Why does my stomach growl
Whether due to hunger or at any other time during the day, a human stomach can make any number of different noises with virtually no warning and in some cases potentially embarrassing side effects. The reason for these sounds to occur in the form of a growl, roar, whine or however else the side might be emitted at the time and generally accompanied by a rumbling sensation in the chest lies in basic human biology.
The stomach is one of the key parts of the human digestive tract, or essentially one large channel beginning at the mouth and ending at the anus that is used to digest and process nutrients throughout our days in order to provide fuel for the rest of our body to function. When hearing (and often feeling) a “rumble” this is the result of an action taking place within the stomach and generally the first part of the small intestine as well.
Beginning a few hours after the stomach has emptied itself of food a signal is sent to the brain to prepare the body for additional food intake and initiate a “hungry” sensation. To do this a series of muscles throughout the digestive tract activate in order to clear out any residual food that may be remaining within the stomach and intestine to prepare for new food to be processed. This forces any air, liquid or other solid matter deeper into the digestive tract for processing though a series of quick muscle movements generating the “rumbling” sensation felt when a growl occurs and generating sound from the propulsion of the matter through the digestive system.
The muscle contractions have a secondary effect on the body as well aside from simply preparing the body for additional food intake. By rapidly contracting the muscles around the stomach the body activates another base signal to generate hunger and the desire to consume additional food. For this reason the strong desire to eat something – even just a small snack – will always come on strong right after growl is heard or felt.
Sometimes, however, these vibrations are not the result of hunger alone but a byproduct of the body’s processing of gasses trapped within the stomach. As the gas bubbles pass from one chamber to the next the regularly contracting muscles of the stomach cause a sound to be generated and additional muscle spasms to occur. For this reason preventing hunger alone may not be the only way to prevent these sounds from creeping up on you at any time and avoiding particularly gassy foods (such as carbonated beverages) may be a good idea desirable as well.