Hyperactive Abdominal (Bowel) Sounds

Abdominal, or bowel, sounds refer to sounds made within the little and large intestinal tracts, usually during food digestion. They are characterized by hollow sounds that may be similar to the sounds of water moving through pipes. While bowel noises are frequently a regular occurrence, regular, uncommonly loud noises or the lack of abdominal noises may indicate an underlying condition within the digestion system.

Are Hyperactive Bowel Sounds Dangerous?

Abdominal noises (bowel noises) are made by the motion of the intestinal tracts as they push food through. The intestines are hollow, so bowel sounds echo through the abdomen just like the sounds heard from water pipes.

Most bowel noises are safe. They just mean that the intestinal tract is working. A health care company can check abdominal sounds by listening to the abdomen with a stethoscope (auscultation).

The majority of bowel noises are regular. Nevertheless, there are some cases in which irregular sounds can suggest a problem.

Ileus is a condition where there is a lack of intestinal tract activity. Lots of medical conditions may lead to ileus. This issue can cause gas, fluids, and the contents of the intestines to develop and break open (rupture) the bowel wall. The company may be unable to hear any bowel sounds when paying attention to the abdomen.

Lowered (hypoactive) bowel sounds include a decrease in the volume, tone, or regularity of the sounds. They are a sign that intestinal activity has slowed.

Hypoactive bowel noises are regular during sleep. They likewise occur usually for a short time after making use of certain medications and after abdominal surgery. Reduced or absent bowel sounds typically indicate constipation.

Increased (hyperactive) bowel sounds can in some cases be heard even without a stethoscope. Hyper bowel sounds mean there is a boost in intestinal tract activity. This may happen with diarrhea or after eating.

Abdominal sounds are always examined together with symptoms such as:

  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Existence or lack of bowel movements
  • Vomiting

If bowel sounds are hypoactive or hyper and there are other unusual symptoms, you need to continue to subsequent with your service provider.

For instance, no bowel sounds after a period of hyper bowel noises can indicate there is a rupture of the intestines, or strangulation of the bowel and death (necrosis) of the bowel tissue.

Really high-pitched bowel noises might suggest early bowel obstruction.

Causes of Abdominal Sounds

The majority of the sounds you hear in your stomach and intestinal tracts are because of typical food digestion. They are not a cause for issue. Numerous conditions can cause hyperactive or hypoactive bowel sounds. Many are harmless and do not need to be treated.

The following is a list of more major conditions that can cause abnormal bowel noises.

Hyperactive, hypoactive, or missing bowel noises may be caused by:

  • Blocked capillary avoid the intestinal tracts from getting proper blood flow. For example, blood clots can cause mesenteric artery occlusion.
  • Mechanical bowel obstruction is triggered by hernia, tumor, adhesions, or comparable conditions that can obstruct the intestines.
  • Paralytic ileus is an issue with the nerves to the intestinal tracts.

Other causes of hypoactive bowel sounds include:

  • Drugs that slow down motion in the intestines such as opiates (consisting of codeine), anticholinergics, and phenothiazines
  • General anesthesia
  • Radiation to the abdomen
  • Spinal anesthesia
  • Surgery in the abdominal area

Other causes of hyper bowel sounds include:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your healthcare service provider if you have any symptoms such as:

  • Bleeding from your rectum
  • Queasiness
  • Diarrhea or constipation that continues
  • Vomiting

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The health care service provider will examine you and ask you questions about your case history and symptoms. You might be asked:

What other symptoms do you have?
Do you have abdominal pain?
Do you have diarrhea or constipation?
Do you have abdominal distention?
Do you have excessive or missing gas (flatus)?
Have you noticed any bleeding from the anus or black stools?

You may need the following tests:

  • Abdominal CT scan
  • Abdominal x-ray
  • Blood tests
  • Endoscopy

If there are signs of an emergency situation, you will be sent to the hospital. A tube will be positioned through your nose or mouth into the stomach or intestinal tracts. This clears your intestines. In many cases, you will not be allowed to eat or drink anything so your intestines can rest. You will be given fluids through a vein (intravenously).

You might be offered medication to lower symptoms and to treat the cause of the problem. The type of medication will depend upon the cause of the problem. Some individuals might need surgery right away.

Last modified: January 22, 2017


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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