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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rumbly-Grumbly Tummy


Recently I was asked about the "inactive stomach" that is separated from the pouch in a gastric bypass surgery. Here is one of my syndicated articles that addresses the issue of the rumbly-grumbly tummy:

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.

3 comments:

Oranges said...

That explains allot, I thought I had another life form in there! Thanks!

Mrs. Murphy said...

Wait! My stomach was removed, taken away! And I still have those super loud rumbly sounds...so where are THEY coming from?

Kaye Bailey said...

It is a crazy thing - my inactive tummy was talking just moments ago

Mrs. Murphy - what surgery did you have? In a typical gastric bypass the inactive stomach is not removed, just severed from the pouch and sealed closed at top. It is open at the bottom because it still produces gastric juices which are released into the lower intestine.

Happy Rumbles!