Tips to Reduce Embarrassing Stomach Gurgling
Stomach gurgling, while fairly harmless, can sometimes become an unexpected source of embarrassment. Most of us have been in a situation where we are surrounded by others; all is quiet, and then an insuppressible attack of stomach gurgling arises to pierce the silence. If this has happened to you then you’re probably wondering if there’s anything that you can do to prevent this kind of embarrassing “attack” in the future. The good news is that yes, there is something you can do! The problem, per se, may be in finding out the cause behind your stomach gurgling episodes. So kick back and read on to learn about a few conditions that can cause stomach gurgling and how they can be remedied.
If you have a habit of skipping meals then you probably know the warning signs of a riotous tummy; the pang of hunger that strikes as you catch the scent of the leftover spaghetti that your co-worker has just nuked in the microwave. The weakness; the mounting inability to concentrate; and, of course, the noises that seem to spout out from your midsection. It’s no secret that a hungry tummy will soon become a noisy one, but what allows the stomach to protest with such audibility? Although it may sound as if your stomach is hoarding a nasty, bubbling pot of witch’s brew, there’s actually much more going on in there.
To break it down into information that’s easier to digest (did you catch the pun?), let’s first start by getting reacquainted with the digestive system. Technically speaking, the digestive system starts at the mouth and ends in your bottom. There are a series of muscles and sphincters that work to grind and pass along food and drinks through the long system that is the digestive tract. As these muscles are clenching, releasing, and repeating the process, anything that’s inside your stomach, whether it’s the Cap’n Crunch you had for breakfast or the piece of eraser you accidently swallowed, becomes smashed and processed into a paste-like mixture that is easier for the intestines to manage.
As you might have figured, you don’t just have food and drink in your stomach—there’s also acid and air. Sometimes excess air inside the stomach, in the form of gas, bubbles and pops as the digestive muscles try to mash down all of the bits that will eventually end up being processed into urine or feces. So before you go on the Mt. Dew binge while gaming out with your buddies, remember that excess gas in your stomach can also cause some embarrassing rumblings later on. On the other hand, it can also pay to keep yourself well stocked with snacks and remember to eat your meals regularly, as the more food there is in the stomach, the less chance there is of air filling this space—thus reducing your chances of producing a rumbling sound.
Most of us are not strangers to heartburn, and some of us are friendlier with this condition than we’d like to be. Acid reflux is a term that describes what happens when you eat too much curry or spend your days guzzling coffee and munching on gas station burritos. Okay, so there are actually loads of causes behind acid reflux: anything from sugary or greasy foods, to caffeine, to spices. Heck, acid reflux can even be caused by dozing off on the sofa after inhaling half a pizza.
The actual problem that causes acid reflux is with the band of muscles, or sphincter, which sits on top of the opening to the stomach. The sphincter is supposed to only open when food or drink needs to enter the stomach because this is the best way to keep acid inside the stomach where it belongs. If you’ve eaten or drank something that requires more acid to break it down, then you might end up withtoo much bile sloshing around in your stomach which can make its way up and out of the stomach each time the sphincter opens to allow more goodies into the stomach. The sphincter can also spasm or malfunction as the result of too much caffeine or by consuming irritating spices.
Stomach gurgling comes in when large amounts of acid spit and pop as the food is being digested. Excess gas may also be released at the same time which, as you read earlier, is a recipe for a noisy stomach. So if you’re already struggling with acid reflux then consider taking an antacid medicine. If you’re plagued by recurring acid reflux then consider seeing your doctor for a prescription strength medication.
Digestive upset is a term that politely says you’re either constipated or you have diarrhea. Either of these conditions, both unpleasant and inconvenient, can lead to stomach gurgling. With constipation, the muscles that aid in digestion have slacked off and haven’t been contracting as often as they should. This causes your intestines to literally become blocked up. When the muscles start to awaken enough to resume the process, the air and liquid that are also present in the intestines bubble creates gurgling sounds. Constipation can be remedied with a healthy dose of fiber. Try eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans. You could also try an over the counter fiber product available in capsules or as a powder to be mixed with a beverage.
A similar occurrence happens with diarrhea; only the muscles are likely to be overworked and are churning and passing matter much faster through the digestive system. In this case there is a lot more air and liquid present in the digestive tract and it’s moving along at a faster rate—which is why a case of diarrhea could cause your stomach to sound (and feel) like it’s shooting off artillery rounds. Pepto Bismol or a similar product containing bismuth subsalicylate can help ease diarrhea, but you should also make it a point to eat more carbs, such as bananas, rice, or bread, and drink loads of water to replace what you lose after having diarrhea.
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