Usage of the D-xylose Absorption Test

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What is D-xylose?

D-xylose is a simple sugar which doesn't need to undergo any digestive process before it can be absorbed. Its absorption only requires an intact proximal small bowel mucosa.

In normal individuals, 25 grams of D-xylose ingestion leads to a urinary excretion greater than 4.5 grams in 5 hours.

D-xylose and Pancreatic Insufficiency:

In individuals with pancreatic insufficiency, there is deficiency of pancreatic enzymes which leads to impaired digestion of fats, and absorption of D-xylose is not affected in any way.

D-xylose and Bacterial Overgrowth:

In individuals with bacterial overgrowth, there is increased bacterial consumption of D-xylose, causing decreased D-xylose absorption.

D-xylose and Celiac Disease:

In individuals with Celiac disease, the small intestinal mucosa is damaged, hence, imparing D-xylose absorption.

Additional Reading:

Basic Gastroenterology

1. Basic Gastrointestinal Physiology
2. Digestion FAQ, Defecation reflex, etc.
3. Digestion
4. Notes on Functions of the Liver
5. Notes on Jaundice
6. Types of Jaundice
7. Diagram of Gastric Blood Supply
8. FAQ on Gastric Digestion
9. Usage of the D-xylose Absorption Test

Gastroenterology Videos

1. Video of Abdominal Examination in a Clinical Setting

Related Topics

1. Gastrointestinal Disorders
2. Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Disorders
3. Histology of the Digestive Tract I: Oral Cavity
4. Histology of the Digestive Tract II: Esophagus through Intestines
5. Histology of the Liver, Pancreas, and Gall Bladder
6. Abdominal Examination for Internal Medicine

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Useful Medical Images & Diagrams (link opens in a new window)

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