Learn all about borborygmi sound symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment.
Sounds originating from the digestive tract are termed borborygmus in its singular form and borborygmi in the plural. The term was derived from the Latin word for “rumbling.” Borborygmi can be heard during physical examination by placing the listening device on the abdominal surface.
Exaggerated borborygmi can often be heard without the aid of listening devices by someone positioned within approximately 1 m of the individual. Borborygmus is the sound of undigested carbohydrates within the digestive track, or gut. As the digestive system breaks these carbohydrates down a lot of gas and wind is created and as such causes a lot of noise, discomfort and embarassment. Some people create more wind and noise than others but the cause is always the same.
It is very unlikely that you would experience this condition if you were to eat a higher protein, higher fat, low sugar and low carbohydrate diet. In recent studies fructose has also shown to be a major contributor toward this condition which occurs in many high sugar fruits and table sugar (refined sugars).
Bowel sounds may also be caused by excess air, so reduce habits that prompt you to take in air. For example, chewing gum, smoking, or drinking through a straw. The pain is accompanied by borborygmi, and is succeeded sooner or later by a desire to go to stool. These tips can help you treat and prevent bowel sounds. If you’re concerned your bowel sounds signify something more serious, speaking with your doctor will surely help you clear up any concerns.
What is Borborygmi?
A gurgling, splashing sound normally heard over the large intestine; it is caused by passage of gas through the liquid contents of the intestine. Its absence may indicate paralytic ileus or obstruction of the bowels due to torsion, volvulus, or strangulated hernia. It is pronounced as BOR-boh-RIG-mee. The singular is borborygmus.
Borborygmus is an abdominal gurgling sound attributable to the passage of fluid and gas within the intestines. It is enhanced when gastrointestinal motility is increased, e.g. in obstructive conditions and in irritable bowel syndrome, and when excessive flatus is present. Classically, borborygmi begin at a low pitch and get louder and of increasing pitch over approximately 30 seconds. The plural of borborygmus is borborygmi. It’s often called “stomach growling” or “stomach rumbling.” Borborygmus is normal and most of the time no one can hear it, but it can be loud enough to be audible from time to time.
Abdominal sounds alone are not usually a cause for concern. However, the presence of other symptoms that accompany the sounds may indicate an underlying illness. These symptoms may include:
- Excess gas
- Frequent diarrhea
- Bloody stools
- Heartburn that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter treatments
- Unintentional and sudden weight loss
- feelings of fullness
- Contact your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms or abdominal pain. Prompt medical care can help you avoid potentially serious complications.
Borborygmi causes are as under;
- abdominal surgery
- an infection within the digestive tract
- a hernia, which is when part of an organ or other tissue pushes through a weak area of the
- abdominal wall muscle
- a blood clot or low blood flow to the intestines
- abnormal blood potassium levels
- abnormal blood calcium levels
- a tumor
- a blockage of the bowels, or intestinal obstruction
- a temporary slowing of intestinal movement, or ileus
- Bleeding ulcers
- Carcinoid tumors
- Certain medications, such as codeine
- Celiac sprue
- Crohn’s disease
- Digestive disease
- damage to the intestines Food allergy
- Food poisoning
- Giardia infection
- Gut bacterial overgrowth
- general anesthesia
- Infectious diarrhea
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Infections that lead to inflammation
- Infection of the abdominal cavity, or peritonitis
- Laxative use
- Lactose intolerance
- Malabsorption syndrome
- Normal digestion
- Normal process
- Perforated ulcers
- Partial or complete blockage of the bowels
- Radiation therapy
- Stomach flu
- Tropical sprue
- Ulcerative colitis trauma
Borborygmi diagnosis includes the use of stethoscope to listen for any abnormal bowel sounds. This step is called auscultation. Bowel obstructions typically produce very loud, high-pitched sounds. These sounds can often be heard without using a stethoscope. If your doctor needs more information, he or she may also order the following tests in order to identify if you have an underlying gastrointestinal condition.
- Abdominal CT scan (cross sectional images)
- Abdominal X-ray (flat view through abdomen)
- Endoscopy (flexible tube with a small camera at the end is inserted).
- Blood tests.
Borborygmi treatment outlook for abdominal sounds depends on the severity of the problem. More often than not, sounds in your digestive system are normal and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. If your abdominal sounds seem unusual or they’re accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical care right away to reduce the risk of complications. In rare cases, certain complications can be life-threatening if left untreated. Intestinal obstructions, in particular, can be dangerous. The obstruction can lead to tissue death if it cuts off the supply of blood to part of your intestine. Any tear in the stomach or intestinal wall can lead to infection in the abdominal cavity. This can be fatal.