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Why does my stomach growl?

By April 27, 2015 - 1:43pm
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Most days around lunchtime, my stomach growls as I get hungry. Some days are louder than others, and I'm curious what the cause is. Why do our stomachs growl and what affects it?

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Hi Stacey,

Wow, that is very interesting! I always thought my stomach growling was directly associated with being hungry. Never realized that having food in your stomach helps suppress the digestion noises of your stomach.

Thanks for the helpful answer!

- Erin

April 27, 2015 - 4:38pm

Hi Erin,

Thank you for sharing your question with the EmpowHER community.

Typically we associate stomach growling with hunger.  But the truth is, stomach growling can happen at anytime, not just when you're hungry.   

 Stomach growling is part of the digestive system functionality originating in the stomach and the small intestines.  During digestion, peristalsis happens which involves muscle contractions and digestive juices that push and churn our food down the intestinal path.  Gas and air assist in this process and just like the food getting pushed and squeezed down the gas and air does too, creating the growling sound we hear. 

If you have food in your stomach the food will muffle the sound of the digestion peristalsis process.  If you have less food in your stomach, or little to no food, then the sound (growling) is much more noticeable.  

You mentioned this happens as you get hungry around lunchtime.  About two hour after your stomach empties, the brain sends a signal to produce hormones to restart the peristalsis process again.  Muscle contractions will come and last 10-20 minute and will come every hour, along with growling until you eat.

I hope this helps.

Be well,


April 27, 2015 - 3:58pm
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