Why does our stomach growl when we are hungry?

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We all know and experience these quite unpleasant situations in which we are hungry, and our stomach announces this, audible to the people around us, with a loud growl. But why does our stomach growl?

If your stomach growls when you’re hungry, it’s not because you’re hungry. At least not really. It sounds paradoxical, but it’s true.

What happens in the digestive tract?

To understand where stomach growling comes from, you first need to understand the digestive tract. The tube that carries the food you eat from your mouth down to your butt is long. Very long.

Your body uses a trick to get that burger you just ate that long way from A to B. It continuously contracts the digestive tract muscles and thus pushes the food forward. In other words, downward.

This is called peristalsis, except that your food doesn’t travel alone. Different gases and air accompany it. This mixture of solid and gaseous components that move expresses itself acoustically: the stomach growls.

Integrated sound insulation

Now the thing is, the food that’s on its way muffles the sound. So not much of it gets through to the outside. So it’s not hunger that you hear growling. Your stomach is always booming.

But you’ll hear the stomach growl less when you’ve eaten a lot and you’re full. However, it may be just as loud in there as it usually is.

But it only gets deafening when the stomach is empty. The stomach growl is at least an indirect sign of hunger in this respect. And if we are honest: A pretty reliable sign.

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