Mexican foods that don't cause heartburn? (need answer fast-ish)

I’m going to a Mexican restaurant for lunch today, by choice of another. I’d like to know if there’s any dish in particular that might be less likely to cause heartburn. I got woken up by some nasty reflux this morning after eating pizza for dinner last night, and found out that tomatoes are highly acidic so tomato sauce isn’t a good thing for me.

Should I just avoid hot sauce and anything containing tomatoes? I know there are antacids that can minimize the impact of reflux/heartburn, but I’d like to do my best to prevent it by eating right in the first place.

Some Mexican restaurants will serve American food, like burgers, fries, chicken fingers, and even chicken fried steak.

Other than that, I’d suggest fajitas, which don’t contain tomatoes (usually). Just don’t add salsa, if you know that’s a problem. I can eat tomatoes with no problem. What I can’t eat are uncooked onions (among other things). Depending on the restaurant, tacos might or might not have tomatoes in them, but they will almost certainly quite a lot of spices.

It helps to keep a food diary, by the way.

That’s a tall order, really. People with reflux react to different foodstuffs. For me, almost anything caused a reaction. Prilosec kicked that problem immediately. You might give it a try.

If you have something called “acid reflex” (GERD), the issue may be more about your health, than about the food itself. (I regularly eat hot or spicy food – with no intention of being macho – that makes my father quite visibly ill.)

Yeah it would probably help, but prilosec is too expensive. I could pick up some TUMS and go for broke on the spicy, I guess… lol.

It’s weird because stuff like spicy tuna sushi and spicy indian food doesn’t bother me, but tomato sauce and salsas definitely do.

Yeah, it differs from person to person. I can seemingly burn the crap out of myself with either chile based foods or curries, and not get heartburn / reflux, but I get it if I eat too much bread. Go figure.

BTW, my doctor claims that there’s a rebound effect with carbonate based antacids like TUMS. They provide immediate relief, but just cause your stomach to generate more acid a few hours down the road. Which leads to a lot of people constantly taking them. At one time he provided me with an ordered list of the OTC heartburn medications to try before doing a 14 day round of omeprazole (Prilosec). He seems to be slightly obsessive on this subject.

That’s interesting, I’ve read that this is true for nasal sprays which is why I have never used them. Is there anything available OTC (besides prilosec otc) which doesn’t have this effect? I am guessing tums and rolaids would both be out, according to your dr?

The immediate relief is frequently the operative point to using those types of anti-heartburn drugs, because it allows me to fall back asleep if I have a middle-of-the-night episode. But I wouldn’t be averse to using something else until I can talk to a doctor.

Most people misunderstand GERD, aka ‘heartburn’ or reflux.

It’s the contents of the stomach rising back up into the esophagus, generally due to a less than competent sphincter muscle at the gastroesophageal junction.

If you want to reduce the amount of stuff refluxing from the stomach up into the esophagus, reduce your caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine consumption, and review your prescription and other meds with your doctor, to see if any of them may be relaxing the valve. Muscle relaxers, calcium channel blockers, and benzodiazepines are big culprits in this. Also sleep with your head elevated, don’t lie down right after eating, and eat more, smaller meals. And avoid whatever foods seem to trigger symptoms for you. Oh, and lose some weight too, and wear looser clothing. All these approaches can reduce actual reflux.

If you want to reduce the burning from the acid content of the refluxed material, take antacids such as tums, maalox, mylanta, etc. Or take H2 blockers like cimetidine or ranitidine, to name only two. Or take proton pump inhibitors like omemprazole or pantoprazole, etc. These meds neutralize the acid, or reduce acid production in the stomach. That way, when the gastric contents reflux into the esophagus, it doesn’t burn so much. But reflux is still happening.

If you want to avoid the painful reflux from eating ‘spicy’ foods (i.e. those flavored with capsaicin-containing peppers or sauces), none of the acid reducers or blockers will help. That’s because this burn is not from acid, but from capsaicin. So you’ll need to either reduce or avoid the spicy foods, or take the measures designed to reduce actual reflux that I described above, or do a combination of those approaches.

This is a good time to point out that chilies are alkaline.

guacamole and a good asada.

Great description! [I do not eat within 2 hours of sleeping, only tend to drink water most evenings, avoid fruit juices [which are just fancy sugar water anyways] and do omeprazole because of the indocin and BP meds. ]

Actually, nachos without tomato products might just be the perfect idea, chips, cheese, sour cream, flavored ground beef, guacamole.

My favorite is dessert - flan with the liquidy caramel sauce =) worth saving the carbs for IMHO. Though I did get an amazing rice pudding once, and an excellent bread pudding a different time.

I’ve heard that the proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers also have a rebound effect, and I certainly believe I experienced it myself.

Generic omeprazole is cheaper (though as a long-term GERD sufferer who uses it daily, Amazon’s price for the brand-name is not much more than the generic, and the packaging is slightly better). But for an occasional sufferer like you appear to be, it may be overkill and it takes a day or so to really be effective.

Alternately - yes, Tums is cheaper and it’s made from calcium which is a good thing for us female-types anyway. I use store-brand Tums-like antacids as a calcium supplement.

The odd food that bugs me is salad. Sometimes not a problem, othertimes I’m “repeating” it hours later. My doctor suggested it might be the acidic salad dressing. Though to confuse the picture, last night I had salad AND chili for dinner… if anything was going to bug me, you’d think that meal would do the job. But nada, zilch, nothing.

Anyway… keep some Tums (or generic) around, and take 'em when you eat anything suspicious. If you’re prone to kidney stones they might be a problem but for most people, they’re pretty safe. If you find you’re needing them regularly, then you might want to talk to a doc and consider a regimen of Prilosec.

Assuming that you have health insurance, your doctor can prescribe omeprazole (the Prilosec generic), which will cost you a whopping $3 for a 30 day supply.

I’ve never suffered from “heartburn” & am glad one of our resident MD’s has offered his expertise.

But I couldn’t let this description of nachos stand. From The Homesick Texan: