Why do stomachs growl ?

When stomachs growl, it can be caused by one of several physiological processes occurring in one’s stomach, such as food digestion and passing of food to the intestinal tract. The stomach is a muscular organ that contracts regularly to circulate digestive juices. If you skipped a meal, these juices splash around with gases created by the digestion process, creating a distinct growling noise. This growling is caused by the walls of the stomach that meet each other.

The early Greeks were concerned about such occurrence that they coined a word to describe growling stomachs – borborygmi (meaning, growling). Some doctors today still use the term borborygmi, but growling stomachs are usually not a serious health concern since it is part of the natural process of digestion. However, in rare cases, borborygmi can be a symptom of a much serious health problem, such as irritable bowel disease.

Intestines also growl, but not as frequent and as noisy as your stomach. Just like borborygmi, the digestive process also causes intestinal growling, particularly when the body pushes the food down to its end destination.

It is common to hear growling stomachs when people are hungry because their stomachs are empty. However, not all growling stomachs suggest a person to be hungry. Some people experience growling stomachs even when asleep, especially if the person has eating plenty of food throughout the day and the stomach has to work overtime for proper digestion.

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