Peristalsis moves food through the digestive tract. Smooth muscles within your gastrointestinal tract contract in sequence creating the peristaltic wave that forces the food along your tract. The smooth muscles squeezing prevent food from coming back to where it started, starting a sequence of events that cause the body to process the food for all its needs and then to be rid of the rest.
Facts about peristalsis
- Serotonin is linked with the initiation of peristalsis. The most serotonin is produced in the gut, and is the source of the biggest production in the body. Some antidepressants, such as Prozac cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, diarrhea and constipation in roughly 25 percent of people taking the drug. This is due to the drugs preventing the gut to use the serotonin (it is now being primarily produced in the brain), thus robbing the digestive system of the nuerotransmitter, causing digestive problems. (From: Patient Heal Thyself, page 34)
- that being said, sometimes in SMALL doses (high doses causes the opposite effect), Prozac is used to treat chronic constipation. (from: Patient Heal Thyself, page 35)