-stalsis, -staltic (suffix)

(Greek: contraction; to gather, to constrict)

antiperistalsis (s) (noun), antiperistalses (pl)
A condition in which there is a wave of contractions in the gastrointestinal tract that moves toward the oral end, or the mouth: When antiperistalsis takes place in the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine), it is associated with vomiting; when it is in the ascending colon, it is supposed to be a normal occurrence.
antiperistaltic (adjective), more antiperistaltic, most antiperistaltic
Relating to a substance which inhibits or diminishes the excessively rhythmic tightening of the smooth muscles: There are antiperistaltic medications which are meant to reduce spasms of the intestinal-smooth muscles so they can decrease the abnormal muscle functions with the objective that they can return to normally forcing food through the digestive tract, bile through the bile duct, and urine through the ureters.
bradydiastalsis (s) (noun), bradydiastalses (pl)
Normally, the contents of the intestine are propelled along by regular, coordinated waves of muscular flexing, but sometimes such movements don't function as fast as they should: The bradydiastalsis of the contractions in the colon are irregular and uncoordinated and so this can interfere with the progress of waste matter through the intestines.
bradystalsis (s) (noun), bradystalses (pl)
Delayed or slow intestinal movements: There are bradystalses, or the delayed wavelike muscle squeezing of food through the intestines, that can cause constipation.
catastalsis (s) (noun), catastalses (pl)
Downward waves of compressions which take place in the gastrointestinal tract during digestion: Jane felt quite strange in her abdomen, but after being checked by her doctor, it had nothing to do with catastalsis. She was pregnant!
hyperperistalsis (s) (noun), hyperperistalses (pl)
An abnormally fast rhythmic contraction of the smooth muscles which are involved in the movements of food through the digestive tract: Because Molly had to go to the bathroom more often than usual, she decided to go to her family doctor and was diagnosed as having hyperperistalsis. Dr. Smith gave her some medication to relieve her of her unhealthy condition and within a few days she was healthy again!
hypoperistalsis (s) (noun), hypoperistalses (p)
A condition in which there are abnormally slow movements of the waves of alternate tensions and relaxations that move food and liquid contents forward through the digestive tract: Jack loved eating pasta everyday and because of that he had digestive problems, that caused hypoperistalsis. His doctor told him that he had to eat more vegetables and fruit and not so many processed meals from fast food restaurants.
mass peristalsis (s) (noun), mass peristalses (pl)
Forced movements of short duration in which the contents of the colon are moved from one section to another area: Mass peristalsis takes place three or four times each day.
paristaltic pump (s), (noun), paristaltic pumps (pl)
In biotechnology, an apparatus that is used to transfer fluids: The peristaltic pump utilizes a flexible fluid-containing tube which is positioned between rotating rollers that squeeze it every so often to keep the fluids moving.
peristalsis (s) (noun), peristalses (pl)
1. The rippling motion of muscles in the digestive tract: In the stomach, this peristalsis or movement mixes food with gastric juices, turning them into a thin liquid.
2. The activity by which the alimentary canal and other tubular organs, that have both longitudinal and circular muscle fibers, propel their contents: The peristalsis consists of a wave of contractions passing along the tube for variable distances.
3. The wormlike motions by which the stomach and the bowels propel or send their contents: Peristalses consist of alternate waves of relaxations and contractions in successive parts of the intestinal tube and any obstructions to the flow of the contents will cause these contractions to become stronger and are often accompanied by a severe form of pain known as "colic" or an attack of spasmodic pain in the abdomen.

Food and digestion products are pushed through the intestine from the throat to the rectum, by peristalsis or the surging of muscular contractions of the intestinal wall.

4. Etymology: from Greek peri, "around" + stalsis, "contraction".
peristaltic (adjective), more peristaltic, most peristaltic
A reference to the peculiar wormlike wave motion of the intestines and other similar structures, produced by the successive contraction of the muscular fibers of their walls, forcing their contents onwards: The wavelike contractions of the muscular fibers that provide fluxing in certain bodily areas are called peristaltic movements.

The billowing peristaltic contractions of the alimentary canal, or any other tubular structures, result in the contents of such areas being forced onward toward a bodily opening.

Peristaltic movements are initiated by circular smooth muscles contracting behind the chewed food and drinking of liquids to prevent them from moving back into the mouth, which is then followed by a contraction of longitudinal smooth muscles which push the digested food onward.

Intestinal movements are not always the same.

When food is in the small intestine, the muscles that encircle the tube constrict about seven to twelve times a minute, segmenting the tube so it is similar to a series of sausages. These rapid contractions move the food back and forth, churning it, kneading or pressing it, and mixing it with the digestive juices.

Besides these mixing movements, the small intestine also makes propulsive, or peristaltic, movements: waves that move food through the system. In this part of the gastrointestinal tract, peristaltic movements are usually weak and infrequent.

These activities ensure that food will stay in one place long enough to be absorbed. Only when toxic substances enter the small intestine are the propulsive movements strong and quick, in order to expel the poisons as fast as possible.

—Compiled from information that was provided by
The ABC's of the Human Body, Editor, Alma E. Guinness;
The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.; Pleasantville, New York; 1987; page 249.
peristaltic charge-coupled device (s) (noun), peristaltic charge-coupled devices (pl)
In electronics, a tool in which a voltage moves electrical charges through a circuit: The peristaltic charge-coupled device is a high-speed charge-transfer circuit which functions in much the same way as the contractions and dilations, or expansions, that take place in the body's digestive tract which moves food through the stomach.
peristaltic rush (s) (noun), peristaltic rushes (pl)
A powerful wave of contractile activities that travel far into the small intestine: The peristaltic rush is caused by an intense irritation or an unusual distention (stretched beyond normal) of the smooth muscle that pushes food through the digestive tract.
peristaltically (adverb), more peristaltically, most peristaltically
A reference to the process of involuntary wavelike successive muscular contractions by which food is moved through the digestive tract: The large, hollow organs of the digestive system contain muscles that enable their walls to move and the movement of these organ walls propel food and liquids and also peristaltically mix the contents within each organ.

In the stomach, the motions peristaltically blend food with gastric juices which turns them into a thin liquid.

reverse peristalsis (s) (noun), reverse peristalses (pl)
Movement in the opposite direction to that which is normal: Reverse peristalsis consists of an intestinal squeezing that goes in a direction that is the opposite of what generally takes place during which the contents of the intestine are forced backward.