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stomach bug

A woman holds her stomach.

Just about everyone has had that embarrassing moment when their stomach growls super loud in a quiet room with a group of people. Whether it’s a business meeting or a lecture at school, someone always sarcastically comments, “Somebody’s hungry.”

The funny thing is that even though a growling stomach seems like a tell-tale sign that you’re hungry, that’s not the reason why sometimes you can hear it rumble.

Dr. Karan Raj recently explained what happens when your stomach growls in a TikTok video with over 1.9 million views. Dr. Karan Rajan is an NHS surgeon and one of social media's most popular health and science creators.

He starts the video by debunking one of the major myths about stomach growls: that it's not your stomach. In fact, “it’s actually your intestines,” Dr. Raj revealed. “Specifically, your small intestine.”


Demonic orchestra

The big takeaway is that your intestines are constantly “contracting and squeezing digested food, called chyme, through your internal plumbing.” He likens it to squeezing a toothpaste tube to get the last drop out. “It happens 24/7,” the doctor noted. “Most of the time, you can’t hear it unless you’re listening with a stethoscope.”

So why is it that sometimes everyone can hear this process? “The reason why people think [hearing a stomach rumble] means you’re hungry is because it’s typically a lot louder when your digestive system is empty,” Dr. Raj shared.

While many people appreciated the explanation, some were pretty grossed out about learning the truth. “Thank you for this information; it makes me so uncomfortable. I might cry, but it’s so interesting!”Arantzi wrote.