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rumbling noises in intestines

      Re: rumbling noises in intestines

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Posted by HFHS M.D.-RF on January 12, 1998 at 18:05:26:

In Reply to: rumbling noises in intestines posted by RB on January 11, 1998 at 19:57:47:

: I have IBS and I have been socially destroyed by embarassing, gasy, rumbling noises that seem to come from my intestines and colon.  I don't understand what causes this.  I do have terrible problems with gas and I'm not sure what I can do about that.  Simethicone tablets, such as gasX,
  haven't helped.  Any info would be greatly appreciated.
  Thank you  
Dear RB,
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common condition.  Individuals can have a variety of symptoms including abdominal pain associated with defecation, constipation alternating with diarrhea, and abdominal noises (the medical term is BORBORYGMI).  
You are correct in your conclusion that the abdominal noises and gas are related.  Although Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a frequent cause of the gas and noise, there are other conditions that can cause these complaints.  Diet can influence the quantity of gas.  Individuals with lactose intolerance (an inability to digest the sugar in milk or soft cheeses) can have abdominal gas and borborygmi.  Also, many people can not handle the sugar load in soft drinks, even that of a single 8 oz can of soda.  Drinking soda can produce gas, bloating, and borborygmi.  Finally, foods such as cabbage and beans are universally recognized as causing problems such as the one that you describe.
A second frequent cause of abdominal gas is swallowed air.  This can occur in several ways.  Many people are mouth breathers and will swallow air.  People who talk when they eat will frequently swallow air.  Finally, if you drink with a straw you are likely to swallow air.
Initial therapy should be focused on modifications of life style.  Clearly, dietary manipulation should be a first step.  Lactaid or equivalent compounds can be tried if you are lactose intolerant.  If you are an
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