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Peristalsis

Intestinal motility

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Peristalsis is a series of muscle contractions. These contractions occur in your digestive tract. Peristalsis is also seen in the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder.

Peristalsis is an automatic and important process. It moves:

  • Food through the digestive system
  • Urine from the kidneys into the bladder
  • Bile from the gallbladder into the duodenum

Peristalsis is a normal function of the body. It can sometimes be felt in your belly (abdomen) as gas moves along.

 

References

Hall JE, Hall ME. General principles of gastrointestinal function - motility, nervous control, and blood circulation. In: Hall JE, Hall ME, eds. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 63.

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary. Peristalsis. www.merriam-webster.com/medical. Accessed October 22, 2020.

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    • Digestive system

      Digestive system

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    • Ileus - X-ray of distended bowel and stomach

      Ileus - X-ray of distended bowel and stomach

      illustration

    • Ileus - X-ray of bowel distension

      Ileus - X-ray of bowel distension

      illustration

    • Peristalsis

      Peristalsis

      illustration

      • Digestive system

        Digestive system

        illustration

      • Ileus - X-ray of distended bowel and stomach

        Ileus - X-ray of distended bowel and stomach

        illustration

      • Ileus - X-ray of bowel distension

        Ileus - X-ray of bowel distension

        illustration

      • Peristalsis

        Peristalsis

        illustration

       

      Review Date: 8/13/2020

      Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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