TMJ Center of Los Angeles

The Infamous Stomach Growl

Do you get concerned when your stomach growls insistently? You’re not alone. But today we’re here to talk about what might cause this inconvenient situation and maybe clarify some questions you might have had in the past when it’s happened to you.

Generally, your stomach is capable of making a variety of noises. Words like “gurgling”, “growling”, and “rumbling” come to mind. Your stomach might even surprise you sometimes with a high-pitched sound that makes you think it’s auditioning for American Idol. It’s natural to be concerned when this goes on. We’re here to help and explain.

First of all, the abdominal sounds you hear when your stomach is growling are more than likely related to food and air movement through your large and small intestines. When your intestines are processing food, your stomach can often grumble or growl. It might sound pretty close to what you hear when water passes through your pipes at home. Your gastrointestinal tract walls are made of muscle, which contracts to mix and squeeze the food you consume. This is generally responsible for the noise emanating from your stomach.

However, if the sounds of your stomach are playing a duet with another symptom, it may be a cause for concern and could be indicating an underlying illness you may have. These symptoms can include excess gas, nausea, vomiting, constipation, bloody stool, stubborn heartburn, as well as unintentional and sudden weight loss. Possible other causes beyond hunger and natural stomach noise could be some sort of trauma you might have experienced, infection, reduced blood potassium or hypokalemia, a blockage of the bowels, or even possibly some kind of tumor.

If you’re experiencing discomfort, we recommend that you contact Beverly Hills Center for Digestive Health today. We’ll bring your in for a consultation, run some testing, and figure out the best plan for treatment. If you’re simply embarrassed of the noise and you’re not experiencing additional symptoms, then you might want to limit your intake of certain foods. Fruits, beans, artificial sweeteners, carbonated drinks and whole grain products can all contribute to bowel sounds. If you have an intolerance to lactose, this will also contribute to the problem.

As stated before, sounds in your digestive system are normal and generally are not a cause for concern. However, in rare cases, complications can can be life-threatening if ignored. Intestinal obstructions can be particularly dangerous. So, if you’re experiencing any sort of discomfort mentioned above in addition to abnormal stomach noise, then please contact us immediately. Beverly Hills Center for Digestive Health will assess the situation and figure out the best possible route to take.

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