Q&A: 5-year-old with excess gas

It's a scatalogical kind of Monday.

Rachel writes:

"My daughter will be 5 in about two weeks.  She has been complaining on and off about a "stomachache" that seems to come and go randomly.  It never seems severe and to be quite honest, I'm not sure its not a ploy for extra attention, as it never hinders her activities.  However, she has been VERY gassy and "poots" ALL the time.  At the dinner table, outside playing, sitting watching TV...you name it, she poots!  She, of course, thinks it funny.  I, on the other hand, am wondering if perhaps she has an intolerance to something in her diet.  Any ideas? 

ps...She was on soy formula as a baby, as she didn't tolerate the milk based formula.  I haven't noticed any problems since then...until now."

It does sound a lot like she's having a problem with something she's eating. I think I'd start eliminating with the usual suspects: dairy, wheat, soy, cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts). I'd also cut out all the fake sugars if she's eating any--I know a couple of adults who've told me that aspartame or Splenda make them gassy. (It wasn't like they just up and told me out of the blue--we were talking about kids and digestive stuff, and it came up. I mean, people tell me stuff, but not that much stuff.)

You should probably start a diary of what she eats, and also when she complains about the stomachaches, and record any really excessive periods of gas, too. I'm betting that after a week or so you'll figure out a pattern. Don't forget to keep track of the stuff she eats when she's not with you (at school or a babysitter's or a relative's house).

Hmm. I'm trying to think of something mildly funny to say about this problem, but can't really come up with anything, because 5-year-old farts are really smelly and gross.

I can't imagine what any of you would need to share about this, but I'm sure there's something you're dying to say on the topic, so let loose.