In Casvi International American School we wanted to join one more year to the National Gluten-Free Day. As every May 27th, we have marked this date in the calendar in order to give visibility and support to people with celiac disease with the aim of normalizing the lifestyle of this group. Through different specific activities, framed within the IB methodology, we wanted to bring the gluten-free world and celiac disease to our students. Our goal? To echo this day to raise awareness of intolerance that is present in all sectors of society. According to the newspaper, El Confidencial “about 2% of the population suffers from this intolerance, which means that almost one million Spaniards could have it”.
Gluten is a protein found in the seeds of many kinds of cereal such as wheat, barley, rye, or spelt, among others.
This protein is responsible for the elasticity of flour dough and gives consistency and sponginess to bread, or baked doughs. However, many people “are unable to digest this protein completely, since after its ingestion fragments of protein are released that activate the immune system and detect it as a toxic substance, thus triggering an adverse reaction”, as confirmed by the Federation of Associations of Coeliacs of Spain (FACE).
Through the reading of a story, and research work on the effects of gluten in people with celiac disease, our students have been able to better understand how the intake of this protein affects certain people. In this way, they not only give visibility to a sector of the population and contribute to be more inclusive but also learn the importance of having a healthy and balanced diet for a healthy lifestyle.
After research work, our students concluded on the importance of paying attention to symptoms such as tiredness or stomach pains to detect a possible case of celiac disease among their peers. In addition, during this day, our students received a special gluten-free menu in the school cafeteria facilities.