmotic diarrhea. Secretory diarrhea occurs when water being passed into the lumen of the gut contains bacterial toxins or various secretagogues such as diet chewing gum. Osmotic diarrhea happens when solutes are not absorbed in the gut.

Malabsorption and maldigestion

Both conditions lead to excessive gas or fluid due to food intolerances.

Celiac disease

Celiac is a condition that stops the absorption of parts of essential food in the small intestine needed by the body to stay healthy. It is associated with abdominal pain, bulk or smelly stools and nausea.

Colitis

Colitis is a condition of the large intestine caused by an infection or poor blood fowl. It is characterized by bloody stool, diarrhea, dehydration, fever, and chills.

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is also a condition of the large intestine. It occurs when small bulging sacs present in the large intestines become infected or inflamed. The condition is often accompanied by fever, bloating and nausea.

Irritable bowel syndrome

This syndrome affects the lower intestine tract and causes abdominal pain and diarrhea. Common in women, this condition is caused by lower-fiber diet ad well as emotional stress.

Other conditions associated with stomach growling:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Gallstones trauma
  • A nerve infection
  • Hernia
  • Poor digestion
  • Swallowing a lot of air caused by eating too fast or talking as you eat
  • Blood clot
  • Hypokalemia-reduced blood potassium
  • Tumor
  • Ulcers
  • Inflammation of both small and large intestines
  • Laxative use
  • Bleeding in the digestive tract
  • Abdominal surgery
  • Radiation exposure
  • General anesthesia
  • Digestive enzyme deficiency or inactivity
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Muscular contraction of the stomach and intestinal walls
  • Churning of gastric acid in the stomach

Do’s and don’ts when having stomach growling

  • Increase your intake of fermented foods- some of the recommended fermented food to eat include lassi, kefir, natto and fermented vegetables.
  • Take a probiotic supplement- a probiotic supplement can optimize your K2 especially for those who do not take fermented foods regularly.
  • Boost both your soluble and insoluble fiber intake- both can be found in seeds, vegetables, and nuts. Sprouted seeds are highly recommended.
  • Avoid antibiotics
  • Avoid conventionally raised meat
  • Reduce your intake of chlorinated or fluoridates water
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Avoid large meals- take small portions very often
  • Avoid excess carbonated drinks- carbonated drinks are notorious for gas build-up in the intestines
  • Take a walk after meals-aid digestion because the bowels are moving along
  • Take gluten-free diet- avoid any foods containing barley, rye, oats, and wheat
  • Reduce the amount of sugar intake present in diet gums, preserves, and candies. Too much sugar cab cause diarrhea, flatus as well as increased stomach rumbling.

Symptoms associated with severe Stomach growling

A growling stomach is normal and is not a cause for concerns. However, when accompanied by other symptoms, it may indicate an underlying illness and thus calls for immediate medical attention. Some of the alarming symptoms include:

  • Excess gas
  • Frequent diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Severe constipation
  • Presence of blood in your stools
  • Severe heartburn
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Cramping
  • Severe burping
  • Feeling of fullness always

Tests for growling stomach

Once you contact your physician with other symptoms accompanying growling stomach, he or she may be required to perform several tests to help diagnose the underlying cause. To begin with, the doctor may review your medical history, ask a few questions related to the symptoms and listen to any abnormal bowel sounds using a stethoscope.

The doctor may also perform other tests that include:

  • Auscultation
  • A CT scan of the abdominal area
  • Endescopy-a test that captures pictures inside the abdomen
  • Blood tests- blood tests are done to rule out infections.

Once the doctor has completed the tests, you will be given prescriptions for the diagnosed conditions. The medications should help ease your symptoms and also reduce stomach growling.

Outlook for stomach growling

Though the growling stomach is normal, certain conditions can be life-threatening when left untreated. It can lead to tissue death, a tear in the intestinal wall or fatal infections. Some of the conditions associated with stomach growling including tumors and Crohn’s disease often require close monitoring. In various cases, some of these conditions may also need long-term treatment.

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