What Does the Gurgling Sound on the Left Side of the Stomach Mean?

Bowel sounds, or “stomach growling,” are noises made in the small and large intestines when food is being broken down. These are common after meals. The gurgling on left side of stomach is caused by the contraction of the gut walls as food passes through.

Is your stomach gurgling on the left side?

Most people have a growling stomach from time to time. There is a chance your body is telling you that you are hungry. Or there could be a more dangerous reason.

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You may have occasional stomach growling. Your body may be telling you to eat. Or a more serious underlying cause.

You have a two-hour cycle even when you’re not hungry. Peristalsis is a natural mechanism that moves food, liquids, and gas through your gastrointestinal tract. Peristalsis is typical but might cause rumbling.

However, stomach gurgling with additional symptoms like discomfort or bloating can indicate an infection, inflammation, or constipation. You should consult a doctor to determine the cause and begin treatment.

Hunger is a typical cause of stomach rumbles. When we are hungry, the brain releases chemicals that induce bowel and stomach contractions. This causes gurgling.

Causes of Gurgling on the Left Side of the Stomach

Your stomach is likely to “growl” when you eat, drink, and move food and liquids, digestive juices, and air through your intestines.

gurgling-on-left-side-of-stomach

Even when you don’t eat, your digestive tract goes through a two-hour cycle. During peristalsis, a series of digestive muscle contractions move food, fluid, and gas through your digestive tract. Peristalsis is normal, but it can make noises. A common reason for your stomach to growl is hunger. The causes for such stomach noises are – 

Hunger

Hunger is a typical cause of stomach rumbles. When we are hungry, the brain releases chemicals that induce bowel and stomach contractions. This causes gurgling.

Gas

If there is a lot of gas and not enough liquid going through the digestive system, this will also make the stomach make noises.

Hernia

Part of the intestine protrudes through the abdominal wall. Constipation from hernias might induce stomach rumbles. Other symptoms include pain, swelling, redness, nausea, and vomiting.

Bowel Obstruction

Increased peristaltic movement in the intestines might cause stomach sounds. This increased movement helps transfer liquid and gas through a clogged gut, causing stomach rumbling.

bowel-obstruction

Infections and Gastrointestinal Inflammations 

Gurgling can also be caused by intestinal infections or inflammation, particularly in those with Crohn’s disease. Other symptoms such as pain, discomfort, malaise, nausea, or diarrhea are common.

Some additional causes are –

  • Hyperactive or Hypoactive bowel sounds
  • Slow or incomplete digestion
  • Indigestion
  • Anxiety, stress
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Food allergies 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Cancer
  • Eating fast
  • Overeating
  • Eating things that cause gas
  • Eating foods high in acid

All these are some of the suspected reasons for such gurgling sounds in the stomach. However, the need for medical attention is determined by the symptoms. 

Stomach growling is typically a sign of hunger or low blood sugar. Eating a (healthy) snack helps mute or stop stomach noises.

Symptoms of Gurgling on the Left Side of the Stomach

Sometimes you might not feel hungry but still, your stomach is gurgling/growling. A growling stomach doesn’t necessarily mean that you are hungry. 

Normal abdominal sounds are not any cause for alarm. However, other symptoms accompanying the sounds may suggest a health condition. Symptoms include:

  • nausea
  • excess gas
  • fever
  • constipation
  • vomiting
  • feeling full
  • bloody stools
  • non-responding heartburn
  • frequent diarrhea
  • unintended weight loss

While hypoactive and hyperactive abdominal noises don’t usually indicate a bigger issue, they can indicate bowel and digestive disorders. As in:

  • paralytic ileus, in which the nerves that control digestion are disrupted.
  • blocked blood vessels inhibiting appropriate intestinal blood flow.
  • bowel obstruction, intestinal obstruction due to a hernia, tumor, adhesions, or other issues

Hypoactive bowel sounds can also be caused by:

  • slowing digestion and elimination (like codeine)
  • leaving general anesthesia
  • radiation to the abdomen
  • spinal anesthesia (for example an epidural)
  • abdominal surgery

Hyperactive bowel noises can also be caused by:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • food allergies
  • diarrhea
  • gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding
  • infectious enteritis
  • ulcerative colitis

During lunchtime or after a big meal, your stomach might start to rumble a little. This is a good sign that your digestive system is working as it should be.

A visit with your doctor only makes sense if there is a big change in how often and how much it happens, or if there is a lot of other trouble.

What Are the Remedies of Gurgling on the Left Side of the Stomach?

Gurgling in the stomach isn’t that much of a risky condition unless there are any others signs. However, if you aren’t comfortable with the situation, you can try the following –

Don’t Keep Yourself Hungry

Stomach growling is typically a sign of hunger or low blood sugar. Eating a (healthy) snack helps mute or stop stomach noises.

If your stomach is grumbling due to hunger, you should eat something. Choose fiber-rich foods for regular bowel motions and simple digestion.

Managing your stress and anxiety is very important. The root causes of many diseases, like some that make your stomach growl, are chronic stress and anxiety that lasts for a long time.

Eat Properly

Eating slowly aids digestion and prevents stomach grumbling. Before you even swallow, the enzymes in your tongue start breaking down food.

To make this work, chew slower (not only between bites). Slower chewing means slower eating, yet thorough chewing reduces air swallowed. This reduces stomach gas and reduces stomach grumbling.

Don’t Eat Excess

Eating habit is the main key point for the gurgling of the stomach. But you also want to avoid overeating. You don’t necessarily have to change your routine rather eat keeping 1/4th of your stomach empty. Overeating can cause digestive issues, such as increased stomach growling.

Drink Enough Water

Water aids digestion and fills the stomach when it growls.

Large gulps of water might cause stomach discomfort. To avoid this, sip water throughout the day. Drinking water between meals and less during meals allows digestive enzymes to perform properly.

Try to Stay Stress-Free

Stress and anxiety are two of the main things that make your stomach growl, as well as diarrhea and digestive problems.

Meditation and yoga are always good ways to relieve stress and get your mind back on the important parts of your life.

People who go outside and spend time in green spaces have been found to be less anxious.

Managing your stress and anxiety is very important. The root causes of many diseases, like some that make your stomach growl, are chronic stress and anxiety that lasts for a long time.

Try to Eat Less Gassy Food

Some foods make more gas than others, so cutting back on gassy foods can stop your stomach from rumbling. If you think about gassy foods, you might think of beans. But there are some foods that you might not have thought of- Beans, onions, peas, dairy products, cucumber, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, lentils, carbonated sodas, etc. 

Make sure not to eat too many foods that cause gas, like beans or cabbage. These foods ferment a lot during the digestive process, which makes the stomach rumble. This leads to more gas being released, which makes the stomach rumble.

Avoid Acidic Food

Acidic foods, like fruits, spicy foods, and caffeinated drinks, may make your stomach growl. Eating this type of food with an empty stomach increase the amount of acid in your stomach. We already know the stomach has an acidic environment. If an empty stomach gets more acidic foods, it starts producing gas and making growling sounds. 

acidic-food

Minimize Sugar Intake

Sugar can make you have diarrhea, flatulence, and a growling stomach, especially fructose and even sugar alcohols like erythritol and sorbitol (sugar-free sweeteners).

Perform Regular Exercises or Walk

To speed up the process of digesting, go for a walk after a meal.

Take a slow 20-minute walk 15 minutes after you eat. A lot of research says this could even help lower blood sugar (though this study was performed on diabetes patients).

It’s important to stay active for your overall health, but especially for your digestive health.

Test for Food Intolerances

Celiac disease is a very common disease. Lactose intolerance affects more than half of the world’s people. They both can make your stomach growl, and it won’t stop for a very long time.

In this case, you might want to find out if you have an allergy or intolerance to certain foods.

It’s a good idea to remember that most of the sounds you hear in your stomach come from inside your body. Most people don’t know about them or don’t care about them.

Certain gastrointestinal diseases including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis have treatments. Your doctor may recommend medicine if you have one of these problems.

When Should You Consult a Doctor?

When your stomach starts to growl, it’s usually not a bad thing. But some of the same symptoms should make you go to the doctor right away. Following are some symptoms alerting you to consult a doctor-

  • Persistent constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Constant pain in the abdomen
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Blood in your stool

If gurgling and other symptoms start-up in people who have an intestinal infection or inflammation, they should go to the emergency room to avoid dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, and other problems. It’s also important to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and only take medicine if a doctor tells you to.

Treatment for a bowel obstruction depends on what caused the obstruction in the first place. Regardless, treatment should be done in a hospital to avoid problems.

If you think you have a hernia, you should see a doctor right away. Surgery may be an option based on the severity. Getting surgery can help avoid more problems, such as the strangulation of an abdominal organ (which leads to a decrease in blood flow in the location and, consequently, necrosis).

Diagnosis of Gurgling on the Left Side of the Stomach

To detect persistent or atypical stomach or small/large intestine grumbling, your doctor or gastroenterologist may likely inquire about the following:

  • Additional symptoms that occur concurrently
  • A brief medical history
  • Family history

If he/she thinks something isn’t right, he/she will order more tests. In this case, if you have blood in your stool and a family history of cancer, that could be a sign of colon cancer. The doctor might order imaging tests or a biopsy.

To figure out what’s wrong with you, your doctor will most likely do some tests:

  • A CT scan is a way to get X-ray images of the inside of the body.
  • An endoscopy is a test that uses a camera and a small, flexible tube to look inside the stomach or intestines and take pictures.
  • Blood tests are used to find out if there is an infection, inflammation, or damage to one or more parts of the body.

Obstructions make loud, high-pitched sounds that can be heard without a stethoscope. They may also be accompanied by stomach pain, bloating, and constipation.

Certain gastrointestinal diseases including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis have treatments. Your doctor may recommend medicine if you have one of these problems.

Medical Complications

In the event that you have a medical emergency and there are signs that something is wrong, like bleeding, bowel damage, or a severe blockage, you’ll need to go to the hospital for help.

Some people will be able to get fluids through their veins and let their digestive system rest so that they can get better. Other people might need surgery, too.

Some people need surgery to fix problems with their intestines if they have an infection that is very bad, for example, or if the intestines are completely blocked.

Prevention

Prevention is better than cure. You should always try to maintain a healthy routine to stay fit. Stomach gurgling is caused mainly because of the eating habit and lifestyle. Even if it involves an alarming situation of the body, it can be corrected by correcting the unhealthy lifestyle. Here are some ways you can prevent stomach gurgling – 

  • Eating a healthy, well-balanced meal.
  • Follow good food hygiene
  • Before going to bed, don’t eat
  • managing the level of stress and anxiety
  • lowering the amount of caffeine and alcohol you drink
  • Real ginger can be found in many foods and drinks, which may help protect against digestive problems.
  • Avoiding foods that make symptoms worse
  • Don’t smoke
  • Try taking probiotics, which may help improve your gut health.
  • You can take antacids to help with heartburn by taking them

You should definitely try out these remedies so that you don’t feel discomfort. Stomach gurgling can be annoying, can be a sign of a problem in the body. You should be alarm of all the indications and try to lead a healthy life. 

FAQs

Why is my left side gurgling?

Usually for no reason, rather due to digestion. It’s most likely related to the passage of food, beverages, digestive juices, and air through your intestines. Hunger is a typical cause of stomach growling.

What causes gurgling on left side of stomach?

Indigestion, stress, worry, and some drugs are all possible causes of stomach gurgling and indigestion. An upset stomach usually subsides without medical intervention.

Pain and gurgling on left side of stomach?

The most common causes of left side stomach rumbling and pain are. Consider the benign and common problems before jumping to the worst-case situations.

Conclusion

Stomach noises are a common sign of healthy digestion. Most of the time, they’re not that bad. It may also give signs of future dangers. But this article isn’t meant to give you anxiety regarding your health. 

If the noises coming from your stomach are long-lasting or if they’re accompanied by other symptoms that aren’t good, you must see a doctor.

Erina Motahar

Erina Motahar

My name is Erina Binte Motahar and I'm a final year student of Biomedical Engineering. Although I am a foodaholic, fitness is my priority. So I like to gain knowledge concerning health and share it through my articles.

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