Diarrhea isn’t uncommon in people with COVID-19. It may also cause stomach growling from an increase of muscle contractions in your gut.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by an infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
As of early November 2022, the Omicron BA.5 coronavirus variant makes up around 50% of current COVID-19 cases in the United States. In an April 2022
Many other symptoms have also been reported, including:
Gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea aren’t uncommon in people with COVID-19. Diarrhea can also potentially cause loud stomach growling from an increase in muscle contractions and spasms in your gut.
Keep reading to learn more about the connection between COVID-19 and gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea and stomach gurgling.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that primarily enters your body through your respiratory tract. It’s thought that the coronavirus infects cells by binding to angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors. These receptors are found throughout your body, including your lungs and gastrointestinal tract.
If the coronavirus enters your gastrointestinal tract, it can cause gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea. Studies estimate that
How common are gastrointestinal symptoms and diarrhea?
Estimates of how many people with COVID-19 develop diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms vary widely, from
- COVID-19 severity
- vaccination status
- coronavirus variant
Diarrhea is thought to be one of the most common gastrointestinal symptoms. Studies report it in anywhere from
How common is a gurgling stomach?
The medical name for a gurgling stomach or intestinal noise is borborygmus (plural: borborygmi). The rate of borborygmi in people with COVID-19 hasn’t been evaluated. However, it has been reported as a symptom of COVID-19 in
Borborygmi are caused by the movement of fluid and gas through your digestive tract. They commonly occur alongside diarrhea due to increased muscular contractions and spasms of the intestines. It’s likely that many people with COVID-19 and diarrhea also develop borborygmi.
Many gastrointestinal symptoms have been reported in people with COVID-19. Here’s a look at some of the most commonly reported symptoms.
In the same 2021 review, 7% of people developed vomiting in at least half of the studies.
In the same study, diarrhea was reported in 35.9% of people who developed gastrointestinal symptoms alone and 37.7% of people with gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms.
Unintentional weight loss
Weight loss was more common among people who were hospitalized. Weight loss was reported in 31% of people treated in the hospital and 21% of people treated at home.
People with greater markers of inflammation lost more weight.
Loss of appetite
A gurgling stomach or bowel can be a symptom of indigestion. It often occurs alongside diarrhea. Diarrhea can be a symptom of many infectious and noninfectious conditions. These conditions include:
- stomach flu, caused by viruses like:
- bacterial infections, such as:
- parasitic infections, such as:
Most people with COVID-19 who have gastrointestinal symptoms usually also have more typical COVID-19 symptoms, like:
- sore throat
Even if you have all the known gastrointestinal symptoms of COVID-19, it doesn’t mean you have COVID-19.
If you believe that you may have COVID-19, the
Most people with COVID-19 don’t need medical attention.
Most cases of diarrhea get better by themselves. If your diarrhea persists for more than a couple of days, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention. It’s especially important to contact a doctor if you have potential symptoms of a serious underlying condition, such as:
- frequent vomiting
- fever above 102°F (39°C)
- bloody or black stool
- severe cramps or rectal pain
- signs of dehydration, such as:
- passing little to no urine
CDCrecommends calling emergency medical services or going to the nearest emergency room if you experience:
- trouble breathing
- persistent chest pain or pressure
- new confusion
- an inability to stay awake
- lips, skin, or nail beds that are pale, gray, or blue, depending on your skin tone
Diarrhea is one of the most common gastrointestinal symptoms of COVID-19. Diarrhea can also cause gurgling noises in your stomach or intestines from increased muscular contractions.
Most people with COVID-19 have a mild case that gets better with plenty of rest. It’s important to seek immediate medical attention if you develop emergency symptoms, like trouble breathing or persistent chest pain.