Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm so rumbly in my tumbly

Famous words from Winnie the Pooh "I'm so rumbly in my tumbly. Time to munch an early luncheon. Time for something sweet." According to Men's Health Magazine, Winnie the Pooh is referring to borborygmus.

That's the medical term for the gurgling in your gut, which usually isn't a sign of hunger. Rather, it's your gastrointestinal system's housekeeping after your previous meal, says Sita Chokhavatia, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

A few hours after you eat, a 90-minute cycle of contractions-- the interdigestive phase--moves any remaining bits of food from your stomach and your small intestine. Then the "migrating motor complex" noisily shuttles the mostly gas-and-fluid mixture onward. "It's like squeezing and shaking a balloon filled with water and air," says Dr. Chokhavatia. If you need to stifle the sound in your stomach because of, say, a meeting or a date, munch some popcorn (for the insoluble fiber) or a piece of chocolate, which will immediately shift your GI system back into its quieter initial digestion mode.

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