Why does my tummy rumble when I m hungry

00:00 Mon 30th Jul 2001 |

A. It actually rumbles all the time, not just when you’re hungry. The official term for it is borborygmi. The Greeks originally dreamt up this term in an attempt to represent the sound of the noise itself.

Q. What causes borborygmi

A. Liquids in the stomach absorb gas that we swallow in the air, when we eat. As the stomach contracts, to move food around the digestive system it pushes this gas through the liquids. The loud distinctive rumble, which normally crops up when we’re hungry, happens because there is no food in the gut to dampen down the sound.

Q. Why does my stomach contract even when there’s no food to move around

A. Because your body has a reflexive response to the desire for food, and starts preparing the stomach for the hoped for food by pushing anything in the intestines towards the rectum.

Some people actually experience borborygmus after meals, since digestion has the same reflex.

Q. How can I stop my tummy rumbling

A. Given that loud rumbling may be a reflex response presumably you could train your stomach not to expect certain meals by missing them, but a much safer and advisable option would be just to eat when you’re hungry.

Got a question about why your body behaves the way it does Click here to ask.

by Lisa Cardy

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