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Peristalsis

Definition

Peristalsis are a series of muscle contractions that occur in your digestive tract. Peristalsis is also seen in some organs 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.

Peristalsis

Watch this video about:
Peristalsis

Alternative Names

Intestinal motility

References

Afdhal NH. Diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 158.


Review Date: 11/5/2012
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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