Why does my stomach growl?

Stomach growling or rumbling is caused by the movement of food and liquids travelling through your intestines. The walls of your intestines are made up of muscles and when the muscles contract to push food through the gas it produces causes a rumbling sound, this process is called peristalisis.

Hunger can also cause abdominal sounds, having an empty stomach will cause the growling to be louder as there is nothing to muffle the sound. When you haven’t eaten for a few hours your brain tells your stomach to get your digestive system working again ready for your next meal, the movement of the muscles help to make you hungry.

Even though stomach rumbling can be annoying (especially if you’re in an important meeting) it is completely normal and isn’t generally a cause for concern. However if you have other symptoms including excess gas, fever, vomiting and constipation you may want to contact your doctor to ensure there is not an underlying illness causing your stomach to be particularly active.

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Some tips to reduce your stomach growling would be to slow down when you’re eating or eat smaller portions more often, having a full stomach throughout the day will dampen the sounds. Try to avoid fizzing drinks, chewing gum, artificial sweeteners and certain vegetable like cabbage and broccoli as these foods create excess gas that goes straight to your stomach.