Stomach Growling: Possible Causes and How To Find Relief

Stomach Growling: Possible Causes and How To Find Relief

A loud, growling stomach can lead to awkward situations. Sitting in a business meeting or standing in a crowded elevator is uncomfortable when your digestive system gurgles and grunts. You pretend nothing is happening, but your stomach betrays you with another growl.

Most of the time, these sounds are your body doing its job. Digestion takes work. Depending on the amount and types of food you eat, that work can be noisy. Everyone deals with stomach growling now and then. However, it is important to know why your stomach growls and when digestive sounds require medical attention for your long-term health. From trying a low sodium diet to taking a walk, we share possible causes of your stomach growling and how to find relief.


When your stomach is empty, it produces a hormone called ghrelin. This substance tells your brain that it is time to eat. As ghrelin levels increase, you may find that you are constantly thinking about your next meal. You may also hear gurgling as the muscles that move food through your system start to contract and relax. The best solution for a hungry stomach is to give it something to digest. If it is not mealtime, have a healthy snack to quiet the rumble.

You Just Ate

Stomach sounds are normal as your body processes food after you eat, and the typical noise level varies from person to person. If your stomach is louder than usual after a meal, it may be from eating too fast. Anything that makes your system work harder will cause more internal noise. If you do not take the time to chew your food properly, it will take longer to digest.

Eating a larger-than-normal meal can also cause extra internal noise. The excess food, gas and liquid sloshing in your stomach are bound to make a few sounds.

Excess Gas

Some foods produce extra gas as they break down in your stomach and intestines. While beans are a classic example, vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts also have a reputation for gassiness. Drinking carbonated beverages like soda or beer introduces extra gas into your system. When this gas bubbles through the broken-down food in your digestive tract, it makes a gurgling sound.



Stress and Worry

Your whole body responds to stress, including your digestive tract. In the flight or fight response that stress triggers, your brain sends signals that slow down digestion, diverting energy from this process to other systems. If you’re dealing with chronic stress, you may find that your body is not processing food well. You may feel gassy or bloated and hear some growling.

Inflammation in Digestive Tract

Strange sounds from your abdomen may point to a health issue. Inflammation in your stomach or intestines has several causes. Food allergies are a common culprit, with dairy and gluten being two of the prime examples. If you have frequent issues with a noisy stomach, keeping a food diary can help you determine if there’s a particular type of food to which you are sensitive.

Chronic inflammation like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often requires changes to your diet and medical treatments. A low-FODMAP diet involves eating foods that avoid several kinds of carbohydrates that can be difficult for the intestines to absorb. Signing up for a low-FODMAP meal delivery service will help you avoid inadvertently eating foods that trigger a reaction.

Calming Your Stomach: Examine Your Diet

Many people struggle to maintain a healthy diet. Heavily processed foods like fast food put a strain on your digestive system. Calming your stomach may involve reevaluating your food choices. Thankfully, opting for healthy meals also contributes to your overall well-being.

The Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy choice that emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seafood and olive oil while minimizing dairy products and red meat. Focusing on whole foods reduces stress on digestive organs and leads to a calmer system. A Mediterranean diet meal delivery service will help you stay on the path.

Doctors may recommend the DASH diet for patients with hypertension. This diet involves increasing the amounts of vegetables, legumes and whole grains on a daily menu. Because these foods can produce excess gas, some patients find this food plan increases bloating. However, coupling DASH with a low-sodium diet can prevent this issue.

Calming Your Stomach: Light Physical Activity

Taking a walk is a simple solution for a noisy stomach. Getting up and moving around adds extra motion to the digestive process, breaking down food more effectively and moving it out of the stomach faster. Standing after eating also encourages gas to escape from your mouth in a burp rather than moving down into your intestines, where it will gurgle.


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In thinking about activity after eating, keep it calm. Exerting yourself to the point where your body is under stress will slow your digestive process as well as make you feel uncomfortable. A walk around the block is plenty.

Serious Concerns

Stomach growling on its own is rarely something about which to worry. However, a noisy digestive system coupled with other symptoms may point to a more serious issue. Persistent problems with any digestive symptom like the ones below deserve an appointment with a medical professional:

  • Pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blood in stool

If you have a combination of symptoms, it could stem from an intestinal blockage that will require immediate medical intervention. These problems could also point to colon cancer growing in your large intestine. A medical examination and treatment are critical in this case.

Listen to Your Body

A few noises from your stomach usually send the message that your body is working as it should. Although a gurgling stomach can be awkward, it is perfectly normal. If chronic sounds and other symptoms become a concern, pay attention and seek help from a doctor.