Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Why Does Your Stomach Growl When You Are Hungry?

stomach

Why Does Your Stomach Growl When You Are Hungry?

 

Your body lets you know every day, in a variety of ways, that it is alive and well. One such way is the familiar growl of your stomach, which, to most of us, signals hunger.

 

But, are all those rumbles and noises actually coming from your stomach? Are they really a sign you need to eat? The answer to both questions is a resounding “No.” I’ll take this opportunity to remind you about what’s really going on when you feel and hear a rumble in your belly.

 

Is All That Noise Coming From Your Stomach?

You may not realize stomach growling actually originates as muscular activity in both your stomach and your small intestine. To better understand what causes it, let’s take a closer look at how your body digests the foods and beverages you consume. As you probably know, one of the primary components of your digestive system is a long hollow tube called the esophagus, which runs from the back of your mouth all the way to your anus.

 

Your esophagus connects with all of your various organs along your gastrointestinal tract, such as your gallbladder, liver, pancreas and stomach, as well as your small and large intestines (also referred to as your bowels).

 

The walls of your esophagus are primarily composed of layers of smooth muscle, which are squeezed and contracted as a means of digesting and propelling food through your body. This process is called peristalsis. As peristalsis does its work, the food and beverages you consume are steadily being moved along from your stomach to your anus.

 

Along the way, they are being mixed with a variety of digestive juices. These juices help your body transform liquids and solids into a gooey mixture known as chyme. Now, this is where the growling noises factor into the process.

 

The funny noises and rumbling sounds you experience are not hunger pangs; they are caused by pockets of trapped air and gasses that are compressed as your body churns food particles and chyme through your digestive system. Typically, stomach growling is no cause for concern. About stomach growling, the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders says:1

 

“Whether audible or not, bowel sounds in the absence of other significant symptoms are normal phenomena of no medical significance. Their harm is embarrassment, a social, rather than a medical affliction.”

 

Why Does My Body Growl Within Hours of Eating?

You may be surprised to know that growling sounds can happen at any time — not just when you’re hungry or when your digestive system is relatively empty. Sometimes the noises are less noticeable because the presence of food in your body can help somewhat to muffle their sound, as well as lessen their intensity.

 

Because digestion is an ongoing process, your stomach sends signals to your brain approximately two hours after you eat to start up the peristalsis contractions again. As reported by Scientific American, professor Mark Andrews, a specialist in physiology and biophysics at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, explains what happens next, noting that these contractions generally subside after you eat: 2

 

Receptors in the walls of your stomach sense the absence of food, triggering electrical activity in the form of a reflex generation of waves known as migrating myoelectric complexes (MMCs)

Hunger contractions result as MMCs travel from the lower region of your stomach, through your small intestine and into your colon

This process not only cleans up any bacteria, food or mucus that may have been missed earlier, but also initiates the process to make you hungry for your next meal

Those contractions, which may continue for 10 to 20 minutes and repeat every one to two hours until your next meal, produce vibrations and the rumbling noise commonly associated with stomach growling

Hyperactive Bowel Sounds Could Signal a Need for Medical Attention

If you have ever experienced diarrhea, you are already familiar with what is meant by hyperactive bowel sounds. As a refresher, hyperactive bowel sounds are characterized by the combination of:

 

Peristalsis of your intestines

Higher levels of fluid and gas

Amplified sounds of watery stools

Various malabsorption states can also result in exaggerated bowel sounds. Two of the main ones that receive considerable attention are:3

 

  • Lactose intolerance: This condition is characterized by your body’s lack of a sufficient level of the enzyme needed to digest lactose in your small intestine. As such, milk sugar will reach your colon intact where it will be fermented by colon bacteria. Those microbes release hydrogen and other products that attract fluids and stimulate gut contractions, which will intensify any abdominal sounds.

 

  • Celiac disease: This illness results from your body’s inability to process gluten, which is a major protein found in barley, rye and wheat. Primarily characterized by inflammation of the mucosa in your small intestines, celiac disease also causes your intestinal villi to atrophy.

 

Villi are the finger-like projections lining the walls of your small intestine that help your body absorb nutrients. When your villi flatten, you may suffer from serious nutritional deficiencies due to malabsorption. Diarrhea and muscle wasting are other possible side effects of celiac disease.

 

A Bowel Obstruction Is Not Only Noisy but Can Also Be Life-Threatening

According to Healthline,4 a very serious instance involving hyperactive bowel sounds takes place when you have an intestinal obstruction. Obstructions can be partial or total, preventing the passage of food and liquids.

 

They are characterized by increased contractions that attempt to force air, liquids and solids through a narrowing of your intestine. As such, obstructions produce unusually loud, often high-pitched, sounds. Those sounds are caused by the buildup of food, fluids, gas and gastric acids behind the site of the blockage.

 

Most obstructions are characterized by symptoms such as abdominal swelling, constipation, nausea and vomiting. Intestinal blockages are considered to be an emergency situation because your intestine could rupture under such intense pressure, causing harmful bacteria and waste products to leak into your abdominal cavity. Given that it is a life-threatening illness that cannot be prevented, immediate diagnosis and treatment of an intestinal blockage is crucial to your survival.

 

Should You Be Concerned if Your Intestines Are Totally Silent?

There are a few situations in which it is normal for your intestines to be quiet, including:

 

During sleep

At certain times of the day

Following abdominal surgery

That said, a complete absence of intestinal sounds that occurs during an attack of severe abdominal pain could be an indication of a serious intra-abdominal event.5 If so, you should treat it as an emergency — one that may require surgery — and get to your nearest hospital immediately.

 

How to Tell if Your Body’s Growling Noises Are Normal

Unless the sounds your stomach and small intestine are making are accompanied by diarrhea, abdominal pain or other symptoms, they are probably normal.

 

That said, it is also important to note stomach rumbling is different from, and unrelated to, other gassy phenomena such as belching, bloating and flatulence. While any, or all, of these may occur in the same person, they are causally unrelated. If you feel your bowel sounds are abnormally loud or if they are causing you anxiety or embarrassment, be sure to discuss your concerns with your doctor.

 

Optimize Your Gut Microbiome to Prevent Intestinal Problems

While there is nothing you can or need to do to curtail your body’s digestive noises, you can take proactive steps to prevent a more serious intestinal issue. By far, your best defense against intestinal problems is to optimize your gut microbiome. One of the best and least expensive ways to do so is to begin by eliminating sugar and processed foods from your diet, while adding a variety of fermented foods.

 

The beneficial bacteria in fermented foods will aid your digestion and provide detoxification support. Consuming a variety of fermented foods and beverages is important because each food will inoculate your gut with a mix of different microorganisms. As such, your digestive tract will be stronger and more resilient against bacteria and other toxic invaders.

 

Fortunately, with a little time and effort, you can cultivate fermented foods at home. While there are several options, two of the easiest and most popular types are:

 

Cultured dairy, such as yogurt, kefir and sour cream

Cultured vegetables, including pureed baby foods

For step-by-step instructions on how to ferment vegetables, check out my video below. While you can purchase these items in a grocery store, you will get a higher-quality product by culturing your own. Making your fermented foods and beverages at home also gives you total control and knowledge of the ingredients contained in each one.

Probiotics Support the Growth of Your Gut’s ‘Good Bacteria’

If, for whatever reason, fermented foods are not an option for you, consider taking a daily probiotic supplement. Probiotics are supplements designed to increase your beneficial bacteria, the largest concentration of which is found in your gut. By supporting the health-promoting bacteria in your body, probiotics help keep harmful microbes in check.

 

If you recently have taken or currently are taking an antibiotic, be sure to also take a probiotic to repopulate your gut with healthy bacteria. This is necessary because most antibiotics kill not only the target organism that might be causing your infection (which is a good thing), but also your beneficial bacteria.

 

Keep in mind that many prescribed antibiotics are unnecessary and may inflict more harm than good. As such, I recommend you carefully weigh your options before taking them.

 

Given the risks of antibiotic resistance, be selective and, if possible, restrict antibiotic use to only the medical situations that mandate the use of them. Learn more about the value and use of probiotics through my interview with Greg Leyer, chief scientific officer of UAS Laboratories, a probiotic-dedicated manufacturer.

 

Take One Step Today to Address Your Digestive Health

For sure, your body will continue to make growling noises. Whenever you feel and hear that familiar rumble, let it remind you that you have a human form that is intricately made and wonderfully complex. Unless the growling sounds are bothersome, or accompanied by abdominal pain or other alarming symptoms, there is little cause for concern. As always, your best defense against more serious digestive issues is to act now to proactively maintain your health.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr J Mercola

Dr P Carrothers

312-972-Well

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

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Pets, Uncategorized

Common Symptoms of Many Pet Disorders

dogsofa

The Common Symptom of Many Pet Disorders

 

Dogs and cats (especially cats) are wired to sleep somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 12 hours a day, and require even more shut-eye as they age. This is why it may seem as though every time you lay eyes on your furry companion, he’s sawing logs.

 

Given his need for lots of sleep, it can be difficult to tell when your pet is actually lethargic and not just drowsy-as-usual. That’s why it’s so important to have a good understanding of what constitutes “normal” for your pet — normal behavior, normal eating patterns, normal sleeping patterns, normal poop, normal pee and so on.

 

When you know your dog’s or cat’s “normal” like the back of your hand, you’ll recognize immediately when something is off, such as when he’s more sluggish than usual. Lethargy is a symptom of many disorders that affect pets, including behavioral problems. Some of the most common causes are explained below.

 

5 Common Reasons for Lethargy in Dogs and Cats

  1. Your pet has an underlying illness

 

A decrease in your pet’s activity level can indicate an underlying health problem that needs investigation. This is especially true if there’s also a change in her appetite, elimination habits and/or interaction with family members or other pets in the household. A dog or cat who is sick will often be unusually quiet and sluggish, so if your pet is lethargic for 24 hours or so, it’s time to give your veterinarian’s office a call. Depending on your pet’s symptoms, you may be asked to bring her in right away.

 

For example, lethargy accompanied by persistent vomiting or bloody vomit, stool or urine is cause for immediate concern. A pet’s refusal to eat is another red flag. The sooner you get your pet diagnosed and begin treatment the better her chances for a full recovery.

  1. Your pet has ingested a poison

 

This frightening scenario can occur both outdoors, especially during the warmer months of the year, and indoors if your pet happens to eat the wrong people food (e.g., chocolate or anything sweetened with xylitol), gets into a bottle of NSAIDs or samples a toxic houseplant.

 

If your dog or cat suddenly grows lethargic or has other symptoms of toxicity (e.g., vomiting) and you know or suspect he’s eaten something potentially poisonous, get him to your veterinarian or the nearest emergency animal hospital immediately.

 

  1. Your pet is on a new medication

 

If your veterinarian has put your dog or cat on a new or different medication and she suddenly seems lethargic, the drug is probably the cause. All medications have short- and long-term side effects that can range from mild to life-threatening. If you see any change in your pet’s behavior after starting a new medication, report it to your veterinarian immediately.

 

I also recommend finding a holistic or integrative vet who may be able to suggest safer, less toxic remedies, especially if your dog or cat is taking a particularly toxic drug (e.g., prednisone) or long-term medication for a chronic condition.

 

  1. Your pet is newly adopted

 

Dogs and (especially) cats who are anxious or frightened can appear lethargic, so if you just brought your pet home, he’ll need some time to adjust to his new environment and family. He could be acting sluggish simply because he’s in unfamiliar territory and a bit overwhelmed.

 

Give your pet lots of positive TLC and avoid overstimulation in his first few weeks with you. If he’s otherwise healthy, his activity level will naturally increase as he learns to trust you and gets comfortable in his new surroundings.

  1. Your pet has lost a friend

 

When two pets are closely bonded and one of them dies, the surviving dog or cat may experience what experts refer to as a “distress reaction” that is similar in many ways to human grief.

 

In addition to lethargy, some of the signs include changes in sleep patterns; changes in eating habits; lack of interest in normal activities; reluctance to be in a room or home alone, or away from human family members; and wandering the house, searching for their lost friend.

 

If you suspect your animal companion is mourning the death of another pet, I recommend reading “10 Tips for Helping Your Surviving Pet Deal with a Loss.”

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr. Becker

312-972-Well

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/