Intestinal motility

Generally, the motility of Gastrointestine can be divided into 2 types –

  1. Spontaneous electrical activity – This type of electrical activity continues throughout the intestinal tract all day long. This is also called as basal electric rhythm (BER). BER is actually the fluctuation in resting membrane potential of smooth muscle cells of intestine.
  2. Mechanical activity. This is based on the food intake activity.
  3. During fed state –
  4. Peristalsis – this is a propulsive movement caused by a segment of contraction behind and a segment of relaxation in front of the food bolus. The purpose of this contraction is movement of the food blous ahead in the food pathway.
  5. Segmentation and mixing – this is that type of contraction that does the work of breaking the food content and mixing it with digestive juices secreted in variation parts of intestine. It consists of a segment of bowel contraction at both ends and then the second contraction occurs in the centre of the segment to force the chyme both backwards and forwards.
  6. In fasting stage – Migratory Motor Complex (MMC). These contractions occur when there is no food in the intestinal tract. These are initiated by motilin occur after every 90 – 110 minutes and progress at the rate of 5cm/min. The purpose of these contractions is to empty the tract and free it of the left about food particles. As soon as food is ingested, these contractions are suppressed.
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