Have you ever been in class, listening intently, when all of the sudden a very loud rumble emanates from your belly?
Everybody around you starts giggling and your face turns red. You wish you could stop the growling, but you have no idea why it happened in the first place!
Hey, guys, it’s Tracey, the Sassafras twin who has soooo been there. And to make it worse, I have a twin brother who loves to capitalize on my embarrassment – especially when it involves involuntarily-made bodily noises.
So, I wrote our dear friend Burly Scav, the one who saved our lives on our anatomy leg, to find out why our stomach make noise. He was super-smart when it came to facts about the digestive system, so I just knew he could help!
Here is what Burly shared with me:
Great to hear from you! So you want to know why your tummy growls involuntarily during class?
Well, you are not alone – lots of people deal with growly stomachs. And it really isn’t because your brother has used some sort of mind trick to get your stomach to growl at the precise moment that the room falls quiet.
That rumblin’ in your tumblin’ comes from your stomach and small intestines.
Most people think it is your stomach’s way of saying, “I’m hungry. Fill me up again.” But the truth is that it is actually the sound peristalsis
Peristalsis is the rhythmic waves and contraction of muscles in the digestive system. This process helps to move the food down the digestive tract. It also helps to churn the food and liquid together with the digestive juices to form chyme, that gooey mixture from which our bodies can absorb the nutrients in our food.
As the food gets smooshed and pushed this way and that, the occasional gas can be released and air pocket can form. As the pockets of air get pushed through the liquid, they can make the percolating noises we call growling.
The growling can sound a might louder when your stomach is empty. This is because there are no contents in the stomach to absorb or dampen the noise.
The rumblin’ in your tumblin’ is a natural part of your digestive process and in a lot of ways, it is good to hear because you know your stomach is working.
I know that doesn’t help with your embarrassment in the moment, but you know you can always bring those who tease you down to Texas. Trevor and I will be happy to introduce them to the sludge bog!
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