What are the Causes and Where do the Bowel Sounds Come from

Bowel Sounds

Bowel sounds, also known as abdominal sounds are gurgling or rumbling of abdomen caused by muscular contractions of peristalsis. Although majority of the bowel sounds are harmless and normal, there are cases that abnormal sounds supply important information about the body’s health condition

Bowel Sounds Assessment

  • Sounds are evaluated through auscultation or listening to the abdomen using a stethoscope.
    Five minutes in each abdominal quadrant
  • Based on the physical exam, tests such as abdominal CT scan, abdominal x-ray, blood tests, and endoscopy may be ordered by the physician

Bowel Sounds after Surgery

  • After procedure, it is normal that abdominal sounds are absent as a result of anaesthetic use and surgical manipulation

Where Do Bowel Sounds Come From?

  • Normally, sounds from the intestine are normal due to digestion.
  • Certain conditions can cause hypoactive or hyperactive bowel sounds
  • Some bowel sounds are caused by mechanical bowel obstructions caused by hernia, tumor or adhesions. These blockages prevents proper blood flow
  • Sounds may be caused by intestinal problems such as diarrhea, Crohn’s Disease, GI bleeding, ulcerative colitis, food allergy, and infectious enteritis

Abrupt stoppage of bowel sounds paired with abdominal pain, rigidity and distention is a sign of a serious health problem.

There are cases in which sudden absence of bowel sounds from a hyperactive one indicates ruptured intestines. Experienced symptoms such as bleeding from the rectum, nausea, prolonged diarrhea or constipation, and vomiting should be given to physician’s attention for proper medication, and in some cases immediate surgery.

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