Q: "I am a reasonably fit 51-year-old of healthy weight and I ‘suffer’ from tummy growling almost every night! Can this be put down to ‘old age’ or are there foods I should avoid?"
Wendy Creaser, VIC
A: Gastro-intestinal surgeon Dr Douglas Fenton-Lee responds:
"Your intestines digest food in the same way a python does – by using a rhythmic contraction which propels food and fluid (and usually a bit of gas) forward. This can cause the ‘growling’ noise you’re talking about. Other common causes include anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome – or you may just be hungry! Ninety-nine per cent of the time, there’s nothing to be worried about. However, more serious conditions could be indicated by a change in bowel movements, weight, appetite, pain or distention, so if these are cropping out, see a doctor."