Does your stomach gurgle or make fart noises at the most inopportune times? These involuntary sounds can be both embarrassing and unpredictable.
Though stomach noises, such as growling or gurgling, are usually associated with hunger, they can happen at any time.
The good news is these sounds are usually a normal part of digestion and nothing to be concerned about. Rarely, they can be signs of other problems.
Read on to learn more about how to prevent your stomach from making gurgling fart noises.
Growling, rumbling, or gurgling can come from the stomach or the small intestines (small bowel). The noises are commonly linked to hunger because they’re typically louder when the stomach or intestines are empty. Without any contents in them, the organs don’t muffle noises as well.
For bowel sounds to be heard, the following conditions must occur:
- There must be a muscular contraction of the intestinal wall.
- There must be liquids within the intestines.
- There must be gas within the intestines.
Here are some reasons you might notice peculiar stomach noises:
The gurgling you hear could be a part of normal digestion. When air and liquid are in your bowels, your intestines move them by contracting. The movement can echo through the stomach and cause sounds.
When your stomach is empty, you’re more likely to hear loud sounds because there’s nothing in it to quiet the noise. Also, the force and rate of contractions in the stomach and small intestines increase after the organs have been empty for about 2 hours.
Sounds associated with hunger usually echo like a growl.
Sometimes, excessive stomach noises may be caused by a gastrointestinal disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS also causes other symptoms such as cramping, diarrhea, bloating, and gas.
Some people experience frequent gurgling or other noises due to a food intolerance. Incomplete digestion can lead to gas in the intestine. Some common culprits include:
- dairy products
- beans and legumes
- certain fruits and vegetables
- high fiber whole grains
Breathing through your chest, which causes your shoulders to rise with each breath and only the chest to expand, promotes shallow breaths. This means less oxygen enters the blood, and digestion may be affected.
Very loud, high-pitched noises in the stomach could be a symptom of a bowel blockage, a condition that happens when food and stool are not able to move freely from the stomach to the rectum. Other signs of a blockage may include:
- severe pain or cramping in your abdomen
- feeling full
- abdominal swelling
- being unable to pass gas or stool
Though you may not be able to completely prevent stomach noises, some simple measures can help.
Steer clear of gas-causing foods
Certain foods are more likely than others to cause gas and digestive distress. These may include:
- Brussels sprouts
- whole grains
You might want to keep a journal to try to pinpoint which foods trigger stomach noises.
Eat smaller and more frequent meals
Larger meals may be harder to digest. It’s a good idea to try to eat several small meals throughout the day.
Take your time when eating a meal and chew your food well. Eating slowly can help with overall digestion and may also reduce unwanted noises.
Avoid carbonated drinks and straws
Carbonated drinks can make you feel gassy and bloated. Also, drinking from a straw can cause you to swallow more air, which may make you gassier.
Don’t consume artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners contain an ingredient called sorbitol, which, in very high amounts, could lead to increased intestinal noises. Diet gums, candies, and sodas often contain these sweeteners.
Try breathing exercises
Some experts suggest trying abdominal breathing, which involves taking slow, deep breaths through the belly as opposed to the chest. This method may help improve digestive health.
Most of the time, a noisy stomach isn’t cause for alarm. But, if the noises are accompanied by other symptoms, they may signal a bigger problem, such as a blockage or gastrointestinal disorder.
Consult with a doctor if the funny noises coming from your stomach are persistent and severe, or if you have other symptoms that accompany the stomach sounds.
Some signs to watch out for include:
- abdominal pain
- gas or bloating
- diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation
- loss of appetite
- extreme fatigue
A healthcare provider can help diagnose any underlying conditions and come up with an appropriate treatment plan.
Stomach noises are a common symptom of normal digestion. Usually, they’re nothing to worry about.
But, if the sounds are frequent or occur with other symptoms, you may have another medical condition that needs attention.
Consult with a doctor if the noises coming from your stomach are persistent or accompanied by other concerning symptoms.