For anyone on a gluten-free diet, finding a place to eat while traveling can be difficult and at the very least requires some effort. So how could one even consider traveling to Italy, the land of pasta and pizza? Seems like it would be really tough, doesn’t it?
Actually, Italy is one of the countries with the highest prevalence of celiac disease. Because of this, apparently all children are screened for celiac disease by the age of 6, whether they are showing symptoms or not. If someone of any age shows symptoms, the awareness is there to recognize that it could be celiac and get it diagnosed right away. In an article on the University of Chicago Medical Center’s website, Stefano Guandalini, MD is quoted as saying, “In Europe, it typically takes a few weeks to go from the first symptoms to a diagnosis. In the U.S., the average lag time between onset and diagnosis is 11 years.” Boy, we have a long way to go!
I have not been to Italy since my diagnosis of celiac disease, and have wondered if it would be difficult or if the awareness is really there. If you have wondered the same thing, then you must read Gluten-Free Girl’s post eating gluten-free in italy. It will make you want to go there ASAP!