Curiosities: Why do your stomach and intestine growl (grumble) when you are hungry?

hungry

By Eddy Montilla.

It is almost midday; my students are taking an exam and silence reigns in the classroom. Then, a very familiar sound tells me that the time for the exam has finished. The clock? No. It is one of the student’s stomach growling. His classmates cannot contain their laughter and I think about it: Why does your stomach rumble when you are hungry?

     To understand the answer better, three myths should be dispelled. First, your stomach does not growl only when you are hungry. It may happen even when you are satisfied after eating. Second, the rumbling noise is not coming from your stomach only, but from your intestines too. And third, it is not true that your stomach is absolutely “empty” when you are hungry. In fact, you have gas, gastric juice and other liquids and they are (combined with the walls of the gastrointestinal tract that contract and relax) the responsible for those rumbling sounds that usually embarrass all of us in front of other people.

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