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Peristalsis Diagram and Function

Definition of peristalsis

Peristalsis is a chain reaction of muscular contractions. These contractions take place in the digestive system. Peristalsis can also be found in the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder. Thus, peristalsis is a natural and necessary mechanism that transports food through the digestive tract.
The contractions occur in the esophagus, intestines, and stomach in the form of increasing wavelike contractions. They can be either brief, localized, prolonged, or continuous contractions that travel the entire organ's length. The characteristic of the wave is determined by the location of the organs and what causes them to act.

The Digestive System's Peristalsis

Peristalsis occurs in four organs of the digestive system. The esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines are all part of the digestive system. An explanation of how the complete procedure is carried out in digestive organs is discussed below.

Peristalsis of the Esophagus

Peristaltic waves in the esophagus begin at the top end of the tube and travel the entire length. The waves then propel the food particles in the stomach. If there are any remaining food residues in the tube, a subsequent wave removes them. Esophageal peristalsis refers to the entire procedure. A lone wave travels the length of the esophagus and vanishes after the stomach is packed. Excess fat in meal particles also contributes to halting until it is dissolved or diluted in stomach fluids. In cud-chewing animals, such as camels, giraffes, and cattle, it is called reverse peristalsis when food moves back into the mouth for chewing.

Stomach Peristalsis

Following the peristalsis in the esophagus, the stomach gets a bolus of food. Stomach muscles compress and break down the bolus, followed by hydrolysis of the bolus. Peristaltic waves begin as mild contractions and then get more robust in the distal areas. The enzyme pepsin aids the breakdown of food particles. All the partly digested food particles after hydrolysis are known as chyme.
The chime (partly digested food) will remain in the stomach for some time before being pushed into the duodenum. The duodenum is the first portion of the small intestine, where further bolus processing by peristaltic movement occurs. Our gut plays an essential function in food storage and can hold around 4 liters of food. Hence, moderately digested food remains in the stomach for a short period

Peristalsis of the Intestine

Intestinal peristalsis occurs in two places.

  • Small intestine
  • Large intestine

Small Intestine:

When the chyme enters the small intestine, a single peristaltic movement continues for just a few seconds. After that, the chime moves at a few millimeters each second. The primary function of the peristaltic action of the small intestine is to continue digestion and nutritional absorption. After that, the chyme moves from the small intestine to the large intestine.

Large intestine:

The peristalsis in the large intestine is similar to that of the small intestine. Mass movements are general contractions that occur one to four times each day to drive the chime.w this chime is now feces or biological waste, towards the rectum so that it may be evacuated from the system. Meals frequently cause these contractions because the occurrence of chyme in the stomach and duodenum supports them.

What is Reverse peristalsis?

It is a wave of intestinal contraction that occurs in the reverse direction of the regular wave. It causes content in the tube to be pushed backward. It usually happens as a result of gagging. Food poisoning or stomach distress triggers the brain's emetic center, signaling this sort of intestinal spasm and movement of food from the duodenum to the stomach. Reverse peristalsis is also called retro peristalsis.

The function of peristalsis

It is a process that causes particles of food and liquid to travel through muscle various organs of the digestive system with the help of muscular contractions. The esophagus, stomach, big and small intestines are amongst these organs.

  • Esophagus: Peristalsis propels food down from the esophagus in the stomach.
  • Stomach: The process aids in food storage by breaking down food particles and combining them with gastric fluids produced by the stomach lining. It aids in incomplete food breakdown, known as chyme.
  • Small Intestine: Peristalsis propels incompletely processed food from the small intestine and aids in digestion. It also aids in the absorption of nutrients from digested meals into circulation.
  • Large Intestine: These motions drive biological waste through the large intestine, past the colon, entering the rectum for evacuation from the human body.
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