ZocdocAnswersMy stomach makes chronic audible noises - what's wrong?

Question

My stomach makes chronic audible noises - what's wrong?

I have chronic audible noises. All day long. When I eat when I don't eat. There is different sounds, some deep and long, others high pitched and quick. They sound like stuff is moving, like gas or water or maybe the intestines themselves. Sometimes my stomach growls and that is accompanied by pain. I have done all the testings, been scoped, etc. The doc said I have IBS. But can someone please tell me how I can stop the noise? I have tried gluten and lactose free and I eat very healthy and always work out. What can I do, this is very depressing and I hate being social because of it. I am currently taking digestive healthy gas prevention and it isn't doing much.

Answer

On the surface, noises from the stomach are not necessarily a sign of a medical problem. They are just produced by gases "burbling" through the stomach and intestines as they engage in their normal activities of contracting and moving food and air along towards the colon and rectum. However, obviously, these noises can sometimes be distressing or socially embarrassing, and can as a result require treatment and a visit to your doctor. It is definitely the case that some people with a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can have more gases, and these can often be quite audible. If they continue to be an issue for you, despite trying some basic things such as a digestive health preparation or eliminating certain foods, such as gluten or lactose, then I would recommend checking back in with your primary care doctor or your gastroenterologist to see what else can be done. Some cases of IBS are very responsive to stress reduction and physical exercise. These might be a strategy to try, if your doctor has not recommended them up till now. Additionally, some people with IBS or chronic gas find that they need to conduct a more thorough food elimination strategy, looking methodically for the foods that produce their symptoms. For example, some people are very intolerant to cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli or cauliflower) or to beans. Your doctor will be able to guide you through this and other potential strategies!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.