Peristalsis

Intestinal motility

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.

Digestive system

The esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine, aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas convert the nutritive components of food into energy and break down the non-nutritive components into waste to be excreted.

Ileus - X-ray of distended bowel and stomach

This abdominal X-ray shows a stomach filled with fluid and a swollen (distended) small bowel, caused by a blockage (obstruction) in the intestines. A solution containing a dye (barium) that is visible on X-rays was swallowed by the patient (upper GI series).

Ileus - X-ray of bowel distension

This abdominal X-ray shows thickening of the bowel wall and swelling (distention) caused by a blockage (obstruction) in the intestines. A solution containing a dye (barium), which is visible on X-ray, was swallowed by the patient (the procedure is known as an upper GI series).

Peristalsis

A series of normal coordinated, rhythmic muscle contractions, that occurs automatically to move food through the digestive tract is called peristalsis.