Stomach Bubbling Excessively, Loud Rumbling Even After Eating

GennyL72 Asked :

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I have been suffering with an embarrassing problem for the past few months. My stomach rumbles loudly even if I have eaten and sometimes it even sounds like there is some bubbling. The sound is so loud that even others can hear it, even my colleagues sitting across from me. I am so stressed about this that I have actually been changed my eating patterns to reduce these episodes but nothing really helps for long.

The bubbling is worse if I am hungry and there is also the rumbling but it is not as loud. If I eat, the bubbling goes down quite a bit but the rumbling gets worse and sometimes it sounds lower down the abdomen. Also when I eat I find a little bit of cramps, its like contractions because it comes and goes like in labor but not that painful. I have tried eating small amounts throughout the day and this is the only way to find a balance between the rumbling and bubbling in the stomach but this does not stop these sounds altogether.

Apart from the stomach sounds, I have always suffered from constipation so that is nothing new – I sometimes go just 2 or 3 times in the week and at other times, I can go for as long as 5 days without a movement. I was thinking that it was an ulcer or something because I previously had this but the pain seems to get worse after I eat. There is some bloating but nothing abnormal but I feel a bit more ‘gassy’ these days. I have been passing quite a bit of wind from the bottom end but I think that it’s because I am stressed these days with work. Since I was a child I always seem to pass more gas when I am anxious or stressed.

Why am I experiencing these sounds? Do you have any advice for how I can minimize these loud stomach noises?

This question was posted under the Causes of Bloating and Gas article.

Any response by the Health Hype team does not constitute a medical consultation and the advice should be viewed purely as a guide. Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your current treatment program. The information provided in this article is not an authoritative resource on the subject matter and solely intends to guide the reader based on the questions asked and information provided.

Dr. Chris Answered :

Abdominal noises (borborygmi) emanating from the stomach and intestines are a normal occurrence and usually get worse when you are hungry. The sound itself is created by contractions of the stomach and intestine muscles, churning of gastric acid within the stomach and the movement of these digestive enzymes and the acid between the stomach and intestine. Apart from hunger, these abdominal noises can also be heard during digestion (after eating).

The symptoms you are experiencing may be indicative of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) but only your doctor can make this diagnosis. It is likely that you will need to undergo further investigations – colonoscopy, endoscopy, blood and stool tests. These tests should be conducted after a clinical evaluation by a gastroenterologist. There is also the possibility that the bubbling and rumbling sounds are due to increased gastric acid production and you should take note of any heartburn symptoms or regurgitation, all part of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and report it to your doctor.

After eating, your gastrointestinal tract has to do more work. More acid is produced, more muscle contractions are needed to churn the food in the stomach and push it down the gut. The cramps that you are experiencing are most likely intestinal spasms, which is another strong indicator of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS used to be called spastic colon). Constipation and excessive gas are common complaints in IBS. While many of these symptoms also occur in malabsorption syndromes, you should have noticed diarrhea and loss of weight if this was the cause.

Stress is an important consideration here. It can increase gastric acid production, stimulate gastric and intestinal contractions and if you are suffering with IBS, then symptoms like gas, bloating and constipation will be aggravated. Apart from work stress, your anxiety about this condition could further exacerbate your symptoms.

Once your doctor completes the necessary investigation, you will be put on medication for the condition that has been diagnosed. This should help ease your symptoms. It is important to see your doctor as soon as possible to exclude more serious conditions and taking note of any trigger factors can be useful for your doctor to make a quick diagnosis.

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  • chris

    Besides my other symptoms the past month (abdominal aches/pain, pressure behind left rib cage, yellowish stool and warmness in the abdominal area).. I always feel hungry.. I haven’t had the full feeling, for the past 2 months when all this weird stuff happened. Stomach gargles, etc.. all my doctor does is blood work.. and I did get an abdominal ultrasound. All good. I feel there should be more done, like a CT scan, or perhaps (since i missed my period this month).. maybe a transvaginal ultrasound. Maybe all this has to do with my ovaries. When it comes to the stomach area.. it could be so many things. Waiting for my colonoscopy.. but that could be a long time. Very stressed, and I cannot seem to gain. i am maintaining kind of the weight, bu I lost about 6 or so pounds and would prefer to get that back, but seem unable to. Feeling very sad. i am 44, had a good life up to 2 months ago. Want to go to MAyo clinic in states, ..or is that just too ridiculous.? Thanks

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Chris

    The colonoscopy is essential at this point and possibly even an upper GI endoscopy. Unintentional weight loss and the various symptoms you are experiencing could be due to a host of causes and it would be difficult to say without seeing the results of relevant diagnostic investigations like a colonoscopy. I am sure there are many private clinics which could offer you excellent service within your own country and you should first exhaust all these options. Should it be a serious underlying condition, you will need access to a doctor/doctors in your area.

  • Su jones

    I have recently suffered with very loose, sludge like stools. Thet are not water but extremely loose. 10 years ago I had a case of pseudomembranous colitis after a course of cephalexin antibiotics. 9 weeks ago I had another course of the same antibiotics and over the past 2 weeks have had these loose stools nag need to go to the loo about 3-4 times each morning. I suffer with IBS and have bad growling and rumbling noises after eating has if I can feel the food rumbling around my stomach. I am wondering if I have the Colitis back or if
    this is just IBS. Please help

  • Jamie

    Personally, I think the canned “it’s IBS” response comes too quickly from doctors. IBS should only be diagnosed when everything else is ruled out because there is no IBS test. Many times, people suffer based on a knee jerk diagnosis that is wrong. Find a doctor who will partner with you to first rule out conditions before making a diagnosis.

    The assumption that malabsorption must have weight loss as a symptom is also false. My daughter has celiac. If anything, she gained wait due to bloating and inflammation. She was13 at diagnosis. I had to press my doctor and eventually asked to be referred to a GI doc. He immediately ran this easy blood test and she tested positive (moderate to severe). That was 2 years ago.

  • Hi Jamie. We agree with you regarding the over-diagnosis of IBS. As you so correctly stated it should only be diagnosed once all other bowel conditions have been excluded as a possible cause following intensive diagnostic investigations. However, weight gain due to inflammation and bloating is a bit puzzling. There is a rapid weight increase in conditions like anasarca where the whole body swells. However, inflammation on its own usually does not cause weight gain. Furthermore bloating (we would assume you mean abdominal distension) does not cause weight gain either unless there was fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity (ascites). This would have to be severe ascites to contribute to weight gain.

  • JoJo PB

    I have the same symptoms, and of course I was told I have shit, I think the doc’s throw that word @ you when they can’t find the actual reason you are suddenly getting these LOUD noises, gas, bloating, constipation and they have done colonoscopy and endoscopy but are stumped… just because they can’t find anything with the traditional testing does NOT mean you are ok or that this is normal..cause it’s NOT! my husband wakes up from sleeping to hear my stomach making loud, weird noises nitley, I listen to them all day long..and I am on 3 scripts to help me go to the bathroom..ridiculous!

  • George

    Hi JoJo, did you figure out a solution to this problem? I’ve had all of your symptoms as well as the OP’s (except for the constipation) for 8 months now and it’s really getting frustrating, especially the noises. Please let me know!

  • Ravin Nicole

    I have th esame thing, im 14. When i can do it its really loud and my parents han hear it. when i put my hand on the left side of my stomach i can feel it vibrate. I dont know what it is but its very embarrasing. Should i go to a dr?

  • Alyssa

    do they give u pills or surgery because i’m having the same problem and sometimes it stops for a little bit then bubbles again please tell me what should do this has been happening senes a August this year.

  • HI Alyssa. As you can see from the article above there are many possible causes. It may be managed with diet, lifestyle changes or medication. Remember the bubbling sound or sensation is only a symptoms. Surgery may be needed depending on the underlying cause. You will have to see a doctor in order for the underlying condition to be diagnosed. Then teh appropriated treatment will be prescribed.

  • JoJo PB

    NO, sorry

  • JoJo PB

    no I have not, sorry u suffer with this as well George.