All You Ever Wanted to Know About a Stomach Growl
Before you can understand what causes a stomach growl it is significant to know exactly how the digestive system works. When you hear your stomach growling it is originating in the stomach itself, as well as the small intestines.
To put it simply, the complete digestive system begins at the mouth and ends at the anus; throughout the digestive system are several organs that connect with it. These organs are important to the digestion of food. To really understand the digestive system you need to know how exactly food is moved through it. In essence, involuntary muscle contractions are responsible for moving the food you eat through your digestive system. The muscles are constantly moving the food downward through your system. While the food is moving through your system it is also being mixed into something that resembles a thick liquid.
This is what causes a stomach growl. As the liquid and food is being mixed together to create the thick liquid substance, there are also gases and air in the mixture. As the mixture is being moved and broken down, it is also releasing gases, which creates the noise you hear from a stomach growl.
A stomach growl can happen even if you are not hungry; the difference is that when there is food in the small intestines the growling isn’t as pronounced so you may not even be aware of it.
Because a stomach growl is often associated with hunger, it may come as a surprise that the process that causes a stomach growl is the digestion of food. So the common question would be if your stomach is empty, and growling, how could this be happening if there is no food to digest? The growling you hear when you are hungry is connected to appetite and the hormones that tell your brain that you are hungry.
Once the stomach has emptied of food, it begins to release a hormone that stimulates the nerves that will then send a message to your brain that you are hungry. When this happens, the brain sends signals to the digestive system to begin the process of moving food and digesting it. This will cause the muscles to contract and move any food that is remaining, and the muscles will continue to contract every so often, causing a stomach growl that is noisy due to the fact that there is not much in it to quiet the sound. As soon as you eat you will notice that the sound is no longer as noticeable.
Of course there can be some problems that will cause a stomach growl. If the stomach is growling and it is very noisy, it could be a sign of an upset stomach; in some cases a stomach growl may also indicate some type of medical condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Because a loud, stomach growl can be an embarrassment, often people look for ways to quiet the growling. One of the easiest ways to do this is to eat several small meals throughout the day as apposed to two or three large meals. As long as your stomach has some food, it will not be as noisy. Another way to quiet a stomach growl is to avoid foods that cause gas.
If you have a stomach growl that is very loud, and it is accompanied with pain, you will want to consult your healthcare provider for an evaluation. It is also important that you talk to your doctor about a stomach growl that leads to vomiting, especially if this does not clear up in a day or two.
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