Bowel sounds are often heard as food moves through the intestines because the intestines are hollow and the noise from this movement can echo throughout the abdomen, according to MedlinePlus. Growling noises can be heard coming from the stomach after eating as well. The Mayo Clinic explains, as hunger triggers muscle contractions and the release of acids and digestive fluids that causes the audible rumbling noise.
Most of these stomach and intestinal sounds are harmless and signify normal digestion of food; noises can vary considerably on a day-to-day basis based on diet, stress and other environmental factors, explains MedlinePlus. This source also states that excessive stomach noises after eating can indicate an underlying digestive issue when there is an increase in these sounds. If these noises signify a digestive disorder, they are most often accompanied by gas, bloating, cramping or diarrhea, according to the Mayo Clinic. Common digestive disorders that present with increased bowel sounds after eating include Crohn's disease, food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and infectious enteritis, states MedlinePlus. If stomach and bowel sounds are accompanied by nausea, prolonged diarrhea or constipation, bleeding from the rectum or vomiting, MedlinePlus urges patients to discuss the issue with a physician.