Dear Dr. Roach • I am a woman in my mid-20s, am not overweight and never have been. I have two children. Ever since about age 13, I have had this swishing sound in my stomach. When I push my stomach out, it sounds as if something is filling up with fluid, and when I let my breath out, it gurgles again. It comes and goes whenever, and I’ve never been able to pin it to a specific time of the month or to something I’ve eaten or drunk. I’ve never been to a doctor to check it out, as it is not painful. I checked out hernias on websites, and it doesn’t seem to match anything. Can you help me? — G.O.
You are watching: Why do i hear liquid sloshing in my stomach
Answer • This sounds like a succession splash, which is usually normal. Anyone can try this at home by drinking a glass of water on an empty stomach, and moving the stomach in and out quickly in a quiet room, and you will certainly hear the fluid in the stomach sloshing around, even without a stethoscope (there almost always is a little air in the stomach as well). If the stomach gets very distended, as in gastroparesis, a condition where the stomach doesn’t empty normally, the succession splash can be abnormally prolonged.
Answer • A vegan diet — that is, one with no animal products — can be a very healthy option. There is little doubt among experts that less red meat and more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts will reduce risk of coronary artery disease and many malignancies. However, experts believe that adding, for example, two servings of fatty fish weekly to a vegan diet will further reduce a person’s net risk. Adding modest amounts of skinless poultry also may have benefit, or at least have no harm compared with a strict vegan diet.
A vegan diet is a serious lifestyle change, and I don’t recommend it in general, but I certainly support it for my few patients who have made that choice, based on health, moral or ecological reasons. However, I do recommend increasing plants, fish, nuts and whole grains to most. Almost everybody would benefit from eating less meat, especially less red and processed meat. You don’t need to be strictly vegan to gain benefit. Even on a vegan diet, it still is necessary to limit refined sugar. Vegans also need a source of vitamin B-12, whether it’s B-12 fortified foods or a supplement.
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Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth
med.cornell.edu or request an order form of available health newsletters at 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, Fla. 32803. Health newsletters may be ordered from rbmamall.com.
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