Does Brown Rice Cause Stomach Cramps?

Brown rice may cause abdominal discomfort.

Whole grains are generally healthier for you than refined grains. Polishing and milling brown rice into white rice not only changes its appearance, but also eliminates many of the natural vitamins and minerals. Although brown rice may provide more nutrients than white rice, it can cause abdominal pain in some people, due to the fiber it contains.


Brown Rice

Brown rice is a type of whole grain that contains fiber. Processing the rice eliminates most of the fiber. One cup of brown rice flour contains about 7.3 g of total dietary fiber, as well as numerous vitamins, minerals and amino acids. A 1-cup serving provides 11.42 g of protein, 177 mg of magnesium and slightly more than 10 mg of niacin. If you experience stomach cramps after eating brown rice, fiber is the most likely culprit.


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Dietary fiber is important to your health. Although your body doesn't digest the fiber you eat, it plays an important role in normalizing your bowel movements and helping to control blood sugar levels and blood cholesterol levels. Dietary fiber can help you lose weight by helping to satisfy your hunger and helping you feel full. Eating brown rice instead of white rice is one way to increase your consumption of fiber. The general daily recommendation of fiber for adults is 38 g for men and 25 g for women under the age of 50. Build up your intake to this level over the course of several weeks.


Abdominal Pain

Although adding fiber to your diet in the form of brown rice and brown rice flour can help promote good health, adding it too quickly can lead to abdominal pain. You may experience stomach cramps, intestinal gas and abdominal bloating, especially if you suddenly start eating large amounts of brown rice and other types of high-fiber foods, such as apples, berries, beans, peas, whole grains cereals and carrots.



Increase your intake of brown rice gradually to minimize the risk of abdominal pain and cramping. Although eating brown rice may be the source of your abdominal pain, other conditions, such as a food allergy, gastroesophageal reflux, gallstones or irritable bowel syndrome, may be responsible for abdominal pain and cramping. Contact your doctor if you also experience chest pain, if you are vomiting blood, or if you are unable to have a bowel movement. These symptoms may signal an emergency.



references & resources

Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

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