If your daughter gets gas after dinner, don't worry -- burping and passing gas is completely normal, although it can be embarrassing. Most people produce 1 to 4 pints of gas each day. Gas isn't usually a medical problem, but adjusting your daughter's diet will reduce the amount of gas she creates.
When bacteria in your large intestine break down food, chemical reactions produce gas. Your body then passes gas through the rectum. Gas typically contains carbon dioxide, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and methane. Gas gets its unpleasant odor from sulfur. Gas in your stomach, usually caused by swallowed air, is composed of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. You release this air by burping.
Foods That Cause Gas
Although people get gas from different foods, some foods commonly cause gas. For example, beans and cabbage contain a sugar called raffinose, which produces gas in many people. People also get gas from foods that contain soluble fiber, such as oat bran, peas, fruits and lactose, a natural sugar found in milk products and other processed foods. Fructose and sorbitol, types of natural sugar naturally found in fruits, onions, wheat and artichokes and which is added to other foods as a sweetener, also give some people gas.
Your daughter may also have gas from swallowing too much air. You can swallow air when chewing gum, drinking through a straw, eating hard candy, smoking, drinking carbonated beverages or eating too quickly.
Keeping track of what your daughter eats and how much gas she produces can help you find the best diet for her digestion. Limiting gum and soda can also reduce swallowed air. However, while cutting back on gas-producing foods may be one solution, this can also deprive her diet of healthy foods. Digestive enzymes may help her digest her food better. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about how much gas your child produces or if you think she may have a digestive disorder.
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