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I have been wondering, what are known dietary causes for constipation?

Is there a reason that combining Rice and Meat in a meal would cause constipation? Is there some gut reaction that is causing these symptoms?

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    Welcome to Health! We can't provide personal advice for reasons layed out in this meta post, so I have edited and gave my best to make the question adhere to our scope. It is up to the Community whether such a question in principle can be answered. To get more information about the site and scope of the site, I'd encourage you to visit the help center, our How to Ask page and Medical Sciences Meta.
    – Narusan
    Sep 8, 2017 at 20:17
  • Rice can have that effect. I am unaware if that is accentuated by combining with meat. Sep 10, 2017 at 6:28
  • It's not an interaction between the two; it's that they both can have that effect as they are low/no-fiber foods.
    – DoctorWhom
    Sep 17, 2017 at 6:46

1 Answer 1

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The major dietary causes are not enough water and not enough fibre. (See the Risk Factors section of this Mayo Clinic article, which focuses on medical causes of constipation.) There's nothing complicated about mystery little factors in your food that combine to create a problem. If you eat only white rice and meat for a meal, with no vegetables, then you are eating a lot less fibre than someone who added vegetables to that meal or who ate beans instead of meat.

First thing to do if you're suffering constipation is to drink a lot more water. Second thing to do is add vegetables and legumes to your meals. There are things you can do beyond that, but they are not dietary and should probably be suggested by someone more familiar with your personal situation. More water and more fibre are generally a safe approach, so if you're sure your situation is caused by what you eat and drink, fix that.

A note that if you are ill or are taking any medication, it's a whole different story and you shouldn't do anything (not even eating extra fibre) without discussing it with your doctor.

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    Beautifully answered @KateGregory with the "There are things you can do beyond that, but they are not dietary and should probably be suggested by someone more familiar with your personal situation"and "if you are ill or are taking any medication......" - - Copied for future answers :)
    – DoctorWhom
    Sep 9, 2017 at 2:24
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    The question is specific to Dietary interactions that could cause constipation. In the above scenario consuming 'enough' fibre or water does not help. in this case, constipation is caused specifically when eating a meal High in Starch and rich in Meat. Here, constipation is not experienced when eating only Rice or eating only meat.
    – yusa
    Sep 9, 2017 at 6:16
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    Sorry but that is just not a thing. I can't find medical studies to prove a negative, but combining starch and protein is literally what most people do at every meal and it doesn't make any sense to think they react to form something that constipates you - mostly because there isn't really "something that constipates you" there is the absence of something that helps things move along as normal. Sep 9, 2017 at 12:33
  • I assure you that this is a real thing. And maybe this issue is not well studied. Can you think of any 'systemic' issue that would indirectly be causing this. Rice is digested into glucose, and meat is digested into amino acids / fatty acids. Is there some systemic issue that could cause constipation when there is a surge of glucose and amino acids / fatty acids in the blood as the same time ?
    – yusa
    Sep 10, 2017 at 12:52

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