Lactulose: A synthetic disaccharide used in the treatment of constipation and hepatic encephalopathy. It has also been used in the diagnosis of gastrointestinal disorders. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p887)Disaccharides: Oligosaccharides containing two monosaccharide units linked by a glycosidic bond.Rhamnose: A methylpentose whose L- isomer is found naturally in many plant glycosides and some gram-negative bacterial lipopolysaccharides.Gastrointestinal Agents: Drugs used for their effects on the gastrointestinal system, as to control gastric acidity, regulate gastrointestinal motility and water flow, and improve digestion.Mannitol: A diuretic and renal diagnostic aid related to sorbitol. It has little significant energy value as it is largely eliminated from the body before any metabolism can take place. It can be used to treat oliguria associated with kidney failure or other manifestations of inadequate renal function and has been used for determination of glomerular filtration rate. Mannitol is also commonly used as a research tool in cell biological studies, usually to control osmolarity.Gastrointestinal Transit: Passage of food (sometimes in the form of a test meal) through the gastrointestinal tract as measured in minutes or hours. The rate of passage through the intestine is an indicator of small bowel function.Intestinal Absorption: Uptake of substances through the lining of the INTESTINES.Hepatic Encephalopathy: A syndrome characterized by central nervous system dysfunction in association with LIVER FAILURE, including portal-systemic shunts. Clinical features include lethargy and CONFUSION (frequently progressing to COMA); ASTERIXIS; NYSTAGMUS, PATHOLOGIC; brisk oculovestibular reflexes; decorticate and decerebrate posturing; MUSCLE SPASTICITY; and bilateral extensor plantar reflexes (see REFLEX, BABINSKI). ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY may demonstrate triphasic waves. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1117-20; Plum & Posner, Diagnosis of Stupor and Coma, 3rd ed, p222-5)Breath Tests: Any tests done on exhaled air.Cathartics: Agents that are used to stimulate evacuation of the bowels.Hydrogen: The first chemical element in the periodic table. It has the atomic symbol H, atomic number 1, and atomic weight [1.00784; 1.00811]. It exists, under normal conditions, as a colorless, odorless, tasteless, diatomic gas. Hydrogen ions are PROTONS. Besides the common H1 isotope, hydrogen exists as the stable isotope DEUTERIUM and the unstable, radioactive isotope TRITIUM.Sugar Alcohols: Polyhydric alcohols having no more than one hydroxy group attached to each carbon atom. They are formed by the reduction of the carbonyl group of a sugar to a hydroxyl group.(From Dorland, 28th ed)Permeability: Property of membranes and other structures to permit passage of light, heat, gases, liquids, metabolites, and mineral ions.Senna Extract: Preparations of Cassia senna and C. angustifolia (see SENNA PLANT). They contain sennosides, which are anthraquinone type CATHARTICS and are used in many different preparations as laxatives.Feces: Excrement from the INTESTINES, containing unabsorbed solids, waste products, secretions, and BACTERIA of the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.Bacterial Translocation: The passage of viable bacteria from the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT to extra-intestinal sites, such as the mesenteric lymph node complex, liver, spleen, kidney, and blood. Factors that promote bacterial translocation include overgrowth with gram-negative enteric bacilli, impaired host immune defenses, and injury to the INTESTINAL MUCOSA resulting in increased intestinal permeability. Bacterial translocation from the lung to the circulation is also possible and sometimes accompanies MECHANICAL VENTILATION.Constipation: Infrequent or difficult evacuation of FECES. These symptoms are associated with a variety of causes, including low DIETARY FIBER intake, emotional or nervous disturbances, systemic and structural disorders, drug-induced aggravation, and infections.Malabsorption Syndromes: General term for a group of MALNUTRITION syndromes caused by failure of normal INTESTINAL ABSORPTION of nutrients.Colon: The segment of LARGE INTESTINE between the CECUM and the RECTUM. It includes the ASCENDING COLON; the TRANSVERSE COLON; the DESCENDING COLON; and the SIGMOID COLON.Defecation: The normal process of elimination of fecal material from the RECTUM.