If you are having abnormal bowel movements, disconcerting bowel sounds or abdominal pain
, please see your physician for a formal evaluation. Without proper examination and testing, the exact cause of your symptoms cannot be ascertained.
Change in bowel consistency and increased flatus (medical term for gas) can have many causes, some of which are benign and others more serious that need formal evaluation and treatment. Often times, bloating can be caused by slight changes in dietary habits and eating specific foods. Keeping a food diary of what you eat may help you and your doctor
determine if dietary changes may be related. Bloating can also be caused by irregular bowel motility, for example irritable bowel syndrome, or it may be related to something more serious such as inflammatory bowel disease
or gastrointestinal infection. Change in bowel consistency can also be affected by dietary changes, alteration in bowel motility, inflammatory conditions, infection, and in some cases malignancy. If you are having difficulty defecating, or have any fresh or old blood in your stool, please see your doctor for evaluation.
A "bubbling noise" can often be related to normal peristaltic motions of the stomach and intestines. The stomach, a portion of the small intestine and part of the colon can all be found in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen, which extends upward behind the rib cage. These organs undergo rhythmic, cyclical contractions in order to appropriately digest and move food contents along the digestive tract. During these contractions, it is not uncommon to feel or hear sensations from air within the lumen of these organs migrating along the tract. Bowel motility happens at all times of day and night, though some times can be more active than others due to release of neurohormones. For example, when the brain signals for hunger, a molecule called ghrelin is released and stimulates gastric contraction, which is often referred to as "stomach growling." However, changes in bowel habits can also be associated with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, and you should therefore consult with your physician for further evaluation.