Why does my belly rumble?

Why Does My Belly Rumble?

It’s common to experience rumbling sounds in the belly, especially when you are hungry or waiting too long between meals. But why does it happen? And is it normal? In this article, we will explore the science behind this common bodily phenomenon and answer some common questions related to it.

What Causes Belly Rumbling?

The sounds in the belly are produced by the movement of digestive juices and gases as they mix with food and air in the intestines. When there is no food in the stomach, the stomach and intestines are usually empty and relatively quiet. But when food enters the stomach, digestion begins, and the muscles of the stomach and small intestine start contracting and relaxing to push food through the digestive tract.

This movement of food and digestive juices produces sounds that can be heard through the abdominal wall. The sounds can be loud or soft, high-pitched or low-pitched, depending on the rate of digestion, the amount of gas produced and the presence of solid food in the system.

Is Belly Rumbling Normal?

Yes, stomach rumbling is a normal physiological process that happens to everybody, even if you can’t hear it. Eating or taking in liquids will eventually stop the sounds.

However, if you experience frequent or loud stomach noises, especially if they are accompanied by abdominal discomfort, bloating, cramping or diarrhea, it may indicate an underlying digestive disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease. If you are concerned about your symptoms or have other signs of digestive problems, please seek advice from your doctor or a gastroenterologist.

What Can Make Belly Rumbling Worse?

Some factors can make belly rumbling worse or more noticeable. Here are some of them:

  • Hunger: When you are hungry, the stomach is empty and more sensitive to movements, causing it to contract more forcefully and generate more sound.
  • Fatty or spicy food: These types of food can stimulate the secretion of digestive juices and increase gas production, leading to more belly noise.
  • Air intake: Swallowing air when eating or drinking, or talking while eating can introduce more air into the digestive system, making more noise when it moves through the intestines.
  • Anxiety or stress: Emotional stress can affect the way the digestive system works, leading to more bloating and gas production.
  • Certain medications: Some medications can interfere with the normal functioning of the digestive system and cause noise or discomfort, such as laxatives, antacids or antibiotics.

Can You Prevent Belly Rumbling?

While you can’t completely eliminate stomach sounds, you can try some strategies to reduce them, such as:

  • Eat more frequently: Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help keep the stomach from becoming too empty or too full and prevent excessive noise.
  • Avoid trigger foods: Identify which foods or drinks tend to cause more noise or discomfort in your case and try to avoid them or limit their amount.
  • Slow down when eating: Eating too fast can cause air swallowing and digestive disturbances, leading to more rumbling and bloating. Aim to eat slowly and mindfully, and chew your food well before swallowing.
  • Manage stress: Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga or massage to reduce stress and promote better digestion.

When Should You See a Doctor?

If you experience any of the following symptoms along with stomach rumbling, you should see a doctor:

  • Abdominal pain: Pain or cramping in the belly that lasts longer than a few hours or that comes and goes recurrently may indicate an underlying medical condition and require medical attention.
  • Blood in your stool: If you see blood in your stool or on the toilet paper, it can be a sign of inflammation or injury in the digestive tract and require prompt medical evaluation.
  • Unexplained weight loss or fatigue: If you experience unexplained weight loss or fatigue, it can signal an underlying medical condition and require further testing or evaluation.
  • Chronic or recurrent symptoms: If your symptoms persist or come back frequently despite lifestyle changes or treatment, it may indicate a chronic condition that requires long-term management and monitoring.


Belly rumbling is a normal bodily process that happens when the stomach and intestines are digesting food and mixing it with gas and digestive juices. It can occur at any time, but it’s more noticeable when you are hungry, eating or taking in liquids. While you can’t completely prevent belly rumbling, you can use some strategies to reduce it, such as eating more frequently, avoiding trigger foods or managing stress. However, if you have other symptoms or concerns related to your digestive health, it’s important to talk to your doctor or a gastroenterologist for further evaluation and management.


Here are some of the most common questions people ask about belly rumbling and their answers:

  • Q: Why do I hear noises from my stomach when I’m hungry?
  • A: When your stomach is empty, there is less food and liquid to muffle the sound of contractions. As a result, the noises may be more audible and noticeable.

  • Q: Can belly rumbling be a sign of pregnancy?
  • A: Yes, it’s possible for some pregnant women to experience more stomach noises due to hormonal changes and increased gas production.

  • Q: Can belly rumbling cause any health problems?
  • A: Stomach noises by themselves are not harmful or dangerous. However, if they are accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain, bloating or diarrhea, it may indicate an underlying digestive disorder.

  • Q: Can belly rumbling be a sign of hunger?
  • A: Yes, when the stomach is empty, it may produce more noise to signal the brain that it needs more food. Eating or drinking will usually stop the rumbling.

  • Q: Can anxiety make my stomach rumble more?
  • A: Yes, anxiety or stress can affect the way the digestive system works, leading to more bloating, gas production and stomach noise.