Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

The Most Annoying Thing about IBS – The Gurgles

One of the things I find most annoying about my IBS is the gurgling sounds that come from my stomach. It doesn’t matter where I am; I could be at home, in an office meeting, at a dinner, you name it, that sound will prevail at some point. That loud bubbling sound is so annoying and can be extremely embarrassing. I think the reason why I hate that sound so much is because it’s a clear indication to not only me, but everyone else who can hear it that I’m either one of two things: hungry or in a dire need of letting a mean one rip. Now I don’t mean to get all inappropriate, but come on, we’re talking about IBS here. And we IBS sufferers know that gurgling sound can be an indication of many things such as constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and distension. But seriously, imagine talking to your boss, or someone you have a crush on, and out of nowhere that gurgling sound takes over the conversation. I can think of endless scenarios of when that gurgling sound creates a humiliating situation.

A poem for IBS gurgles

Now, the way I cope with my IBS sometimes is that I like to write about it in a form of storytelling, poetry, or music lyrics. Sometimes I’ll even combine all three. So today I would like to share with you all a little piece I wrote just to help brighten up our moods because we all know how stressful it can be living with this disease. Feel free to laugh and let loose a little (no pun intended). The title of this piece is called, “Mr. Gurgles”, and it is basically about me having a conversation with my IBS. Here it goes…

Mr. Gurgles

Friendly day.

Sunshine through sheer blinds

Brightening the room like my wife’s smile

Birds making music through their beaks

Playing along to nature’s orchestra

Life is sweet.

A blissful moment quickly taken away by a monstrous roar

Frightened by the surprise, I quickly yell, “Who goes there?!”

Suddenly, I fall in pain.

Another monstrous roar.

Mr. G: [Deep voice] “Do you not bow when the king is present?”

Me: “I bow to no one. I’m far from a peasant…

Wait, IBS is that you? Why must you be so hurtful?”

Mr. G: “No, well yes, I’m IBS, but today I go by Mr. Gurgles.”

Me: “Mr. Gurgles? What can I do for you? I have quite a big day ahead of me.

I have a job interview that I’m counting on getting, and I don’t want you to embarrass me.”

Mr. G: [Deeper voice] “Tis’ my mission to make life less jolly.

I will create noises that will make people think you need to go potty.

And in fact, you will need to go potty. (Evil laugh ‘Mwahahaha!’)”

Me: [To self] “Ok. Think positive, Hess. This will not ruin your day.”

Mr. G: “Actually, I can make you run to the toilet, and create a delay.

And to make matters worse, you’ll forget the air spray.

Your interviewer walks in after you,

Then quickly walks out no more than 2 seconds later.”

Me: “What? How do you know all of that will happen?”

Mr. G: “Trust me. I’m good like that.”

Me: “Oh, IBS, dang you!”

Mr. G: “That’s Mr. Gurgles to you!”

The End.

Ok, I know what you’re all thinking; ‘that was pretty dull, Hess’. Hey, we all have our own ways of coping with IBS, and for me, this is one of them. I think it’s important to make light of my situation because, otherwise, I’d be super depressed and miserable. Writing about my IBS in different-creative ways helps me find a balance between the positive and the negative.

With all of that being said, what to you is the worst part about having IBS, and how do you cope with it?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • nanhart14
    1 year ago

    Over the last several months I have developed “bowel sounds”, kind of like gurgling in my lower left side that my doc tells me is likely my IBS. Are you familiar with this?I also have RA which I have had for 20 years. I am contributor with These symptoms do not create any pain or discomfort but the sensation is a little off-putting. I do have IBS-D but at the moment it is quiet. These sounds come and go, but I have them most days for an hour or 2 at a time. I cannot find anything that explains this. They are not necessarily loud as you discuss in this article. Sometimes it is just an internal sound….any of this sound familiar? Nan

  • Kelly Dabel, RD moderator
    1 year ago

    Thanks for commenting and sharing with us Nan. Belly gurgles, whether loud or just felt internally, can be a common symptom of IBS, unfortunately. You are not alone here. That said, it’s important to be sure to speak with your doctor about any new, changing or concerning symptoms. Have you tried keeping a food and symptom journal? May help shed light if your gurgles may be related to a particular food. Also, some in our community find that walking after meals is helpful. Wishing you some answers and relief soon. Best, Kelly, Team member

  • yayagumbo
    3 years ago

    And here I thought I was the only one making noises. I love that you have found a way to make light of this. I think I need to borrow your way of coping. Thank you!

  • frantogo
    3 years ago

    Thank you so much for addressing this issue. When the “gurgles” first started happening to me I had people ask me if that noise was my cell phone, while all the mean while my doctor was telling me not to worry. I too am working on the FODMAP diet, but no big changes as of yet. The only advice my md gave was to try two probiotics instead of one. When the gurgles happen now I just laugh about it with my friends, like it is some kind of trick I can do. Being an artist, I have found that painting and writing about this problem helps a great deal.

  • ollivier71
    3 years ago

    Hi !

    I totally recognize myself in your description of “The Gurgles”

    I’m an anxious guy, and especially when I have to go to meetings at work, the gurgles arrive when there isn’t any other noise in the meeting room… (obviously…)

    When I’m invited for dinners, and I don’t know well the other guests, it’s the same, it’s when people aren’t talking and that I’m anxious, that those noises are arriving… they’re loud, unhandsome it’s extremely embarrassing, it’s alrso a stressful situation.

    My face become as red as it can, I feel so ashamed… sometimes, people don’t react, but somtimes, people are looking at me… It’s hard to bear.

    Those noisy bloatings are what I find most troublesome in addition to diarrhea.

    I’ve always had thos noisy bloatings. I remember that at school, when I was about 12 years old, my “friends” laughed at me somtimes when it happend, it was often when it was very quiet in the class room… this was the beginning of those bloatings… I lost friends because of it, once, it was so noisy that the guy seated next to me thought that I was farting… it was gas, yes, but not as he thought…

    I felt so “alone” at those moments, and it never stopped.
    Today, I try avoiding these situations, but sometimes, I can’t and I don’t feel good, because it’s usually the first signs of a diarrhea… It’s very embarassing to have to leave a meeting to go to the restrooms, but I have no choice when it happens.
    Even recently, my boss told, in front of the whole room, that I could take precautions and going to the restrooms before going to the meeting…

    It’s been two weeks that I started the low FODMAP diet, and, I start feeling better. I’ll let you know. Today I had a meeting, and no bloating during two hours !

  • HessP moderator author
    3 years ago

    Hi ollivier71!

    I’m glad you were able to relate to my article. Bloating and the noises that come with it can be very embarrassing and uncomfortable, to say the least. There’s a remedy I use to help me with my bloating, and it’s a tea recipe I came up with. Here is the link, if you’re interested, ( I hope you find this recipe useful. Thank you for sharing and please know you are not alone. We’re always here for support. Also, I’m glad to hear that the low FODMAP diet is working for you. Please keep us posted on how things are going.

    Take care,
    Hess ( Team)

  • Poll