Finally some research into Canker sores or Aphthous Ulcers the white ulcers that form in the mouth usually after an injury. Some will get one at a time and some will get up to 4 or 5 at a time. If they happen frequently they are called Recurrent Aphthous Ulcers. I suffered with these lesions for over 30 years. I remember sitting in Oral Pathology in dental school looking for an answer to my pain! The only answer I got was topical steroids and no known cause. Fast forward 12 years post graduation and I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Shortly after I went on a gluten free diet my Recurrent Aphthous Ulcers went away. I do still get one occasionally and it’s usually after a trip or time when I stumbled into some gluten somewhere. They are also short lived and nothing like the two week course I used to live with.
A Canadian Study released recently
“Recurrent aphthous ulcers can also occur in celiac disease and may provide another clue to the possible presence of the disorder (Fig. 4). In a large survey of a Canadian population with biopsy-proven celiac disease, 16% of children (< 16 years of age) and 26% of adults reported having recurrent oral ulcers.4,5 The exact cause of aphthous ulcers in celiac disease is unknown; however, it may be related to hematinic deficiency, with low serum iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 due to malabsorption in patients with untreated celiac disease.14”
I have talked with a few others that also have Celiac Disease and have suffered with Aphthous ulcers that have found relief as well after a diet change. The study recommends getting a diagnosis, which is a challenge. It has been reported that 40% of the population carry the gene for Gluten sensitivity/Celiac Disease yet only 1% of the population has a diagnosis. I’ve gone back and forth with testing. Yes I think it’s a good idea to get tested to find out for yourself. Cyrex Labs is on the forefront in Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity testing and a great place to start. I also think it’s ok to educate yourself about the pros and cons and changing your diet. If you see symptoms go away you know you’re onto something. Once you go gluten free, you’ll have to go back to eating gluten for a few months before accurate testing can occur and this is usually where the problem rises as many will get a reaction once they start eating wheat again.
Here are two books that are recommended reading: