These canker sores can be associated with conditions that affect the GI tract, immune defects and syndromes that are inflammatory. They are not infectious or contagious in any way. However; up to 20% of patients with RAS are deficient in iron, vitamin B and folic acid. Another 3% have malabsorption or GI disorders. The detergent sodium lauryl sulphate found in toothpastes may aggravate them. And NSAIDs and other drugs can cause them.
They found 247 patients with RAS and screened them with the IgA anti-endomysial antibody (EMA) test along with serum IgA and IgA anti tissue transglutaminase. Seven patients with at least one positive test then had duodenal biopsies and all were found to have gluten sensitive enteropathy. This explained why these 7 patients were not successfully treated with the usual anti-canker sore medications (topical corticosteroids, tetracycline, colchicines). Over the next six months, 4 of the patients that went on a strict gluten free diet improved greatly.
BMC Gastroenterol 2009; 9: 44. Gluten sensitivity enteropathy in patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis.
Gluten Free Society’s Stance:
It’s a little surprising that the researchers found that all 7 patients had a positive biopsy for gluten sensitivity enteropathy. Often this does not happen. A biopsy only selects a small amount of tissue, almost at random, and that tissue sample may not be reflective of what’s occurring in the intestinal tract. Everyone with gluten sensitivity won’t have a positive biopsy, and that could explain why the condition may not be identified.
The medical literature is full of research showing a strong relationship between gluten and many other diseases including osteoporosis, asthma, heart problems, arthritis, cancer, hypothyroidism, psychological disorders and fibromyalgia.
In the best of worlds, everyone with any of the diseases mentioned above is tested by the proper testing method. Identification of a problem is always the first step to solving it!