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What does movement in the stomach indicate?

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Quick Answer

The feeling of movement in the stomach is frequently the result of gas, digestive processes, stress, kidney stones or pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Healthline and What to Expect. The additional symptoms for each of these conditions differ.

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Full Answer

The digestive tract runs from the mouth to the anus, and gas is created when bacteria breaks down food as well as when someone breathes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. As gas passes through the digestive tract, it can create the sensation of movement.

Stress produces hormones such as cortisol, which affect the pace of your digestive system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This often results in the sensation of "butterflies," with fluttering movement throughout the stomach. Fluttering and shuffling sensations are also common in pregnancy, per What to Expect. Baby movements are frequently felt starting in the second trimester.

Kidney stones are a collection of salts and minerals that form in the kidney. A common symptom is a sharp pain or movement under the ribs and in the lower part of the abdomen, according to Mayo Clinic. Kidney stones are usually not harmful, but medical assistance is recommended if a patient experiences symptoms such as blood in the urine, fever, vomiting or an inability to urinate.

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