Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why is my stomach moving? "


I went to the doctor today and when he was feeling my stomach he said it was moving around a lot. What does that mean?


It is difficult to know the cause of your symptoms without performing a thorough in-person evaluation. I encourage you to ask this question of the doctor who initially notified you of this. If he is unable to provide an answer, then I encourage you to arrange an appointment with a different primary care doctor.

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Your intestines have multiple smooth muscle cells along their entire length. This allows the intestinal segments to squeeze in a sequential manner, thus moving intestinal contents toward the rectum and leading, ultimately, to bowel movements. Between meals, your intestines increase this activity in order to clear themselves in preparation for the next meal. This process is called borborygmi and is normal. It is possible that a mass on your stomach, intestine, pancreas, liver, ovaries, or uterus could cause transmission of intestinal movement, thus making it feel as if you abdomen was "moving a lot." Your aorta, which is the large blood vessel exiting your heart, passes through the abdomen, and its pulsations can often be felt. An abnormal enlargement of the aorta, or aneurysm, can often lead to a palpable, pulsating mass in the abdomen and can be a surgical emergency. It is not clear exactly what your doctor was referring to during your visit. I encourage you to ask him about his findings or to schedule an appointment with a different primary care doctor.

Zocdoc Answers 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 (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.