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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

How to Resolve Rumbling Stomach

Most at times when people observe some unusual (rumbling) noise emanating from their stomach, Nigerians are quick to conclude it must be worm infestation. Sometimes they will simply say “oh, my stomach must be dirty and so I need to take some purgative or, I need to ‘deworm’ myself”. The issue is not so much as to whether it is wrong or right to ‘deworm’ yourself or take some kind of purge medicine. But the main problem is that most people simply do not get to understand what exactly is going on in their stomach.

Digestive system: Courtesy -

The fact is that the occasional noise or rumbling you hear coming from your stomach most of the time is not necessarily a danger signal or anything to panic about; it’s what is referred to medically as borborygmus. Medical experts and researchers have done a lot to make us understand this phenomenon and know how to approach it by way of prevention or treatment. When you hear or feel this rumbling again in your tummy, just remember that it simply means that there is a movement of gas coupled with a contraction of the intestinal muscles, or peristaltic movement of the bowel. Though this will usually have its underlying reasons but may not necessarily be anything too serious most of the time. 

Causes of rumbling stomach

Hunger: A good percentage of the times you experience rumbling is clearly indicative of the fact that you are hungry. Your system is simply signaling through your brain to your intestines and stomach, that they are empty and you need to refill, or fill up your tank.

Digestion: Sometimes you hear your stomach rumbling just a few moments after you have had a meal depending on the kind of food you ate of course. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this as well. It only means that your food is being broken down for your body to be able to use it. This is the process of digestion or combustion, at which food is being burned up as it were, or in the case of unfinished digestion whereby bacteria living in the intestinal tract come to participate in the process. But it is not all the time that you get to hear the noise of this process, but like I said, it also depends on the kind of meal or drink that you took, as some foods and beverages are more likely to produce gas than others.

Yawning could mean hunger, and a rumbling tummy

Aerophagia: This condition refers to having too much air in the stomach. This happens usually with people who eat hastily, an action that makes one take in so much air while eating or drinking. Sometimes people who are under stress and anxiety are also prone to this condition which is usually followed by belching, tummy discomfort and flatulence.

IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome is also sometimes a cause of rumbling stomach but it is not usually a frequent occurrence. Irritable bowel syndrome is usually accompanied by bloating of the stomach, pains and discomfort of the abdominal region, flatulence, cramping, constipation and sometimes diarrhoea. Indigestion or dyspepsia which is a major part of the issue may however be caused by the consumption of spicy or oily foods as well. But if the symptoms of this condition persist with continued gas and rumbling in your stomach, you are better advised to see your doctor.

Natural remedies for rumbling stomach

If your rumbling stomach is probably due to hunger, then you should always make sure you have some food in your stomach at all times. This could mean that you should always carry with you some food, even snacks that you could be using in between meals, etc. Also, you must make sure you eat little portions of meals frequently throughout the day; you are not to wait until you go hungry that is.

But if your rumbling stomach happens to be as a result of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, then you need to go on foods that are rich in dietary fibres; ensure your meals include whole foods such as whole grains, tubers, roots, rhizomes, as well as fruits and vegetables. These will enable your digestive system function at its optimum and also induce a regular and convenient bowel movement daily. In essence, you have to steer clear of processed (carbohydrates) foods. On the other hand, you could look to your doctor to prescribe some good plant based laxative to free your system by aiding digestion.

By Morgan Nwanguma

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