Peristalsis is 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.
Afdhal NH. Diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 158.
Review Date 10/27/2014
Updated by: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.