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.
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Suchy FJ. Hepatobiliary function. In: Boron WF, Boulpaep EL, eds. Medical Physiology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 46.
Weiss RM, Martin DT. Physiology and pharmacology of the renal pelvis and ureter. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 43.
Last reviewed on: 6/28/2018
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.