How can you stop your stomach rumbling?

Answer

Stopping a stomach from rumbling or growling is not always possible because the sounds the stomach makes are an outgrowth of its natural processes. However, by eating regularly, eating small meals and avoiding foods which produce a large amount of gas, it is possible to minimize stomach sounds. There are also a few tricks one can use to try to prevent the sounds.

Doctors call the stomach's natural sounds "borborygmi," an onomatopoetic word which mimics the actual rumblings and growlings of the stomach and related digestive organs. The stomach and intestines pass food along through waves of contractions called peristalsis. When these contractions occur, they push forward a mixture of food, digestive juices and air. The borborygmus results from these contractions and pockets of air being pushed forward.

A person who finds these noises embarrassing or uncomfortable can try to regulate his or her digestive system by avoiding foods that contain or produce excess amounts of gas, such as baked beans, onions or carbonated beverages. Eating small meals frequently also keeps the digestive system moving at a constant pace and limits the amount of air in the system. When a person becomes hungry, the digestive system begins peristalsis to clean itself out, and all that air in the empty spaces can produce the rumbling and growling noises. One last trick that often works to limit a rumbling stomach is to press down on the stomach with a finger or pencil; the compression of the stomach limits the noises.

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