You’ve got to admit it: the human body is amazing. Whoever built it was a genius. Our body is sometimes, even smarter than we are, being able to heal itself and taking care of its needs individual of our knowledge. There are times, though, when it signals you saying “hey, I’m working hard to keep you moving! So, give me a break!”. The stomach growl is one of these signals. It just happens in the middle of a very important endeavour of yours that your stomach begins to growl and he does it loudly, so loud you are almost whispering: “Shut up! Shut up, you’re making a fool out of me!”. But your stomach doesn’t care because he has a lot to say and will say it out loud if needed.
Grumble, rumble, gurgle, growl… call it by any other name, it will still sound as strange. The noise your stomach makes is perfectly-timed with the quiet moments of your life when people around are doing nothing, but to hear your stomach send out its cry for help or discontent or whoever knows what that is. Let’s break it down for you: your stomach is not trying to sabotage you, he’s just trying to do his job. The sound comes especially from the stomach and the small intestine and it needs a closer look.
Let’s have a closer look at how the digestive system works!
Our digestive system is actually a long tube that goes all the way down from the mouth to the anus. Food is moved through this tube by muscle contractions which push the contents downward. While moving our food, the intestinal muscles also chum the food, the liquids and the digestive juices together into chyme. This is why stomach growl occurs. Our food gets broken down into tiny bits that are easier to be absorbed by our body and the result of this is the creation of little pockets of gas and air which are squeezed into that growl we hear.
Why does our stomach growls more when we’re hungry?
Imagine you’re putting a pair of sneakers in your washing machine. Just that, a pair of sneakers. Now, stay quiet and hear the sound your sneakers make while being washed, like there’s a little stone fight in there. Now, just put a pair of towels together with your sneakers. The sound is no longer the same. That’s why we think our stomach growls more when it’s hungry. When there is food inside the digestive system, the sounds are a little bit muffled down to the minimum, compared to when there is no food contents and the growl is just like a symphony in a big theatre. But why do our intestinal muscles contract when there is no food to be delivered downward? Good question, but the answer is quite simple.
You’re hungry. After about two hours of emptiness, your body begins to produce a certain kind of hormones that send messages to your brain through your local nerves. The brain restarts the muscle contractions in your digestive system, also known as the process of peristalsis. In the first phase, this will just sweep up all the remaining food that was forgotten the first time. After this, the muscle contractions will give you the feeling of hunger. Your digestive muscles won’t give up and will keep vibrating in your stomach and intestines until you eat again.
All in all, your stomach growls due to natural causes, but sometimes it can also be because of a certain digestive condition and you shouldn’t ignore it. Your stomach is meant to growl to signal you, so listen!