Quiz – Filling Up Your Growler

Borborygmus may sound like a character from Lord of the Rings, but it is actually the medical term for something that happens to all of us every day—the stomach growl. But why does our belly make this guttural sound? Is your stomach “hangry” with you? Not necessarily. Take a bite out of this quiz to learn more:

1. Your stomach growls don’t always come from your stomach.


  1. True
  2. False

2. Borborygmus is your body’s way of telling you that ______.

  1. You’re hungry
  2. Some food isn’t completed digested yet
  3. You swallowed air while talking and eating
  4. All of the above 

3. A stomach growl can be helpful as part of a strategy to deal with the tendency to overeat when you are stressed out or upset, known as emotional eating.

  1. True
  2. False 

4. The wave-like muscle contractions, known as peristalsis, that make gas or other contents move through the digestive system are caused by ______.

  1. The “good” gut bacteria
  2. Rhythmic activity of the nervous system within the digestive area
  3. Intestinal cells signaling that they need more nutrients
  4. The brain sending messages to the stomach as you imagine eating something

5. Stomach growling is harmless, but a lack of bowel sounds may indicate a serious condition.

  1. True
  2. False


 1. A. True. The stomach is, of course, nearby. But the audible rumbling sound of gas, fluid or food moving through the digestive tract mostly happens in the small intestine.

2. D. All of the above. There are a few reasons why someone’s stomach might rumble. But the sound is mainly associated with hunger because it is loudest when the stomach and intestines are empty.

3. A. True. An audibly growling stomach is a physical symptom that lets a person know they are truly hungry when they’re reaching for a snack, as opposed to doing so as an emotional response.

4. B. Rhythmic activity of the nervous system. This is why it happens on a full stomach as well, but isn’t as audible as when a person has an empty stomach.

5. A. True. No sound indicates a lack of peristalsis, which in turn can cause ileus, a disruption of the intestine’s normal ability to move food, gas, and fluid forward.


Source: The Health Library along with information from Scientific American.



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