At one time or another we have all experienced stomach growling. It usually happens in a very quiet place and causes all sorts of embarrassment for the unlucky person. Stomach growls can be so soft they are not audible or so loud that those around you can hear it! No matter the volume or intensity everyone’s stomach growls at some point. So, what cause the stomach to grow? Read this article to learn more.
What causes the stomach to growl?
Stomach growling is caused by the process of food digestion. When your body is digesting food it propels the food along the digestive tract by using waves of muscle contractions. These muscle contractions are known as peristalsis. The muscle contractions not only move the food and liquid along the digestive tract, but also churn the food turning it into a digestive liquid known as chyme. As the food is churned and moved along the digestive tract pockets of air and gas are created. The muscle contractions squeeze these pockets of air and gas and this is what causes the stomach to growl.
Most people associate a growling stomach with being hungry and in a way this is true. Stomach growls are more likely to be louder if it has been a while since your last meal. This is because there is less chyme in the digestive tract to muffle the sounds made by the gas and air being contracted. The muscles in the digestive system start to contract when the stomach empties. This allows any food that may still be in the stomach to be passed along the digestive tract and also signals to you that it is time to eat again.
Did you know?
The proper word for a stomach growl is borborygmus, but it is also called rumbling, gurgling, grumbling or wambling!