Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Stomach/ Tummy gurgling- CAUSES ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Stomach/ Tummy gurgling- CAUSES
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: brudenell-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 14 Nov 2002 12:14 PST
Expires: 14 Dec 2002 12:14 PST
Question ID: 107812
I am interested in knowing the causes of borborygmi- Stomach gurgles
etc./ excessive bowel noises. Also interested in treatment and whether
this is hereditary?
Subject: Re: Stomach/ Tummy gurgling- CAUSES
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 14 Nov 2002 13:24 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
The word, “borborygmus” (plural, “borborygmi”) is actually an
onomatopoeia; a word created to sound like the noise or event that it
represents. The Ancient Greeks were the first to use the word in
effort to describe the sound made by a hungry stomach.

Borborygmi occur most often when we are hungry, although it does occur
at times when you may not "realize" that you are hungry. In response
to to this hunger, the stomach prepares for the anticipated feeding my
retracting muscles designed to force material which has already been
partially digested farther into the intestine and push digested food
farther down into the colon in preparation for disposal. This activity
causes small pockets of water and air to form in the stomach and
intestines and the resulting noises are caused by gases and materials
being squeezed between the folds and around resident material. The
intensity of sound differs according to the intensity of the
contractions and the contents of the stomach and intestines.

If you want to try and duplicate the noise in an effort to better
understand how this happens, try streching the opening of a balloon
while the air is escaping. The result will be higher pitched when the
opening is pulled tighter, and lower pitched as the tension on the
opening is decreased. To create an even more accurate demonstration
you can perform this experiment while holding the ballon just under
the surface of water or other moist material.

Borborygmi is not an inherited trait or condition. Sensitivities that
sometimes cause it, however, can be. It is possible (whether you
realize it or not) that you suffer from alactasia (or lactose
intolerance) – an inherited condition causing the lack of the enzyme
needed to digest milk sugar. Try modifying your diet and see if you
get better results. If you eliminate milk and milk products (cheese,
creams, etc.) from your diet for a few days you may note a dramatic
drop in the frequency (no pun intended) in the noise or it may stop
altogether. Otherwise, for the time being at least, if this
embarrassing situation happens to you in church, the library, or some
other quiet setting where others can hear it, a temporary solution
that sometimes helps is to apply a bit of pressure to your abdomen or
simply slip a cracker or cookie into your mouth to “fool” your stomach
into believing that there is more to come. Both of these solutions
seem to work for most people.

I hope you find my research helpful. I look forward to working with
you again in the near future.

Best regards;

"First Priniciples of Gastroenterology"

“Windy Symptoms”

“Transcript – Gut Reactions, July 27, 2002”

“Glossary – Digestive Disorders”
search terms: alactasia


Engine used:
Google ://

Search terms:
brudenell-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Thank you for the information and rather humourous answer.

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy