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Friday, June 24, 2005

Why the Inactive Stomach Growls

If you’ve been enjoying life after gastric bypass surgery you will know exactly what I’m talking about. That rumbly-tumbly stomach growl that’s more bark than bite. It’s the inactive tummy talking, the lower part of the stomach that was bypassed. And it growls at the oddest moments seldom accompanied by hunger pains. My inactive tummy is particularly talkative at bedtime, I think it remembers the refrigerator front bedtime binges from my previously life.

Remember the surgical diagrams you studied before surgery: a tiny stomach portion we call the pouch was separated from a larger portion, which is the inactive or bypassed stomach. In the gastric bypass procedure the stomach is left in place with blood supply – it is still and active organ yet no longer a reservoir for food. In some cases it may shrink slightly and the muscles may atrophy, but for the most part it remains unchanged. In fact, the “inactive” tummy is quite active. The inactive tummy is an around-the-clock chemical factory keeping your body in balance.

And for all it’s hard work what do we do? We don’t feed it. No wonder it’s talking!

The lower stomach still contributes to the function of the intestines even though it does not receive or process food - it makes intrinsic factor, necessary to absorb Vitamin B12 and contributes to hormone balance and motility of the intestines in ways that are not entirely known. So when you hear that rumbly-tumbly stomach growl you can smile happily knowing your body is hard at work keeping you chemically healthy and well.

Does your inactive tummy talk? Can you feel the difference from when your pouch talks vs. the inactive tummy? Ever been embarrassed by a tummy-growl? Click Today’s Topic and share your thoughts.

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