Why does the stomach growl when you are hungry?

Humans can survive around a month without food, but only a maximum of five to seven days without drinking. Nevertheless, an empty stomach announces itself very quickly loudly and audibly. So when it comes to food, the stomach has a say. And: He “talks” especially when there is nothing to eat.

What is happening?

Food enters the stomach through the esophagus. There it is mixed with gastric juices and liquefied into a chyme. It is kneaded again and again by the strong stomach muscles in order to extract the  nutrients  and mix them with the gastric juices.

If the stomach is now as good as empty, it contracts and air is pressed through the stomach outlet into the intestine. This is not without noise – the stomach growls. Stomach growling is a rumbling noise that can usually be heard clearly in the abdomen.

Although one speaks of stomach growling, these sounds can originate not only in the stomach but also in the small intestine or lower parts of the intestine.

enteric nervous system

The  gastrointestinal tract  has its own nervous system, the so-called enteric nervous system. This controls the typical movements – namely the contractions in the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, even a full stomach can report loud grumbling. Strictly speaking, these are intestinal noises that come from the movement of the intestines and the processing of the chyme.

This means that stomach growls and gut rumblings are completely natural and normal occurrences.


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