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/

Foods

What Happens to Instant Noodles in Your Stomach

ramennoodles

What happens to instant noodles in your stomach

Instant noodles are a popular go-to lunch or dinner for those who are strapped for time (or cash), like college students. While you probably don’t consider them a health food, you may think they’re not that bad, or, at least, not as bad as eating a burger and fries or a fast-food burrito.

In a first-of-its-kind experiment, however, Dr. Braden Kuo of Massachusetts General Hospital may make you reconsider your love of instant noodles (assuming you have one).

He used a pill-sized camera to see what happens inside your stomach and digestive tract after you eat ramen noodles, one common type of instant noodles. The results were astonishing…

Ramen Noodles Don’t Break Down After Hours of Digestion

 

 

In the video above, you can see ramen noodles inside a stomach. Even after two hours, they are remarkably intact, much more so than the homemade ramen noodles, which were used as a comparison. This is concerning for a number of reasons.

For starters, it could be putting a strain on your digestive system, which is forced to work for hours to break down this highly processed food (ironically, most processed food is so devoid of fiber that it gets broken down very quickly, interfering with your blood sugar levels and insulin release).

When food remains in your digestive tract for such a long time, it will also impact nutrient absorption, but, in the case of processed ramen noodles, there isn’t much nutrition to be had. Instead, there is a long list of additives, including the toxic preservative tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ).

This additive will likely remain in your stomach along with the seemingly invincible noodles, and no one knows what this extended exposure time may do to your health. Common sense suggests it’s not going to be good…

Five Grams of Noodle Preservative, TBHQ, Is Lethal

 

TBHQ, a byproduct of the petroleum industry, is often listed as an “antioxidant,” but it’s important to realize it is a synthetic chemical with antioxidant properties – not a natural antioxidant. The chemical prevents oxidation of fats and oils, thereby extending the shelf life of processed foods.

It’s a commonly used ingredient in processed foods of all kinds (including McDonald’s chicken nuggets, Kellogg’s CHEEZ-IT crackers, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Wheat Thins crackers, Teddy Grahams, Red Baron frozen pizza, Taco Bell beans, and much more).

But you can also find it in varnishes, lacquers, and pesticide products, as well as cosmetics and perfumes to reduce the evaporation rate and improve stability.

At its 19th and 21st meetings, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives determined that TBHQ was safe for human consumption at levels of 0-0.5 mg/kg of body weight.1

However, the Codex commission set the maximum allowable limits up to between 100 to as much as 400 mg/kg, depending on the food it’s added to.2 (Chewing gum is permitted to contain the highest levels of TBHQ.) In the US, the Food and Drug Administration requires that TBHQ must not exceed 0.02 percent of its oil and fat content.3

So there’s quite a discrepancy in supposedly “safe” limits, but it’s probably best to have little or no exposure to this toxicant, as exposure to five grams can be lethal and, according to A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, exposure to just one gram of TBHQ can cause:4

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Delirium
  • Sense of suffocation
  • Collapse

While TBHQ is not suspected to be a persistent toxicant, meaning your body is probably able to eliminate it so that it does not bioaccumulate, if you eat instant noodles your body might be getting prolonged exposures. This is concerning, to say the least. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), based on animal studies health hazards associated with TBHQ include:5

  • Liver effects at very low doses
  • Positive mutation results from in vitro tests on mammalian cells
  • Biochemical changes at very low doses
  • Reproductive effects at high doses

Eating Instant Noodles Linked to Metabolic Syndrome

 

If you’re still considering ramen noodles for lunch, you should know a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who consumed more instant noodles had a significantly greater risk of metabolic syndrome than those who ate less, regardless of their overall diet or exercise habits.6

Women who ate instant noodles more than twice a week were 68 percent more likely to have metabolic syndrome — a group of symptoms such as central obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting blood sugar, elevated fasting triglycerides, and low levels of HDL cholesterol.

Having three or more of the symptoms increases your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Past research also analyzed overall nutrient intake between instant-noodle consumers and non-consumers, and found, as you might suspect, that eating instant noodles contributes little value to a healthy diet.

The instant-noodle consumers had a significantly lower intake of important nutrients like protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, vitamin A, niacin, and vitamin C compared with non-consumers.7 Those who ate instant noodles also had an excessive intake of energy, unhealthy fats and sodium (just one package may contain 2,700 milligrams of sodium).8

What Else Is in a Package of Instant Noodles?

Aside from a lot of sodium and the preservative TBHQ, what else is found in a typical serving of instant noodles? Prevent Disease reported:9

“The dried noodle block was originally created by flash frying cooked noodles, and this is still the main method used in Asian countries, though air-dried noodle blocks are favored in Western countries. The main ingredients of the dried noodle are wheat flour, palm oil, and salt. Common ingredients of the flavoring powder are salt, monosodium glutamate, seasoning, and sugar.

…In June 2012, the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) found Benzopyrene (a cancer-causing substance) in six brands of noodles made by Nong Shim Company Ltd. Although the KFDA said the amounts were minuscule and not harmful, Nong Shim did identify particular batches of noodles with a problem, prompting a recall by October 2012.”

The monosodium glutamate (MSG) in instant noodles is reason enough to avoid them. MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your nerve cells to the point of damage or death, causing brain dysfunction and damage to varying degrees — and potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and more.

Part of the problem is that free glutamic acid (MSG is approximately 78 percent free glutamic acid) is the same neurotransmitter that your brain, nervous system, eyes, pancreas, and other organs use to initiate certain processes in your body. Not to mention, MSG is also used to fatten up mice for scientific study. Yes, MSG is the perfect obesity drug. If you want to achieve your ideal body weight and health, avoid MSG at all costs.

Return to Whole, Living Foods for Optimal Health

Occasionally eating a package of instant noodles clearly won’t kill you, but when you make a habit of substituting convenience foods for real food, it’s only a matter of time before health problems will likely develop. Instant noodles are a prime example of the types of processed foods you want to avoid as much as possible, as they are virtually guaranteed to make you sick and fat if you indulge too much (and “too much” may be as little as a couple of times a week).

Processed foods encourage weight gain and chronic disease because they’re high in sugar, fructose, refined carbohydrates, and artificial ingredients, and low in nutrients and fiber. Processed foods are addictive and designed to make you overeat; they also encourage excessive food cravings, leading to weight gain. Eating processed foods also promotes insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, which are hallmarks of most chronic and/or serious diseases. On the other hand, people have thrived on vegetables, meats, eggs, fruits, and other whole foods for centuries, while processed foods were only recently invented.

Ditching processed foods requires that you plan your meals in advance, but if you take it step-by-step as described in my nutrition plan, it’s quite possible, and manageable, to painlessly remove processed foods from your diet. You can try scouting out your local farmer’s markets for in-season produce that is priced to sell, and planning your meals accordingly, but you can also use this same premise with supermarket sales. You can generally plan a week of meals at a time, making sure you have all ingredients necessary on hand, and then do any prep work you can ahead of time so that dinner is easy to prepare if you’re short on time (and you can use leftovers for lunches the next day, so you don’t have to resort to instant noodles).

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

Foods

Lemon Balm

lemonbalm

Lemons are a powerful healing fruit that contain phenomenal antibiotic, antiseptic, and anti-cancer properties. Lemons are rich in vitamins C and B-complex and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, silicon, copper, and potassium. They are considered to be a wonderful tonic and can help to cleanse and detoxify the entire body. Although lemons have an acidic taste they actually have a very strong alkaline reaction on the body and can help to alkalize blood, cells, lymph, organs, and tissues. Lemons are known to help destroy putrefactive bacteria in the mouth and intestines which can help alleviate flatulence, indigestion, and constipation. Lemons contain a compound called limonene which is used to dissolve gallstones and kidney stones and can help to fight oral, lung, skin, breast, stomach, and colon cancer. Lemons are also rich in bioflavonoids which can significantly boost the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body. Lemon juice is known to be particularly beneficial for colds, coughs, sore throats, hiccups, ear infections, fevers, arthritis, heart disease, COPD, atherosclerosis, diabetes, high cholesterol, autoimmune disorders, stroke, and cancer. Topically, lemon juice is a great remedy for wrinkles, warts, toothaches, corns, sunburns, poison ivy, acne, psoriasis, and as a hair rinse and facial astringent. A tall glass of lemon water upon waking is an excellent way to hydrate and cleanse the body first thing in the morning. Fresh lemon in tea and green juice and added to salads, wraps, hummus, guacamole, and nori rolls is another great way to add this healing and nutritious fruit into your diet. Fresh lemons can be found at your local grocery and health food store.