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Tests of carbohydrate malabsorption

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Tests of monosaccharide absorption:

  • xylose tolerance test
  • jejunal biopsy

Tests of disaccharide absorption:

  • breath hydrogen test - using lactose or sucrose
  • measurement of plasma glucose following oral dose of lactose or sucrose
  • measurement of disaccharidase activity in jejunal biopsy samples
  • faecal acidity - faecal pH may fall due to bacterial malabsorption of unabsorbed carbohydrate

Radiological studies - intestinal hurry and dilatation may be demonstrated by mixing the appropriate sugar with barium.

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