Stomach Gurgling: Common Causes and Home Treatments

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Stomach gurgling

A gurgling sound in the abdomen is a normal occurrence. These natural but weird body noises are a sign that your body is working. Stomach gurgling is mostly due to your digestive system doing its job but in rare cases it can be a sign of various bowel diseases. It can be difficult to differentiate between normal and abnormal bowel sounds.

Loud stomach gurgles can be an indication of something more serious. It’s always better to see a doctor if you are concerned. Fortunately there are many home remedies for gurgling stomach.

Related Reading: Epigastric Pain: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments for Upper Central Abdominal Pain


Common Causes of Stomach Gurgling

The digestive system works hard and the gut constantly processes food and beverages which we consume. The strong muscular contractions of the gut wall, breaks down food and fluid content in the system, and pushes it through the gastrointestinal tract.

If you wonder what causes my stomach to gurgle, we have outlined some common causes of a noisy stomach below.

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Stomach gurgling causes

1. Hunger

The hypothalamus–part of the brain which sends automatic signals to the body–triggers sensations like hunger, thirst, and other bodily reactions.The signal from the brain triggers your digestive system. Hormones then get released into the stomach which secrete gastric juices and activate your stomach muscles. This can lead to a gurgling stomach.

2. Digestion

The way in which food and fluid move through the gut is a forceful process. Strong muscle contractions constantly churn food and push it through your gut.

A gurgling sound in the stomach before and after eating is normal but some foods can cause louder sounds than normal. Carbonated beverages are known to cause stomach gurgling when gas gets to the bowels.

Eating too fast or swallowing air while eating and drinking can also produce gas within the bowels. Also, some foods are known to be “gassy” because they release large amounts of gas when digested.

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3. Excessive Gas and Fluid

Gas and fluid within the bowels are both major factors which contribute to a noisy stomach. This can be caused due to swallowing air or consumption of carbonated beverages. Certain bacterial growth within the bowels can also lead to gas.

Excess of fluid may not be a result of consuming a lot of beverages. It can be due to normal production of fluid which is necessary for digestion and is secreted into the bowels from the gut walls.

4. Stomach Muscular Contraction

Stomach noise caused due to muscular contraction is quite normal. This happens to be the primary method by which your stomach forces contents through your digestive tract.

The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) states that stomach gurgling occurs when the intestinal muscles contract and there is liquid or gas in your bowels. This causes increased activity of your stomach muscles which commonly produces a gurgling sound.

5. Consumption of Sugar

Too much sugar in your diet is not good. Sugar can cause digestive issues including an upset or gurgling stomach. Fructose doesn’t get easily digested by the body. Some of these symptoms include excessive gas, pain, bloating, diarrhea and others. Fructose on fermentation with bacteria in the colon can cause increased levels of intestinal noise.

6. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a difficult to manage digestive condition. It causes diarrhea after eating, constipation, stomach pain, and frequent abdominal cramps.

Stomach gurgling, according to The Journal of Neurogastroenterol Motility is a common symptom associated with IBS. It is more common after consuming dairy products.

Also, stress can have a variety of negative effects on your physical health, including stomach gurgling and gas.

7. Stomach Gurgling After Eating

Foods and fluid move through the body through a forceful digestive process. The stomach muscles exert a lot of force to churn food and break it down as it travels through the gut. A gurgling stomach can be a common occurrence after the consumption of food or fluids.

Gassy foods which release a larger amount of gas during digestion or carbonated beverages can cause excessive gurgling and bubbling sounds in the bowel. Eating hurriedly or swallowing air while eating can also cause stomach gurgling.

These conditions vary in every individual. Some foods are not tolerated by some people and can cause a variety of reactions depending on your body.


Effective Home Remedies for Gurgling Stomach

Remember, a gurgling stomach is a normal part of a healthy digestive system. It is a way of processing contents and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

If you suffer from frequent loud growling or rumbling noises, you may be experiencing symptoms of an upset intestinal system which can be cured using many home remedies. Here are few options for you to try at home.

1. Probiotic Supplements

One way to improve your health is to use probiotic supplements which can improve your gastrointestinal health and get rid of a noisy stomach. The live bacteria which exists in probiotics helps to balance the delicate flora of your gut. It can help alleviate symptoms of IBS, digestive issues, diarrhea, ulcers, and other conditions.

The British Medical Journal reported that probiotics can benefit intestinal health. They help prevent diarrhea, stop infections from irritating the gut and reduce inflammation.

2. Stress Reduction

Stress is a major contributor of stomach pain and stomach gurgling. Reducing stress will benefit your life and help improve your dietary discomfort. Breathing techniques, meditation, light exercise, and yoga are all great ways to reduce stress and relax your body.

Aromatherapy with the use of lavender oil is another way to reduce stress, states Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Try inhaling lavender oil for 5-10 minutes to reduce stress, lower anxiety, and minimize symptoms of depression.

3. Eat Slower

We are always on the run; eating breakfast as we leave the house, eating a “quick sandwich” at our desk, or even rushing through dinner to go do more work. We live in a fast-paced world now and we can’t change that.

What we can change is the pace by which we eat to improve our digestive health. Eat your meals slower to quiet a gurgling stomach.

Try to eat your meals in a quiet, relaxing environment which does not consist of watching TV or any other distractions. Chew your food slowly, enjoy the taste of your meal, and enjoy the pleasantry of a well-cooked meal without dietary discomfort.

4. Drink Lots of Water

If you are suffering from gurgling stomach ensure that you drink enough water. Avoid tap water as it may contain fluoride or chlorine. Drink filtered or boiled water.

Our body makes noises that can make you feel embarrassed at times and cause discomfort. Stomach gurgling and gas is unavoidable but it is normal and one of the signs of a healthy body.

If you experience frequent, loud, and persistent stomach gurgling consult a medical professional to evaluate your symptoms.

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Sources:
Chandler, B., “Why Is My Stomach Gurgling?” Livestrong web site, August 14th, 2017; http://www.livestrong.com/article/326182-why-is-my-stomach-gurgling/.
Hills, J., “Gurgling Stomach: Causes and Home Remedies,” Healthy and Natural World web site; http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/stomach-gurgling/, last accessed October 11, 2017.
“Some Reasons for Gurgling Stomach and Bowel Sounds,” Health Hype web site; http://www.healthhype.com/some-reasons-for-gurgling-stomach-and-bowel-sounds.html, last accessed October 11, 2017.
Kessler, M., “Gurgling Stomach? Try These Remedies,” Doctors Health Press web site, October 22, 2015; https://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-articles/stomach-gurgling-home-remedies.

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Dr. David Cummings, MD

Dr. David Cummings, MD

David Cummings, MD, is a medical reviewer and editor at Daily Health Cures. David received his medical degree from the University of Illinois.

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