Picture this: you're halfway through Netflix and chill, it’s dead quiet, and you’re about to make your move... when your stomach abruptly decides to make a sound like there's a Mack Truck driving through it. Muffling it with your hand does nothing; in fact, it may just start growling more out of spite.
What’s really causing your stomach to make those obnoxious gurgling noises? We asked gastroenterologist and clinical associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center Lisa Ganjhu to find out, and it’s apparently not what you’d think -- but that’s probably because you had no idea either.
Why does your stomach growl?
“Our digestive tract is a very long tube of muscles, it starts at our mouths and goes down to our butts. Our stomachs are constantly moving to keep itself clean, and move through any fluids.”
Why does it make a loud noise?
“Basically, what you’re really hearing is the air moving around in the stomach when it’s empty. When it’s empty you don’t have anything to absorb the sounds, when you have a full stomach you’re not going to hear that churning as much. So the growling you’re hearing is our stomach churning waiting for us to put the food in it -- and it’s louder because there is no food or cushioning to absorb food.”
So, basically, our stomach is always making noise and we just don’t hear it if we’re full?
“The thought is that’s true, yes -- that it’s always making noise, we just don’t hear it typically. That’s the most logical sense.”