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Dr. Hanson
Dr. Hanson, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 935
Experience:  Diplomate, American Board of Quality Assurance & Utilization Review Physicians
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Bubbly stomach

Resolved Question:

Ok... my stomach feels like it is constantly bubbling... like there are butterflies in it. This is an almost constant feeling. Is this something I should go to the ER for?
I suffer from anxiety, so I am hyper sensitive to feelings like that.

Optional Information:
Female , Age: 35
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Hanson replied 9 years ago.

The bubbling sensation in your stomach and intestines is most likely due to normal digestion and there is probably no need for concern. Many conditions cause hyperactive bowels and most are harmless and require no treatment. However, there are some causes that require treatment e.g. blocked blood vessels prevent the intestines from getting proper blood flow which can cause mesenteric artery occlusion, paralytic ileus is a problem with the nerves to the intestines, and reduced nerve activity can result from infection, over-distended bowel, trauma, bowel obstruction, vascular obstruction, and chemical imbalances such as hypokalemia.

Borborygmus is abdominal gurgling caused by the passage of fluid and gas within the intestines. It is enhanced when gastrointestinal motility is increased e.g. in irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome can cause a person's stomach to feel like it is bubbling. Irritable bowel syndrome occurs when a person suffers from alternating diarrhea and constipation, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and/or mucus in the stool. Stress, anxiety and depression can cause irritable bowel syndrome in people predisposed to it.

Most people can treat irritable bowel syndrome by avoiding unnecessary stress, appropriate dietary changes, and/or by taking medications e.g. Equalactin.

If the bubbling sensation is annoying or painful and if you have other symptoms, then I recommend that you be examined in person.

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